Job search and application strategy for freelancers

Job search and application strategy for freelancers

April 2, 2020 By Tanya Mykhaylychenko Resources

If you are starting out as a freelancer, you know that marketing will be a regular portion of your work. Clients use different technologies and hiring modes to find freelancers. We need to be findable in various ways and have the career documents appropriate for each channel, client group, and mode of application.

This post covers some ways to find work, such as:

An effective job application package shows our target client that we understand their needs and have the tools and experience to meet them. Consistent online presence builds our reputation among clients and colleagues. Through our research, we constantly refine lists of target employers, niches, and professional development opportunities.

Online applications:

  1. Read a job description carefully and mark the key requirements to address in your resume and cover letter.
  2. Resumes are meant for scanning and skimming.
    1. Use headers, remove chunks of text with general duties, and go straight to the specifics: your specializations, genres, types of clients, types of documents you edit, style manuals, software, and specialist knowledge of topics or industries.
    2. Avoid long bulleted lists and create a balance of text, headers, sub-headings, and white space.
    3. Include several links to past projects.
  3. Write one-page cover letters from scratch, focusing on the top three or four requirements from each job description. Address each requirement in a new paragraph and keep the paragraphs short.
  4. Post your resume on Indeed for exposure. Indeed allows editing and printing your profile as PDF to see how the final version looks. You can optimize it with keywords and showcase past work with links. It doesn’t have to be the exact version of your resume.
  5. Besides your association’s job board, consider keeping a list of job boards and apps specializing in remote jobs. Some examples include:
  6. Subscribe to email alerts for job ads from your top five to 10 job boards.

Website and blog:

  1. Audience analysis is the place to start when preparing your website and blogging ideas.
    1. Draft your target clients’ questions to guide your content strategy.
  2. A website is an excellent tool to build trust, clarify your services, and promote your business.
    1. When drafting web content, front-load sentences and paragraphs.
    2. Make the text easy to skim with headers, short paragraphs, and bulleted lists.
    3. Most of what you want your reader to see should be above the fold (visible before scrolling).
  3. Blog if you enjoy it and make it about the target reader by answering their questions.
  4. Consider guest blogging for organizations and colleagues you know well.
  5. Explore video, audio, and e-book options to add to your website.


  1. If you offer several types of services and work with different industries and client groups, create a one-page flyer for each service, industry, or niche.
  2. Use flyers on your website, LinkedIn profile, and in cold emails.
  3. The principles of web writing apply here as well — be brief and engaging. Answer the target client’s top three to five questions: the value of your service, the steps in your process, fees, additional services, examples of past work, and your contact information.

Cold emails:

  1. Keep a list of target clients and their needs.
  2. Jot down a few lines of how specifically you can solve their problems.
  3. Make cold emails short and engaging, always opening up a dialogue and inviting a response.

Online presence:

  1. Decide how many online channels you want to start with.
  2. Make it a point to expand your online presence strategically as you go.
  3. Make sure your brand on all your social media channels is consistent.
  4. Learn about LinkedIn features and use them all to your advantage:
    1. upload samples
    2. publish articles
    3. check for job announcements in the feed
    4. search for announcements with “looking for [an editor]”, “need [a copywriter],” “hiring [a blog editor]”
    5. explore ProFinder
    6. engage in or start authentic conversations
    7. share content (links to your blog posts, informative posts without links, industry news, and other third-party content)
  5. Join social media groups where your target clients are and answer their questions, without selling anything directly.
  6. Twitter chats are popular among editors for visibility, networking, and learning.
  7. Listings in association or general business directories increase your search engine performance.

Tanya Mykhaylychenko is a copy editor and professional resume writer. She has an M.A. in English from Colorado State University and is the owner of

Header photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash.

Recent Posts

Volunteer for the Keynote Speaker Task Force

Volunteer for the Conference Session Selection Task Force

Present at ACES VCON24