Is it better to say freelance or self-employed on resume?

When it comes to describing your work experience on a resume, the choice of words can make a significant impact. Two commonly used terms to describe working independently are "freelance" and "self-employed." But which one should you use? In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of using "freelance" and "self-employed" on a resume and provide tips on how to effectively highlight your experience.

Table of Contents
  1. Defining Freelance and Self-Employed
  2. Pros and Cons of Using "Freelance" on a Resume
  3. Pros and Cons of Using "Self-Employed" on a Resume
  4. Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Freelance and Self-Employed
  5. Tips for Highlighting Freelance or Self-Employed Experience on a Resume
  6. Conclusion
  7. Frequently Asked Questions
    1. 1. What is the difference between freelance and self-employed?
    2. 2. Which term should I use if I have both freelance and self-employed experience?
    3. 3. Will using "freelance" or "self-employed" on my resume affect how employers perceive me?
    4. 4. Are there any specific industries where one term is preferred over the other?

Defining Freelance and Self-Employed

Freelance: Freelancers are individuals who work on a project-by-project basis, offering their services to multiple clients. They typically have the freedom to choose their projects and set their rates.

Self-Employed: Self-employed individuals are business owners who work independently and are responsible for managing all aspects of their business. They may have their own clients or provide a service directly to customers.

Pros and Cons of Using "Freelance" on a Resume

Pros:

  • Highlights your ability to work with diverse clients and projects.
  • Implies flexibility and adaptability in different work environments.
  • Can attract employers who value independent workers.

Cons:

  • May give the impression of instability or lack of commitment.
  • Could be seen as focusing too much on short-term assignments.

Pros and Cons of Using "Self-Employed" on a Resume

Pros:

  • Highlights your entrepreneurial skills and ability to manage a business.
  • Implies a higher level of responsibility and accountability.
  • Can attract employers who value individuals with business acumen.

Cons:

  • May give the impression that you prefer working alone and may not be a team player.
  • Could be seen as less flexible compared to someone who freelances.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Freelance and Self-Employed

When deciding which term to use on your resume, consider the following factors:

  • The nature of the job you are applying for and the industry's preferences.
  • The specific skills and experiences you want to highlight.
  • The perception you want to create as a potential employee.

Tips for Highlighting Freelance or Self-Employed Experience on a Resume

1. Emphasize relevant projects: Focus on the projects that are most relevant to the job you are applying for, showcasing your skills and achievements.

2. Highlight client relationships: If you have built long-term relationships with clients, mention them to demonstrate your ability to maintain professional connections.

3. Showcase results: Quantify your achievements and the impact you made to demonstrate the value you brought to each project or business.

4. Use a combination: If you have experience as both a freelancer and a self-employed individual, consider using a combination of both terms to highlight your versatility.

Conclusion

Ultimately, whether you choose to use "freelance" or "self-employed" on your resume depends on your specific circumstances and the impression you want to create. Both terms have their advantages and disadvantages, so it's essential to consider the factors mentioned above before making a decision. Remember to tailor your resume to each job application and highlight the experiences that are most relevant to the position.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between freelance and self-employed?

Freelancers work on a project-by-project basis for multiple clients, while self-employed individuals are business owners who manage all aspects of their business.

2. Which term should I use if I have both freelance and self-employed experience?

If you have experience in both areas, consider using a combination of both terms to highlight your versatility and showcase the relevant skills and experiences.

3. Will using "freelance" or "self-employed" on my resume affect how employers perceive me?

It can have an impact, as each term may create different impressions. Consider the specific job and industry, and choose the term that aligns best with the employer's expectations.

4. Are there any specific industries where one term is preferred over the other?

While there may be preferences in certain industries, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Research the industry and tailor your resume accordingly to maximize your chances of success.

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