Well, I updated my freelance writer resume for two very good reasons: I had a bunch of new projects to add, and I wanted to make it more attractive to search engines, especially the big G.
My Freelance Writer Resume Focuses on My Main Niche
For those of you who don’t know it, my main freelance writing niche is creating supplements and ancillaries for college/higher education textbooks and courses, my chief gig since 1994. I have separate blog for my specialty, and that’s where I have my freelance writer for higher education companies resume.
Here’s what I did…
I Added My Most Recent Freelance Writing Projects
No brainer of course, but we all have to remember to do it. It’s too easy to let it slide while we’re doing “more important” things.
And if you go look, you’ll see that I also use the term “c.v.” in addition to “resume.” For those of you who don’t know, c.v. is short for curriculum vitae. A curriculum vitae is used by people in academics to list education, teaching experience, and publications, and they can be quite long. Since I have a graduate degree and taught college for several years, and because my 250-plus writing credits primarily involve college textbooks, I adapted the c.v. format and also use that term.
I Consolidated Some Writing Projects for Better SEO
Any creator of a freelance writing website needs to pay attention to SEO/search engine optimization. And I had (and likely still have to a certain extent) a bit of a problem with my resume: some terms are repeated too many times.
Google wants to know what your keywords (terms) are, but if you use a keyword too frequently, Google thinks you’re “keyword stuffing” in attempt to fool it into ranking you higher in search results for that term. You get smacked down instead.
What terms were appearing too often? Primarily names of the main publishers I work for: Pearson Education, Cengage/Wadsworth, Brooks/Cole, and others. Also the names of textbooks and authors: I’ve written as many as 10 different supplements for the same textbook over multiple editions, so that author gets listed 10 different times. Also the names of certain projects: “test questions,” “lecture outlines,” etc.
What did I do? I put many projects under a single header, like “Lecture Outlines.” I also listed many textbooks/authors only once, and then stated that I’d done the same project for multiple editions.
The Benefits of Updating My Freelance Writer Resume
Long-Term Search Engine Optimization Benefits
I mentioned above that this was the main reason for doing it, and only time will tell, but so far Google Analytics shows a modest uptick in people finding my c.v./resume in search engines.
Trip Down Memory Lane
As I looked through the over 250 projects stretching back into the early 1990s, I thought about the different places I’ve lived and worked: Chico in northern California, Kauai in Hawaii, rural Del Norte County in northern California, and the various places I’ve lived in and near Mount Shasta. It made me grateful that having a location-independent freelance lifestyle allows me to live in such beautiful and interesting parts of the country.
Remembered Editors I Need to Contact
This was a big one. I’ve worked with at least forty editors over the last 20 years of writing textbook supplements, and several jumped into my mind as good people to contact now.
I made a list of the editors I haven’t heard from recently and sent many of them e-mails asking them to keep me in mind for upcoming projects. I started by looking them up on LinkedIn, the freelance writer’s best friend, to see where they were now; many had moved on to other companies, or left publishing entirely. So far I have one new project, and the potential for several others.
What’s the status of your online resume? Do you need to update it? How would you benefit if you did update it?