Working on short-term projects, acquiring great experience, and writing an attractive resume.

Whether you want to express interest in working with a company, looking to apply for a job, or be one of those who send long e-mails asking that their profile be kept on file for potential positions (I do that), it is inevitable that you will be asked to submit a CV. Tip: When initiating conversation with someone — especially online— do not wait for them to ask for your CV. Attach it to your e-mail or to your proposal and save the employer the time and effort of circling back and asking to look at the document. 

 

Perhaps one of the biggest fears I and other freelancers I know have had is the daunting prospect that one day we might end up without a CV we would be proud of. Many of you freelancers out there share the same concern, I’m sure.

Finding a way to build an interesting CV that would stand out — especially if all your experience  is freelance — can be time-consuming and occasionally mystifying. I know this has kept me up for hours, while I tried to bring the “perfect formula” to life and apply it in a two-page document.

After thorough research, it came to my attention that no secret formula has been invented yet, as of this writing at least. In the event that someone did contrive such a special recipe, I doubt that it has been approved by and widely circulated among the Arab world’s top freelancers.

Be that as it may, here are a few thoughts to keep in mind that might make you feel better not only about freelancing in general, but also about the prospect of one day having a killer freelance CV

  • The wide skillset you will be able to show off — Have you been reading through job descriptions and the “desirable qualifications” sections lately? Those lists keep growing longer! Make sure you work on diversified freelance projects which can make your skillsets expand not only in terms of the number of tasks you can complete in an hour, but how well you can do each of them. Don’t be scared to turn down a freelance job opportunity for another more interesting one that challenges you and could potentially fill a gap in that CV of yours.
  • Short-term projects are in no way less important than full-time jobs. Make sure employers see that — Remember: it’s the way you showcase your work experience that matters most. Some people learn in three weeks way more than what others may spend a year trying to absorb (and sometimes never do). If you know you’ve got the experience to take up a job and deliver good outcomes, apply for it! Don’t give too much thought to the time you must have spent on a job, but rather what you learned to do in so little time.
  • A CV is an ever-changing document you can edit as many times as you want — What is nice about that two-page document is that it will feature whatever you write in it. This doesn’t mean you can include false information (please don’t) but it is totally fine — preferable even — to not mention every single position you have filled starting kindergarten. Choose wisely and have several versions of your CV. If you’re applying for a writing job, for instance, you would want potential employers to be directly able to eyeball the amount of experience you have had working on doing research, conducting interviews, editing, and carrying out writing assignments. Focus on highlighting similar past experience and keep unrelated positions in a different version, which, rest assured, is bound to come in handy.

Needless to say, always remember to use the right CV style and put yourself in the recipient’s shoes. What is it that you aim to achieve by sending out your CV to that specific person? Is it an interview you would really like to sit for, an informal meeting you would like to get with the person, or perhaps you would like your CV to motivate the person to make a certain decision? Do not only be the person who submits CVs, but put yourself on the receiving end, as well. Moreover, bear in mind that as long as you’re working hard and making the the right choices, your CV will only look better with time.

 

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