CVS / APR. 26, 2014
version 3, draft 3

How to Write a Freelance Editor Resume

Working as a freelance editor gives you the freedom to pick and choose assignments. You don't have to punch a time clock, deal with an employer looking over your shoulder, plus there's the opportunity to work from any location. It's the ideal situation if you want to set your own schedule and be your own boss. 

Of course, as a freelance editor, you're responsible for locating your own assignments. Therefore, you'll need to offer your services to companies and visit freelance job boards on a regular basis. This ensures a steady stream of work. 

When applying for freelance editing work, some companies may only request a cover letter. This is your introduction; and in the letter, you'll include a brief summary of your qualifications, experience and expected pay. This is typically enough to get a company's attention and help assess whether you're the right editor for the gig. 

On occasion, however, a company may ask for a detailed resume outlining your qualifications, education and experience. Since you have many clients and often work on several projects simultaneously, you might question the best way to craft your resume. 

The truth is, writing a freelance editor resume isn't that much different from other resumes. You'll include the same basic elements. However, instead of listing each editing assignment as a series of different jobs, your freelance editing work will appear as one item on your chronology.  

Here are six tips to help you craft a killer freelance editor resume. 

#1. Who are You?

In the top left or right hand corner of your document, or centered at the top, type your name, address, telephone number, email address, and a link to your online portfolio, if available. List each item on a separate line. For example:

Jane Doe

123 Main Street

Anytown, US 12345


#2. Purpose of the Resume

Your career objective is a brief statement that expresses your goal. This statement should provide the reader with enough information to quickly assess whether you're right for the job. Avoid boring, simple statements, such as, "Seeking a freelance editing opportunity." Tell the reader a little more about yourself and what you can do for the company. A better approach:

"Meticulous, hard-working editor with 7+ years of professional editing position. Seeking a freelance editing position where I can utilise my research, fact-checking and interviewing skills and help your company manage its online and offline content."

#3. Are You Qualified?

The "summary of qualifications" section is a summary of your resume. Don't repeat verbatim the information detailed in your resume. Using bullet points, highlight four or five sought-after skills or major accomplishments. This is your opportunity to boast and show off your talents For example: 

  • Seven years experience as a web developer, freelance writer and copyeditor
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work independently without supervision, handle multiple projects simultaneously and meet project deadlines. 

#4. Education or Training

If you attended college or completed any other training related to the position, list it under this section. Include dates, the type of training, the name of the institution, and any degrees or certifications. Include your GPA if you've graduated within the past one or two years.

#5. Professional Experience

Again, since you're applying for a freelance editing position, there is no need to list each client as its own entry in your chronology. Instead, list Freelance Editor as a single item, and then include the dates that you worked as a freelance editor, and your city and state.

Below the title and date, use bullet points to describe your duties and responsibilities. However, this section should not sound like a generic job description. Flesh out each responsibility if possible, and incorporate any accomplishments or achievements. The goal is to create a resume that's results oriented, not task oriented. Basically, a results oriented resume highlights key accomplishments. To illustrate:

Freelance Editor - March 2007 to Present                                                                                                           Chesapeake, Virginia

  • Assisted client with creating a database program to efficiently organise writing assignments for a staff of 15 freelance writers.
  • Identified opportunities to maximise productivity among freelance writers and streamline assignments
  • Researched, wrote and edited a major feature on "credit card debt" that won numerous awards.

#6. References

There are two ways to handle this section of your editing resume. You can include "References Available Upon Request," at which time the company will ask for references if you're a qualified candidate. However, if you already have two or three references on standby, there is no harm in providing this information. Include the person's name, job title, relationship to you, email address and telephone number.


Image Credit [Flickr]

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