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What About Freelance Writing In Non-Writing Resumes?

Freelance Writer in MoroccoDear Anne,

Thank you for your wonderful site and all the many ways you support writing professionals. I’ve had some trouble figuring out something for some time now, and thought I’d ask you for some advice.

I “stumbled” into a freelance writing career about a year ago when I started a blog about my expat experiences living in Morocco. From my blog, I was able to write several professional pieces for various websites (paid) and is mostly related to travel and expat subjects. Additionally, I decided to start submitting work for pay-per-view type writing sites like Factoidz.com and Suite101 where I write about culture, religion, student affair/higher education, food, green living and weddings. I’m also a regular contributer to a topical essay group called Talk Morocco which is my only non-paying published writing.


The thing is, I was a student affairs professional for 9+ years before I moved to Morocco and I’m getting ready to head back to the United States to reenter the job market for the same type of work I was doing before moving abroad. I’d like my resume to reflect my writing work not only because I want something to show for my time in Morocco, but also because some of my writing reflects good experience for my field. In our profession, a resume is not the standard one-pager, but can be up to 3 pages (sort of like a curriculm vitae for a professor). Anyhow, what I’m trying to work out is should I lump all my writing into one “job” and bullet out the different websites and contributions or should I list each website and contribution as a separate job?

Your advice is appreciated and I can provide further detail if need be. Thanks in advance for your time and attention.

Sincerely,

JM

Hi JM,

I often wonder how many people stumble into profitable freelance writing. I didn’t exactly, but I know it happens.

Which is why I wanted to post your question.

The truth is I’m not at all sure how you should show your writing credits on a non-writing resume. I suppose you’d want to show the time in Morocco (truly wonderful) the same way you would for past employment. That is by the actual dates or by the amount of time, then list the writing as you suggest. The thing that may be missing from that is any other experience there that would make you desirable in your profession.


Do a draft and see how it looks. You could even ask a friend or associate in your profession to take a look and make suggestions.

Good luck and I hope you also continue to write.

[askanne]

[sig]

Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • I would make a career entry of writing. You don’t want a huge time gap on your resume. Don’t worry if your resume is over one page, as it is no longer the norm. Highlight your writing on student affairs topics and higher education as it speaks to your objectives. Since you aren’t looking to go into a writing field, links and clips aren’t necessary. If you have a good resume it isn’t necessary to re-write it for every employer since you are looking in a single field, though it is very important to have a personal and well-crafted cover letter.

    example:

    Freelance Writer City, Morocco, 1995-2010
    Wrote student affairs and higher education articles for a family of web sites with 29 million monthly viewers. Developed a publication schedule for higher education articles to coincide with standard school calendars. Communicated with editors to write 4 monthly columns for an online publication focused on travel. Created advertising copy for new media applications.

    Accomplishments
    * Wrote and published 30 online student affairs articles resulting in over 10,000 page views.
    * Earned recognition as Top Educational writer by UrlHere[dot]com.
    * Developed a pay-per-click campaign for Charmin resulting in 600 daily clicks.

    Here is a link to a sample of a format of a current resume (no, it’s not mine or a business that I am involved in… I used Google Image search!). http://www.careerstrides.com/construction_foreman_resume-1.jpg

    Lots of luck and hope this helps.

    • Anne

      This looks really good, thanks.

  • All resume advice ends up depending on the job being applied for, however, I can’t imagine a position I’ve ever filled where proven writing skills didn’t make a candidate look better. Every job relies on communication in one way or another.

    In this case, the fact the writing was relevant to the positions you are seeking is a bonus. Be descriptive about you wrote. Point out articles that you feel are particularly poignant. Help the reader understand why the experience makes you a special candidate.
    .-= Fred H Schlegel´s last blog ..What are you selling? =-.

    • Anne

      Good advice Fred, thanks.

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