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I have experience interning and working at several companies before graduating University. After that, for about one and a half years, I worked like a freelancer (means work alone, not in the office). Then I recognized that I work better at organizations. I feel I am suitable for working with groups, so recently I am looking for a permanent job doing just that.

In this case should my newer resume include freelance work in my Employment History line?

If so, how should I write it? For example:


Freelance Graphic Designer        NOV 2013 - March 2015

● Designed mobile .....(omit)

● Researched and presented about smartphone application...(omit)

● Composed illustrations for web fiction written by... (omit)


Is that alright? If there are better ways, please let me know.

Thank you in advance.

  • Depending on the level of involvement you have, Consultant can be a useful word. – Dom May 22 '15 at 20:33
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You should absolutely include your freelance experience! Any relevant work should be included on a resume.

People looking at resumes are very much interested in learning about the type of work you can create. Looking at the work you have created helps give a good impression of what that really is. As such, your resume should focus around the work you've created. How that is done depends on the work you've done and how you want to present yourself, but I'd go with something like the following:

List your internships + being a freelancer, how long you worked at each, your role if it changed from place to place (but keep it short), and perhaps some clients that you worked for if their names are relatively big. For the internships you may want to list how many people worked at the company and how big the team you worked with was as it gives them a little more insight as to your past experience.

Then you should have some type of section showing and/or talking about the work you've done. Depending on the type and length of a resume, the way this is carried out varies. If you're submitting a paper resume, I'd generally try to limit the use of graphics because no recruiter wants to look through pages and pages of a resume. What you'd end up having is a lot of short descriptions like you have listed in the question. Try to make these as good as possible, revising them over and over again, because they are the most meaningful thing in a short paper resume.

I recommend also creating a website resume/portfolio as well, at least a profile on Dribble/Behance or something, so that you can show off the work you've created in more detail. Listing this on your paper resume is important.

If you're using a full website, I recommend sections about each piece of work you're particularly proud of and want people to see. That section should include a description of the project and what you did on it, images of the project (showing the process behind the work is good too but you don't always have images for that), and perhaps some goals that you had and accomplished for the client with the project.

  • 2
    Good advice, but I'd avoid places like DeviantArt.... they will actually somewhat reflect poorly upon you. if you can't afford $35 a year for your own web site, you should rethink how you are investing on your own future. – Scott May 22 '15 at 14:38
  • @Scott I kind of agree, but kind of don't. There are so many decent ways to host your portfolio for free that I don't think it's, in and of itself, a poor reflection. In many cases, it's somewhat expected that one would have a Dribbble account or Behance or the like. – DA01 May 22 '15 at 18:04
  • I still feel in this day and age a minimal investment of your own domain, even with a stock template and CMS is better. – Scott May 22 '15 at 18:31
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I always list freelancing on my resume. Always have. I'd look, well, dead today career-wise without it.

For the sake of clarity, I merely list notable clients I've worked with as a freelancer. In addition I'm a firm believer any resume should be one page. I don't care how great you feel something is, all content should be displayed on a single page.

Freelance 2001 - present

  • Client A 2001 - 2012
  • Client B 2002 - 1003
  • Client C 2003-present
  • Client D 2004-2006

I don't go into listing specific job duties much at all on my resume. The goals is to get a call back. To this end, I'm fine with leaving a little mystery. It may actually be helpful if the person reviewing the resume wonders what you did for "Client C in 2005". I never go into company size, department size, or anything remotely specific. Honestly, I don't think they really care, and if they do... I get a call back. Remember, you're not trying to educate anyone on the companies or clients you've worked with. The resume is a chronological account of your employment, education, and skills.

The problem with listing the work you did while freelancing is that it can build expectations. If you put down that you designed a series of illustration for Client A in 2011, and you do not include those illustrations in your portfolio, you may be putting your foot in your mouth so to speak. Keep the resume straight-forward and general in my opinion. Allow the portfolio to speak about your abilities.

I, personally don't ever list any "duties" or "responsibilities" on my resume, never have. If I feel I posses some notable skills or abilities, I list then under skills and abilities, where they will be seen. As opposed to buried under some employer listing as "duties". People do not want to read a resume. They what to skim it and gain quick insight.

The overall list of employment + freelancing reflects my time in the industry and the freelancing reflects my ability to work with clients.

Realize that many will simply include a line that reads something like "Freelance 2010 to present" and nothing more. That is not helpful. In many cases, for designers, it's kind of understood you're doing things "on the side" which could be called freelance. By listing clients, you provide direct connection to the work. Avoid the random "freelance" line unless you're going to list at least some specifics such as client names.

If you want to go one step further, adding contact information is a good thing as well:

Freelance 2001 - present

  • Client A 2001 - 2012 : Bob Jones bob@randomeemail.com
  • Client B 2002 - 1003 : Dave Smith dave@randomeemail.com
  • Client C 2003-present : Jane Johnson jane@randomeemail.com
  • Client D 2004-2006 : El Conquistador Robinson iamking@randomeemail.com

This allows the potential employer to contact the freelance clients. Be certain to ask the clients if this is okay first.


What you can do, your abilities, your design aesthetic, are all things for your portfolio not your resume. Reserve explaining what you did for Client A for your portfolio when showing off the work that's the point of the portfolio, not the resume.

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