Tag Archives: freelance resumes

Going Up: What’s Your Elevator Pitch?

By Amanda Smyth Connor

You’re at a lovely party with lovely guests and lovely music and things are just terribly lovely from floor to ceiling. All of a sudden, a friend grabs you and introduces you to a hot shot business owner who is in need of compelling and highly engaging content. You have 30 seconds to pitch this stranger and to nab a new client.


Spotlight is on you, bud.

Do you have an elevator pitch ready to go?  Are you confident in telling this stranger what your strengths are as a writer? Do you even know what your strengths are as a writer? Can you call to mind some of your recent achievements as they relate to this client’s needs?

Don’t get caught unprepared. That’s money that you’ve just left on the table.

Preparing a great elevator pitch:

1. Keep a professional journal of accomplishments, complete with project details, the date you completed each project and the contact information for the respective client, should you ever need a reference.

2. Keep your portfolio up to date at all times. Whether you keep a hard portfolio or (preferably) a digital portfolio, you can’t let this portfolio become outdated because you have the time to update as you went. A great review from a client, coupled with an excerpt of the work you did, becomes a highly effective resume.

3. Take note of your top three most impressive accomplishments as a freelance writer and have those at the tip of your tongue at all times.

You elevator pitch should look and sound something like this:

“I’ve created SEO-friendly feature articles for X company, I’ve developed blog posts for Y company that generally attract [blank] number of hits/traffic, on average, and I frequently work with W company on various marketing projects, such as the [blank] campaign. Tell me more about what you’re looking for in terms of content.”

Having a great elevator pitch ready to go at any time is invaluable. You don’t want to be that guy who can’t sell himself when given the opportunity to do so.

Amanda Smyth Connor is a social media manager for a major publishing company, owns her own wedding planning business and has managed online communities and content development for many start-up and Fortune 500 companies.  She has been a professional editor for more years than she can remember.

Freelance Resume Confidence Building

freelance-resume-and-query-by Joe Wallace

Some freelancers make a huge mistake with their resume when trying to land freelance jobs.

They don’t read enough resumes.

It’s the simplest kind of advice. “Read at least 10 other resumes before polishing your own.” Sounds like some kind of folksy, down-home wisdom, doesn’t it?

I never realized just how goofy my own resume was until I started hiring other freelancers and had to sort through 50 or more submissions a week. The sheer volume of bad resumes was unbelievable; I had no idea there were so many people out there who didn’t get it.

But of course, I didn’t either…until I put myself in the position to hire people. And that’s exactly what YOU should do, too. Pretend you have to hire someone for the freelance job you want. Then look at a lot of resumes and resume sites. Continue reading Freelance Resume Confidence Building

All About ME–Shameless Self Promotion and the Freelancer

joe wallaceI’ve been writing professionally in one form or another since 1987, and in all that time one of my biggest challenges has been getting comfortable with the idea of shameless self promotion.

Don’t get me wrong–today, I love it more than coffee. But in the early days of my writing career I wasn’t confident in my skills, and as a result I always felt like I was selling snake oil to people. The lack of confidence made me feel like I was getting away with something every time I landed a gig or got praise for something I worked on.

And that is a key issue in successful personal PR as a freelancer–believing in yourself enough to sell what you’re doing. I believe many people can detect that self-doubt even in the strongest of queries, sales pitches, etc. It’s almost as if they can smell the desperation coming through in the e-mails, the phone calls, and face-to-face meetings.

Is confidence in your own abilities what makes the sale?

I believe there’s no substitute for a well-written query, cover letter or resume…but I also think those are TOOLS, not the end itself. The query letter is just a sales pitch, after all. Ditto for the resume or proposal. What are these tools supposed to do? Sell YOU.

If confidence is the key, what does it take to get it? So many freelancers are afraid of making mistakes, of sending the wrong thing to the wrong people. I’ve been advising people to stop fussing so much over these issues and just get out there and DO IT. When I was a noob freelancer, I actually copied the format and presentation of successful query letters, not realizing that I would actually sell my ideas better in my own voice.

Today I’d rather shoot myself than copy someone else’s approach–but only because I’ve learned through trial and error that when I do things my own way, my confidence in my approach seems to be far more obvious. And I think in the end, that helps close the deal. Continue reading All About ME–Shameless Self Promotion and the Freelancer

Freelance Resumes and Cover Letters: Three Tips

What does it take to get your resume taken seriously as a freelancer? It doesn’t matter if you’re a freelance writer, an editor, even a freelance social media maven needs to be able to grab someone’s attention right off the bat.

The key to powerful freelance resumes and cover letters? There’s no SINGLE solution, but there are three areas you should concentrate on:

  • Competing well–people lose when they forget that a cover letter and resume are in actual competition with other resumes and cover letters. This is a contest for attention. What do professional athletes do when they prep for a contest? They study the competition. Read other resumes, cover letters, etc. anywhere you can find them.
  • Put yourself in the editor’s chair–read your own resume and cover letter with the notion that you have a stack of 20 to go through. What can you do better in both documents with that notion in mind?
  • Cut the crap–eliminate anything in your resume or cover letter that’s not relevant to the job you’re applying for. Don’t mention your hobbies or interests unless they pertain somehow to the gig. This may sound like I’m telling you to come off like you’ve got a one-track mind, but remember that stack of 20 other resumes that still need to be gotten through. How much time do you want the reader to spend on material that won’t impress them to hire you for the gig?

–Joe Wallace