Skip to main content

Words to use or avoid in your freelance writing resume

A recent study by ZipRecruiter analyzed words used in resumes that were rated highly by employers. The resulting list of dos and don’ts seems a little vague at first, but once you read over them you’ll see what they have in common.  Good advice to keep in mind when creating or updating your own freelance writing resume:

Use these words in your resume:

  • Experience
  • Management
  • Project
  • Development
  • Business
  • Professional
  • Knowledge

Don’t use these words:

  • Need
  • Hard
  • First
  • Chance
  • Myself
  • Learning

Notice the pattern? Most of the avoid words display a striking lack of confidence. You can just picture phrases like “give me a chance” or “first time writer” or “having a hard time finding a job”. There’s absolutely no reason to mention any of that to an employer. Ever. When I hire writers, I automatically delete e-mails that contain phrases and words like that. It’s an easy way to weed out first timers who don’t have a clue what they’re doing.

On the flip side, the “power keywords” display confidence and success. They’re a little generic for my taste, but the worst that can happen is the hiring manager ignores them as background noise, allowing the skills you wrote about to take center stage.