UK National Career Advice

Write a CV for Self Employment

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New research shows that 44 million workers – or 28.2% – were self-employed at some point during any given week in 2019. This is not surprising given the benefits of becoming self-employed. If you are unsure on whether to become self-employed currently, there is some advice from WCVED Fund which should help you to make an informed decision.

However, not everyone who goes self-employed will stay employed forever. But it must be well known that employers are frequently wary of giving full time jobs to people who have previously been long-term self employed.

When writing a CV it is always a good idea to put yourself in the position of the prospective employer, writing from an objective viewpoint and this is particularly important for people in this situation.

So to create a CV which overcomes this problem, the first thing we need to do is to ask why?? and then directly address those issues.

I believe that the main issues are that self employed people are perceived as marching to your own drum? and being used to working alone. Not necessarily being disciplined, taking direction and fitting in with processes and procedures decided upon by others.

Obviously the circumstances will differ from one person to another, yet whatever your area of expertise, you will presumably have had clients (or customers), and you will have needed to take direction from them, so make sure that you use your CV to demonstrate this. Working under direction of clients, providing a service which is in accordance with Company guidelines, these are the type of phrases which you should be using. If at all possible show that your clients or customers have been loyal to you, thus proving that you have provided a consistently high standard of service which they have been happy with. Mention how you have fitted in with their management (or any other) team and how you have been able to work closely with clients own staff.

If you have been a contractor, working within a firm or Company, then it becomes even easier to make it clear that you are still used to working as part of a larger organisation. If your contracts have been extended, or repeated, then be sure to mention this as it demonstrates that the clients were happy with the service you were providing and that they liked having you around.

Often the particular words you use can make things feel different, for example I would advise that you should avoid the description self employed. Somehow that tends to emphasise the fact that you were independent and alone. It is far better to describe yourself as freelance followed by whatever is your particular area of specialisation. You may be a freelance consultant, a freelance artist or even a freelance contractor, but any of these sounds better than self employed. If you worked in a role where you were filling in, for example, for maternity leave then describe the role as ?interim? rather than temporary which again has a better sound.

No matter what your circumstances, you should always use your CV to market yourself carefully, making sure that you demonstrate the qualities and qualifications that the employer is seeking. If you have recently been self employed, then it is just a little more important that you should get it right. With careful thought, or professional advice if necessary, there is no reason why you should not be successful.