How to Showcase your Freelance Work on your CV
On Tuesday 14 June, UAL Careers and Employability hosted the online event ‘How to Showcase your Freelance Work on your CV’. This event was part of Freelance Week – a five-day programme designed to give advice to students and graduates thinking about a freelance career.
The online workshop featured Shingi Sibanda, UAL’s Senior Employability Educator. She discussed how to tailor your CV to potential freelance clients, gave insight into how to promote yourself to future employers, and provided useful resources for further support.
How to write a Freelancing CV?
‘Your freelance work is as valuable as any other paid work opportunity’ - Shingi Sibanda
Shingi began the workshop by stressing the importance of highlighting freelance or self-initiated project work on a CV. She explained that such experience was just as, and in some cases more valuable than other forms of employment.
In terms of how to format such experience on the document itself, she recommended splitting the information into sections such as:
- Work Experience
- Professional Development
- Software Programmes
Shingi then explained that the content should not focus on listing experiences, but should rather provide insight into what the individual has achieved, what skill they used, and what impact they made in each role.
She then shared four helpful steps to tailor a CV as a freelancer:
1. Read the job description and highlight the essential and desirable criteria that is relevant to your experience and education.
2. Recreate your profile with the same job title, industry and relevant essential skills.
3. Check what training and education the role asks for and showcase them in your relevant education and training.
4. Move 2-3 of your most relevant jobs for the role you're applying for to your relevant experience section. Then highlight how those experiences tick off further essential criteria.
She also recommended that when freelancing, you should vary your CV’s content depending on the role or opportunity you are applying for. But, make sure that you would be confident discussing this content in an interview.
How to promote yourself to clients and future employers?
After discussing the formatting of a freelancing CV, Shingi moved on to exploring the various ways in which to create a professional online presence and promote yourself as a freelancer. These included:
- Building your own website
- Creating an online profile on Linkedin and The Dots (PDF 182KB)
- Sending pitch emails to prospective clients or employers
- Looking at employment websites such as ArtsTemps, Creative Opportunities or Artquest
- Networking with UAL Portfolio
When selecting projects and contacting employers, Shingi emphasised that you should have as many examples of success to examine as possible. Whether this is working with high-profile employers or smaller companies - every experience is as valuable as the next.
‘It’s just as impactful to network across as it is to network up’ – Shingi Sibanda
Further advice and resources:
To close the session, Shingi encouraged the students to use the tips from the online workshop to create their own freelancing CV. She also noted that once this was completed, individuals could email them to Careers Support for review and further advice.
If you are a UAL student or graduate and are looking for help with updating your CV, make the most of the resources offered and email firstname.lastname@example.org (or email@example.com if you are a graduate) for feedback and support.