How to List Self-Employment and Freelance Work on Resume

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Let us start this article with a controversial statement. I am proposing a thought that our standard, Western world resume format is quite flawed. Western resumes oppress one specific portion of applicants. Is the maltreatment concerns race, sex, gender, social status?

No, repeatedly the companies have shown that they care about none of the previously mentioned things. They only care for their revenue statistics. At the very least, when things are dire, the national laws and policies protect us. So, what is it? The oppressed group is the people who were freelancing and being self-employed for too long. How is this possible?


Just imagine: you are an experienced programmer. You have contributed to and successfully completed numerous projects. The list of the software developed by you is so long that the middle finger will tire from scrolling for so long. Imagined? Great! Now, how do you incorporate the freelance or self-employment into the resume? What, no ideas? No wonder. Do you create a different section? Do you include it at all? Is it even relevant to the job you are applying?

So many questions and so little answers leave you puzzled and your resume incomplete, resulting in you not getting any stable job whatsoever. What a horrible scenario, isn’t it? If you are in a similar position and don’t want to be left out of a job, read on to find out how to avoid such situations.

What Is So Special About A Self Employed Resume?

Firstly, let’s get acquainted with Self Employment. What is exactly Self Employment?

Anybody that is self-employed doesn’t work for any other specific employer. Such people earn their income by contracting with a trade of business directly, cutting out the middle man.

Ok, that is that much clear but…is there any benefit of self employment resumes?

Such resumes show great ability in a couple of important competencies.


You are conscious of your personal and professional lives. You bring value to your work. You continue to work through adversity, demonstrating initiative. You are a great independent worker.

Project Management

Whether alone or in a team, you get the job done no matter what. You acquire information, process it, and immediately put it to use. Partnering and collaboration are the names of the game for you. You solve problems like it’s nothing to you.

Planning and Decision-Making

You prioritize exceptionally well. You can visualize, plan, and set the goals. You encourage individual responsibility by establishing a daily structure.


You are fantastic at creating long-lasting, business relationships. You build communities, and you develop them continuously. You empower individuals to achieve goals.


Here’s How to List Self Employment on Resume

There are a couple of general directives that you should rely on when making a resume with self-employment:

  1. List your entries just like you would do with any other job. Describe the work you did and describe it well. Additionally, try to include some achievements. The recruiters will care less about the experience being self-employment if your duties were impressive.
  2. Use a functional job title, instead of simply putting “self-employment” or even worse “self-work”. This way, your resume will pass any Applicant Tracing System to reach the HR Officer. And when the HR Officer eventually looks at your resume, from the first look at it, they will instantly know what your job was.
  3. Add clients. They serve as the insight to your scope of work. Other businesses are sure to know the local partners, which they will surely contact to get to know their possible future employee.
  4. Include references! One of the main problems with self employment on resume is that mostly you cannot prove the work you did. “You created a successful startup that received backing from 200,000 contributors? That’s great, and I went to Mars with Elon Musk” is what some very judgmental HR Officers think daily. Give a couple of references, directing recruiters to your partners and collaborators.


The Self Employed Example

Here is a self employment resume for you to check out and get some ideas:


Freelancer Resume Is a No Brainer

Now that we have learned how to include self-employment in a resume let’s move onto Freelance. So, how does freelance differ from self-employment?

Although the word freelancer is commonly used to refer to self-employed people, that is not entirely correct. A freelancer is someone who is hired on a contract basis, instead of working for the company as an employee. A freelancer doesn’t have a long-term commitment to anyone or anything.

Great, now onto the good aspects that freelance resumes show implicitly.

Interpersonal Skills

You can easily build and cultivate relationships to acquire and maintain work. Communicating with partners, vendors, and customers across any brand is not a problem for you. You’re great at negotiation.

Growth and Development

You are a continuous self-developer and a lifelong learner. You stay passionate about your job. You strive for developing personal and professional balance.

Creativity and Visioning

You constantly initiate new activities to garner new work opportunities for yourself. You develop, maintain, and synthesize ideas.

Time Management

You are engaged in work, you love it, and you are self-directed. You know what to do and when it is appropriate. You masterfully manage all of the daily activities to complete them on time reliably.


Here’s How to List Freelance Work on Resume

Putting freelance work on resume has some specifics too. Here are the main guidelines:

  1. Sustain consistency throughout the work section. Write “Freelance [your job title]”. This way, your resume will be easy to read and compact, and the ready will easily see what you’ve done as a freelancer.
  2. List long-term freelance jobs as normal ones. This method will make them stand out and attract more attention. Additionally, it will be easier to give a description of what you’ve done for such experiences.
  3. Always mention big organizations you’ve worked for. Big names immediately will impress most recruiters. Important clients mean you know how to execute your work excellently.
  4. Exclude any irrelevant information. This is one of the biggest issues with freelance work on resume. During freelancing periods, people perform a lot of and all kinds of tasks. Not all of them, however, are really relevant to the job they are applying to, so, in the result, recruiters read big amounts of information they don’t even need to process. This definitely doesn’t make them happy and can end up in you being declined a job offer.


What about Freelance Projects?

Of course, freelance can consist only out of project-based work. How to include it? No need to make a new job entry for every single project you were a part of. That would nonsensical, and your resume would end up being 20-pages long. You can create a section in your resume with the most impressive projects while also specifying the full duration of the freelancing period and also that you participated in other projects.


A Freelance Resume Example

Here you can see some freelance work incorporated into a resume:


All in all, resume writing can be complicated. Hopefully, however, these tips will help on your journey to becoming employed.