Getting started in freelance writing without any experience is definitely possible. There’s just a little preparation to do so you look like a professional (and not like you just opened up shop this morning).

No one wants to be mistaken for an amateur.

And if you’re looking into getting started in freelance writing, you are NOT an amateur.

There is a lot of work that goes into starting a freelance business. Even if you’re just starting, the simple fact that you took the leap means you have what it takes to succeed.

But what happens when you’re applying for freelance writing gigs and they want a resume?

Don’t panic.

The Layout

There are two basic types of resumes: chronological and functional.

I’ve always defaulted to using a chronological style resume. I have a habit of falling into linear thinking and having my job history laid out in order has always made sense to me. Plus, I tend to overemphasize the importance of job titles. And having them written out in big bold letters always made me feel important.

But that doesn’t work when you don’t have any job history or experience in the job field you’re applying for.

In this case, it’s best to go with a functional resume.

A functional resume focuses on your skills and experience rather than your work history. And it’s perfect for people looking to switch careers or who have gaps in their employment history.


There are four basic areas of skill freelance writers need: writing (obviously), editing, internet and HTML, and experience related to the area of writing you’re focusing on.

Hopefully, you started a blog when you set out to become a freelance writer. If you did, these four areas are going to be a breeze to fill in. You’ve had to write, edit, publish to the internet, and dabble in HTML to get your blog set up. And chances are you wrote about the topic you intend to focus on for your first couple of blog posts.

If you don’t have a blog, don’t worry. One isn’t required.

In fact, Linda Formichelli at wrote about all the reasons you shouldn’t start a blog when you delve into the world of freelancing. So if you don’t have a blog, that’s okay, too.

You can still find tasks and projects from other jobs you’ve had (or schoolwork you’ve done) to plug into those four magic categories.


Sometimes it’s hard to think about your own skills and experience. Here are some examples to give you an idea about what to include on your resume.


  • Did you write for the school newspaper?
  • Have you made a resume before? That’s writing experience.
  • Done any writing for your current job?
  • Write papers or articles for class projects or assignments?


  • Ever review a paper for a friend?
  • Did you boss or a colleague ask you to proofread a letter?
  • Have you helped a friend or relative with their resume or other writing?

Internet and HTML:

  • Did you have a website as a teen?
  • Ever comment on a blog or online article?
  • Post on a message board?
  • Modify your Myspace page with custom HTML coding?

Area of Interest:

  • How did you find your area of interest?
  • Have you read books or magazines about it?
  • What makes you qualified to write about it?

Want more help? I know it can be tough to figure out how to best sell yourself without any experience. That’s why I’m offering you the exact template I used during my first few months of my freelance writing career. Enter your email address to get free, instant access!