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How best to display freelance experience on resume

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by mikecoppinger, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. mikecoppinger

    mikecoppinger New Member

    Hi all,

    I'm a young writer and have been freelancing for a major daily paper regularly for two years. What would be the best way to reflect that on a resume?

    I've probably written over 40 stories for the paper and most have been about one sport.

    Thanks in advance for any sage advice.


  2. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    If most of the freelancing has been for one publication, on one sport, you can call yourself a correspondent. For instance, if you were The Miami Herald's regular curling freelancer, the title could be, "Curling correspondent, The Miami Herald." I would also include how many articles you've written for the publication, plus other assignments you've had from that company, if any.
  3. mikecoppinger

    mikecoppinger New Member

    Thanks for the prompt reply, that's very helpful.

    It's been almost all boxing for USA Today, with some NBA as well.

    So I suppose it could read "Boxing correspondent, USA Today"?
  4. ringer

    ringer Member

    You should still include the word "freelance" if you were not on staff.

    You don't want to get busted for misrepresentation. I can think of at least one guy who got blacklisted from the NYT for overstating his position. And he wrote for them a lot.
  5. mikecoppinger

    mikecoppinger New Member


    That's something I'm worried about, I don't want to misrepresent, but at the same time I want to make my freelancing for USA Today the focal point of my resume. What would be the best way to state my title?
  6. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    If you freelance for USAT, just say that, and maybe include the predominant sports and perhaps how regularly you are called upon to do it. USAT is recognized enough, and known enough to frequently use freelance writers on regular basis, that there is no need to highlight, embellish or overstate things. People who write regularly for USAT are read and known, at least enough for there to be some name recognition on the part of somebody looking at a resume.

    Because calls for freelancers are often filled on a geographic basis, it might also be good to mention what areas of the country/state you have worked stories from or in. It might attract more work, if you are looking to do it in certain areas.

    And mention references. Use of big-name, recognized references, especially if you've worked often or closely with such people, helps a lot in getting noticed.
  7. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    "Contributing writer" is another good phrase for this sort of thing.
  8. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Don't say "freelance" if you were a main contributor to their boxing coverage, though. I'm guessing USA Today doesn't have a dedicated boxing writer any more, since they let Dan Rafael walk. If you're one of the main contributors to their coverage, don't undersell your role.
  9. ringer

    ringer Member

    "Regular contributor" would work.

    Alternatively, if you've freelanced for several outlets... under Work Experience, you could list your title as: "Freelance writer/reporter" and to the right of that: Published in: USA Today, Paper X, Magazine Y...
  10. BobSacamano

    BobSacamano Member

    Majority of my experience is freelance. I've defaulted to listing the positions and publications in traditional résumé format, with the bullet points acting as highlights. So, if I handled all the game recaps for my local NFL teams for an entire season on tight deadlines, I'd say that. If you had a specialty the pub relied on you for, that's another bullet point. If you pitched content that propelled you from 150-word blip to 500-word feature, that's your lead. But the rest of the details and specifics of your relationship with the outlets can go in the cover letter. Worked remotely, reported and filed from the field, etc.
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