It’s no secret that the job market is tough these days, and finding stable long-term employment is a feat in and of itself. So it’s not surprising that many qualified professionals take up consulting and freelance projects, or even start their own private businesses to make a living. And while some derive great pleasure out of being self-employed and go on to develop successful careers this way, others strive to eventually return to being an employee.
This latter group of jobseekers is often hesitant about mentioning their short-term projects and experiences on their resumes for fear of being considered job hoppers. However, this perception is quite misguided. In reality, your freelance or consulting history can turn out to be an ace up your sleeve.
Still don’t see how? Think about it this way: you most likely had to get out there, find and negotiate with clients, strike deals, deliver on targets, solve problems and ensure top-notch quality all by yourself. Now that’s impressive! It shows a potential employer that you are proactive, independent, inventive and great at getting along with others.
So how do you convey all this through your resume? Here are a few tips:
1. Group all your freelancing, consulting or self-employed experiences together
Think of yourself as a Founder and President of your own company, something like YourName, Inc. List individual assignments and projects that you’ve completed as you would normally list your responsibilities and achievements for long-term positions.
2. Focus on details
Make sure you mention the most interesting, challenging and successful projects that you’ve completed. Use active, persuasive verbs and don’t forget to quantify the results where possible. That includes the number of people under your supervision, project scope (in terms of budget or number of end users affected) and outcomes.
3. Don’t forget about accomplishments
So you’ve finished a certain task under budget or well before the deadline? Maybe you’ve saved your customer money in some way? Or boosted their revenue? Or received dozens of referrals from a satisfied client? Then don’t be afraid to own your success and put these on your resume!
Do you have any consulting, freelancing or entrepreneurial experience under your belt? Do you proudly display your one-man band accomplishments on your resume? Share your thoughts in our comments section!