January 12, 2018
How To Set Yourself Apart In The Freelance Market
Working at home. Almost everyone has thought about or is actively doing it right now. And why not? If you do the kind of work that doesn’t require being someplace special to get it done, wouldn’t you rather roll out of bed when you’d like and then work into the night if that schedule suits your personal biorhythm? And isn’t it great to have the freedom to take care of your life in your own time? You can pick up the kids from school, take a midday break to go to the gym, or even see the dentist without having to wrangle an afternoon off. Add in all the money you save on commuting costs and maintaining a professional wardrobe, and it’s a no-brainer, right?
The problem is that so many people want to do it that there can be hordes of folks applying for the same jobs. Dozens upon dozens of resumes can land in a hiring manager’s incoming email for one open position even if it’s a short-term gig. So how do you set yourself apart? You want to show that you’re not only qualified, but that you’re serious about what you do, are motivated and reliable, and are exactly the person that the job calls for.
Read on for the ways to impress a potential employer right from the start.
Advance Your Education
Even if you’re currently working at a full-time job in a brick and mortar office, plan ahead for your next move by taking advantage of the excellent GMAT waiver MBA programs available for online study. You’ll be broadening your scope of knowledge, enhancing your skill set, and gaining new insight into effective communication, critical thinking, and creative problem-solving. In addition to what it will do for you personally, having an MBA on your resume says that you’re focused on the work and have the resources to pull it off.
Compose the Right Resume
Particularly when you’ll be working offsite without supervision, and maybe even halfway across the country from an employer’s place of business, make sure that your resume shows that you’re a self-starter and proactive about seeing projects through to completion. Surveys have shown that people who do the hiring spend, on average, as little as fifteen seconds looking at the summary portion of a resume before deciding whether or not to read the details. You’re selling yourself short if you don’t make an immediate good impression.
If you’ll be applying for a variety of different jobs, make sure you customize your resume for each one. Emphasize the experience and skills you have that are relevant, and mention but don’t elaborate on the ones that aren’t. And unless they have some bearing on the job at hand, leave out your hobbies and outside interests. As fascinating as your life story may be, no harried employer has the time to read it.
Don’t count on a cover letter to fill in the blanks on a resume or to make your compelling case for being hired. If they’re in the body of your email they may not make it up the line, or they may go astray and be separated from your resume. And sometimes you won’t have the chance to include a cover letter at all because the whole application process is online. So make sure your resume includes everything you want the final hiring authority to know about you.
Craft an Intriguing Cover Letter
Having said all that about cover letters, they can still be important. You’ll be competing with a lot of other people, so when you have the opportunity, you want a cover letter to introduce you as someone worth considering. Keep it to one page and write in plain English (or whatever the appropriate language is) without a lot of empty buzzwords. They don’t impress anyone, and especially so if they’re strung together so tightly that they make no sense at all.
Customize each letter to the company and position you’re applying for. Include some key words from the job posting you’re responding to, and describe how you fit the bill and can add value beyond it.
The One Thing You Shouldn’t Do
Even if you’re desperate, don’t pitch yourself for a job you can’t do just because you’ll be working at home and no one can watch you. The results will soon tell the story anyway. Be patient and stay ready to pounce on a job you can do and, just as importantly, want to do. It will happen.