Job searching is stressful and most people can agree that it’s not a fun process to update resumes. However, it’s necessary when you first step foot into the real world or when it’s time to keep progressing your career. As a freelance contractor in tech, some of the rules might be different for you around how to structure your resume. StackCache will give you an overview of what to keep in mind if you’re a freelancer updating her or his resume!
One of the most common formats for resumes is a reverse chronological order for work experience. You would begin with the most recent job experience at the top and go back from there. Although this makes sense for most full time workers, it’s possible as a freelancer that only some of your past work is relevant to the jobs you’re applying for. In the case where you have experience that isn’t super related to the job and an excess of projects that won’t all fit onto a resume, pick and choose the ones that inform the hiring manager you’re a good fit. You can still use the reverse chronological order after filtering for relevant projects.
Advantage of a Project-Based Resume over Chronological Resume
An alternative to the chronological resume is a project-based resume. We mentioned above that you can filter out irrelevant projects but still follow a reverse chronological order when listing projects. In a project focused resume, you should list most relevant projects first and go in that order.
How a Project-Based Resume Looks Like
Unlike the traditional chronologically-based resume, a project-based resume will instead allow you to arrange your project individually. The basics of a project-based resume consists of four sections for each project.
Start with a project title that discloses what it entailed. Stick with something simple, concise, and straight forward. Then, add the company the project was for and your position on the project. For formatting, keeping the project and title to a single line is recommended.
Include the duration of the project so the hiring manager can keep track of your experience level.
Also include what tools or technology you used on the project. For technical positions, it’s important for companies to know what you’re familiar with so you can jump right into the work their teams have already been developing. Here, you can include a list or bulleted list to add more details.
Briefly describe what the project was all about and what you did in this section. Make sure you include any information that would be relevant to a new employer. In case your description is long, you can also itemize the vital information in bullet points.
Here’s an example of a project format you can use in a project-based resume.
Project 1: Updating ABC.com, ABC Inc., Web Developer
Duration: 6 months days
- Redesigned ABC.com website
- Converted Flash-based navigation to HTML5 standard
- Optimized website for all screens
- Developed mobile version
Here is another way to present your resume:
The first format is suitable for different project titles; it will clarify the position you occupied at a particular time. The second format should be used if you are applying for the same type of contract position as you currently hold.
Conduct a Project-Based Resume Sample Review
The format below is a resume sample written for a tech contractor position:
1234 Main St., Boston, MA
Design and functionality driven front end web developer with 3 years’ experience independently developing and refreshing web properties for startups and legacy corporations in the financial services, real estate, sales, and healthcare sectors.
Web Design & Analytics: Thoughtful and innovative in building websites that are intuitive, fresh, and a reflection of brand themes. Use up to date site optimization tools and practices to ensure site productivity and efficiency.
Communications: Communicate complex information about project scopes, timeframes, budgets, and technologies to companies, providing regular updates to ensure on-time execution of project deliverables.
Recent Project Portfolio
Project 1: Updating ABC.com (ABC Inc.), Web Developer
Duration: 6 months
- Redesigned ABC’s website to accompany branding re-launch, optimizing a website for all devices, including mobile.
- Converted Flash-based navigation into HTML5 standard.
- The developed mobile version of the website.
Project 2: Created custom mobile web app (Gogo Finance), Web Developer
Duration: 6 months
- Designed and launched a mobile web app to report credit card balances as a value-added service.
- The project earned a spot in BusinessInsider’s “Top 10 Financial Apps of 2019” award.
Project 3: Designed virtual conference room (Top Dog Inc.), Web Developer
Duration: 30 days
- Conceptualized and developed a virtual conference room allowing real-time meetings between 35 associated lawyers and their clients.
- Accomplished project below budget and within a challenging 30-day timeframe.
Project 4: Created and launched ShovelsRUs.com (Shovel Manufacturing, Inc.), Web Developer
Duration: 60 days
- Designed a new website for an up and coming shovel company.
- Used extensive analytics tracking processes to optimize the website’s swift rise in online search engine rankings.
Tufts University, Boston, MA
B.B.A. in Web Application Design
Why a Project-Based Resume Helps
A project-based resume makes hiring easier. For instance, when employers need an expert that can install a Cisco firewall or write C# code, they are less concerned about how long you have worked at ABC company. All they care to know is your experience, completed projects, and the number of days, months, or years you worked in related projects.
The employers will examine the first projects you listed and include the days you spent doing similar work. After that, they will now decide if they are going to call you or not. With how organized and effortless your project-based resume is, there is a tendency that you will be contacted if you have the skill they demanded.
It also saves you time tweaking your resume for every position you’re applying for. You will have to keep a copy of your full resume and a list of all your projects in reverse-chronological order to serve as a template you will be using. Whenever you apply for a new position, you will just have to cut and paste the most important projects at the top of the list, while the less important projects will occupy the next lines or pages.
In conclusion, you will have to keep updating your resume at the end of every completed project. Keeping your resume up to date will allow you to have enough time working on contracts and other things while spending less time drafting and revising your resume.