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Help With a Resume for an Independent Contractor

by Lisa McQuerrey

Even as an independent contractor, you might still be asked for a resume or overview of your qualifications when you pitch yourself for new employment opportunities. To be effective and come across in a professional manner, your resume should be a combination of a traditional style that outlines your experience, as well as a sales piece that markets your particular skills and abilities.

Use a Functional Resume

A functional resume differs from a traditional resume format in that it leads off with your skill sets and areas of expertise, followed by educational credentials and work history. Using this approach allows you to highlight and compartmentalize the types of projects you are known for. You might want to attach a client list to this type of format.

Write a Bio or CV

Depending on the type of work you do, you might be best served using a biographical or curriculum vitae format for your resume. This long-form narrative resume style allows you to provide detailed overviews and descriptions of past work experience, rather than following the bullet point or listing format used in traditional resumes. You can customize the format to outline projects, clients, awards and industry credentials.

Marketing Resume

A marketing resume is essentially an advertising piece that promotes you through your credentials and previous work experiences. A marketing resume leads off with a description of who you are and what you do, and highlights key projects and accomplishments. Rather than describing clients or past employers, a marketing resume uses a client list format in which you include the names of prominent companies and individuals who have used your independent contractor services.

Traditional Resume

If you’re an independent contractor looking to get back into a mainstream full-time position, use a traditional chronological resume format. Under most recent employment, write, “independent contractor” and describe the work you did in that capacity, just as you would write a job description for a previous employer.

Write a Cover Letter

Include a cover letter with resume submissions to clarify what kind of job you’re looking for, whether that’s an independent contractor role or a full-time, in-house position. This will make it easier for a potential employer to understand the information you present on your resume.

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