Freelance jobs are common in Hollywood, and the question of how to list them on a resume is one we get a lot. The answer depends on what kinds of jobs you’re looking for. Your resume is supposed to tell the story of why you’d be right for the job, so there’s no one-size-fits-all freelancer resume.
If you’re looking for your next freelance production or writing gig (and have more than just a couple of credits -- more on this below), you should usually submit a credits list. The person in charge of crewing up is probably just looking to see if you’ve worked on anything reputable or similar to the new project and at what level. It's pretty simple -- pick a clear format with rows that include the project title, format, production company or network, your role, and the year. Something that can be viewed at a glance.
If you’re looking to transition to something full time, you’ll need to get a little more creative. When you've held a lot of similar positions or short term gigs but need a more traditional resume that includes some bullet points describing your responsibilities, we suggest grouping certain jobs together along thematic lines or by role. You could say something like "Freelance Production" or make it more specific. You may need a few separate headings for different types of roles -- your Production Assistant gigs shouldn’t be in the same section as your Associate Producer gigs. As you summarize your accomplishments in your bullets, you should name the most significant show or film titles in bold and caps, with the network or distributor in parentheses. Remember to match your bullets as closely as you can to the language in the job posting. You might not have the exact skills the job calls for, especially if you’re looking to go from working on set to working in an office, but you should think about transferable skills.
Things get a little trickier when you have some freelance jobs and some full time positions, and the key here is to keep your formatting consistent and clear. If you’re applying for a production job but don’t have enough credits for a full credits list, you can send a more traditional resume with a mixture of company names and show/movie titles in the company name field. You may also consider a resume that includes two sections, EXPERIENCE and CREDITS, but if you’re looking for something full time, err on the side of a traditional resume and highlight your full time experience as best you can.
Every situation is different, and it may take some tinkering before you find a format you’re fully comfortable with (of course, we’re happy to help!). But as long as you remember the basic principles of resume writing, crafting one that reflects your freelance background is totally doable and shouldn’t be too scary!
--Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan