Of all the great things about freelancing, there’s one aspect of it that continually pops up, whether you’re just getting started or are established, and that’s competition. Sure, competition is a part of life, yet for us freelancers, it’s almost akin to acting – we’re regularly having to “audition.” Hundreds of people might apply, portfolios at the ready, for just one freelancing gig. However, just because there’s a lot of competition out there doesn’t mean that us freelancers can’t be successful, each in our own way – we just need to know how to cope with freelancing’s little challenges.
Revise That Resumé
As we all know, the resumé is our calling card – just one glance can either make us or break us. It can also be what gives us an edge over our competition. Some freelancing jobs have platforms that request applicants to fill out the most recent work experience, highlight skills and strengths, etc. – no need for that resumé, right? Wrong.
Usually, there’s the option of uploading additional files, like a cover letter, and that’s where to include the resumé. A lot of people will just skip that part for the sake of efficiency if that area isn’t mandatory, but it’s the freelancer who goes the extra mile that usually gets the gold. It’s always better to be overly prepared than not prepared enough.
That being said, if a resumé looks too cluttered or is too many pages, then chances are it’ll go to the bottom of that applicant pile. Sure, you could hire a professional to craft a resumé for you, but what if you’re on a budget? Thankfully, there are a myriad of websites that offer free resumé templates and examples. I suggest ResumeGenius, as well as Canva’s Free Online Resume Builder.
It’s true, some companies use screening software, wherein if applicants don’t have certain keywords in their resumé, then that’s it. So, it’s important to carefully evaluate the job description and have your resumé at the ready to tailor it accordingly. Also, unless otherwise specified, it’s a good idea to send in your resumé as a PDF.
Elevate that Education
I’ve said it before on this blog, education is becoming more and more crucial to maintaining a competitive advantage in the freelancing world. Of course, natural talent still plays a significant role, but the higher-paying jobs do, a lot of the time, require at least a Bachelors or even a Masters. It does, of course (no pun intended), depend on the freelancing area you’re in – just from regularly applying to jobs, you’ll know what the overall climate is in terms of the education requirement.
Again, the Internet is filled with coursework options, some far more expensive and relevant than others. You might want to look into Coursera and/or edX. Only pursue an advanced degree program if you’re absolutely certain you want to dedicate the time and resources to it.
Bold Is Beneficial
Even if you tend to be more of the shy sort, you’ll find that to compete as a freelancer, you’re going to have to be bold in written and spoken word. This means identifying your strengths and passionately defending them to would-be employers. This also means holding yourself to a higher standard of persistence. Think of freelancing as a game, and if you play it with integrity, success can’t help but follow.
Please note that all Fabulous Freelancer posts might contain affiliate links.