If you’ve been a freelancer for a while, or even if you’re new to the game, you’ve probably completed your fair share of freelancer profiles on various marketplace platforms. Depending on your specialty, you may have also registered with niche freelancer sites, such as SafetyFreelancer. However, the registration process for most freelancer platforms is quite similar, and often requires a full bio or summary of your expertise, together with a list of skills and qualifications, so a client can make an informed decision about which freelancer they should hire.
But with so many freelancers competing for jobs, how do you make the most of it and ensure your profile stands out from the competition?
Use as much space in your bio/summary section as possible
Almost every freelancer platform will give you the opportunity to write a bio or summary of your skills and experience. This is prime real estate to sell yourself and should never be overlooked. Aim to make as much of this space as possible and let your potential client know how you plan on delivering value.
Here are some tips for making the most of your freelancer bio.
- Find out if there is a character limit. This will help you to decide what you should write and what you should leave out.
- Think like a client. If you were hiring someone with your skills, what would you type into the search? Use as many naturally occurring skill-related keywords as you can to help clients to find you.
- Don’t wander off on an ego-trip about how amazing you are. Instead, focus your bio on the results you can deliver and the value you can bring to the client.
- Pay attention to the rules of the freelancer site and be sure to respect them. Most will not allow you to include your contact details anywhere on your bio.
Include your previous work experience
Previous work experience is often the most overlooked section of any freelance platform, but it can also be the most valuable. Clients really want to know that their chosen freelancer not only has the skills to do the job but the experience, too.
Your work history can really help your freelancer profile to stand out, especially if you’ve had plenty of experience in your industry.
If you recently transitioned from employee to freelancer (in the last 0-24 months):
Fully list your employed experience in the industry going back at least 5-8 years; longer if you can. This will demonstrate that although you might be new to the freelancing world, you have the right experience and skills to do the job.
If you’ve been freelancing or contracting for a while:
List the experience and results/value you’ve delivered to your core clients. If you can, and they’re recognised names in your industry, then add them to this section. If you can’t, or you’re under NDA, then mention the type of company that you’ve been freelancing for. For example, ‘Big Four accountancy and auditing firm’ or ‘household name in the food and beverage industry’.
List your qualifications
In some industries, qualifications are vital for the work that needs doing, whereas, in others, it’s not necessary to be qualified. However, qualifications, education, certificates and training courses do add weight to your credentials and are often looked on favorably by hiring managers.
If you have qualifications that highlight your experience in the type of project that you’re applying for, then be sure to add them to your freelancer profile.
Don’t overlook your portfolio
The freelancer’s portfolio is one of the most powerful tools they possess. Many freelancers make the mistake of thinking that portfolios are only valuable to creatives: writers, graphic designers, and artists. In fact, any freelancer can build a portfolio, no matter the industry.
Things to include in your portfolio
- Non-commercially sensitive data, stats and reports that you’ve had a hand in building or creating
- Clippings from newspapers or video/YouTube clips that mention you or your work
- Charts/graphs or presentation slides of your past performance
- Proof of your certificates and qualifications, especially if achieving a high passing grade, or a qualification in a challenging subject
- Letters of recommendation or testimonials from previous employers, colleagues or clients
Don’t forget that your freelancer portfolio is your shop window. It should showcase all of the reasons why a client should hire you, and, most importantly, the value that you’ll bring to the table.