Becoming a full-time employee after a career of freelance contract work is frequently difficult due to the stigma employers place on such candidates, considering them to be flight risks. Just as common is the notion that freelancers are loners who lack the personality and social skills to work in a collaborative environment.
Additionally, some companies have a hard time interpreting the resumes of longtime independent contractors, since freelance work often does not fit into the traditional resume style of company, title, years worked, and responsibilities.
To overcome this stigma, job seekers should first tap into their network of employers. Connect with past and present clients who are already familiar with your freelance contract work, as they may be more receptive to considering you as a full-time employee; they might even create a new job for you.
When approaching potential employers, explain why you are ready to become a full-time employee at this time. It is important to fully articulate the reasons behind why you have reached a point in your career where you want to transition to a full-time employee from freelance contract work. It is also crucial for hiring managers to hear that you want to contribute in specific ways and can learn something by being a full-time employee.
Make sure you’re specific about your experience in your resume, cover letters, and in person. It is important to portray what you’ve done as a results-oriented employee, even more than a typical job applicant. Companies will look upon you more favorably because it is hard to decipher your past accomplishments when you simply say that you are a specialist in a given field.
Tell potential employers what you did as a freelancer and what you have accomplished, and show them hard examples of your work. Even if your freelance contract projects were short, list them on a resume or discuss them in terms of revenues created, costs saved, new customers gained, and similar benefits that you brought to your past clients.
You can use the job description of the position you want to apply for to prioritize your resume and cover letter. Usually, the skills and qualifications are listed in the order of an organization’s desires. Your resume should be tailored to reflect those needs. If you don’t have the right keywords for that specific job, the company may pass you by – regardless of the experience you have.
One point of concern that you will need to address quickly is whether or not you work well with others. Provide examples of collaborative freelance projects you worked on, including how you have worked with clients, vendors, and other third parties.
Finally, don’t shy away from promoting the skills that have made you successful at freelance contract work. Successful freelancers are typically driven, hard-working, and independent, which are qualities that you will want to emphasize. Use your ability to handle many assignments or contracts as a way to show you are adaptable and capable of evolving as a full-time employee.