Freelancers: 10 Survival Tips for Sliding Back Into the Corporate World

You might need an extra boost to get hired.

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If you've tried your hand at freelancing but want to get back into the corporate world, you might need an extra boost to make yourself more hireable. Unfortunately, very qualified freelancers can be passed up for a dream position because of general misconceptions associated with freelancing. These tips will help set you on the right track to getting hired.

1. List projects you've worked on. Simply putting "freelancer"on your resume might not keep it out of the trash pile, but if you elaborate on what you've done on your own, you have a much better chance at getting a call. Focus on the industries you've worked on to show your versatility, and give examples of the projects you've worked on.

Many freelancers just list a few clients they've worked with, leaving out the details that help an employer determine their relevancy for the position. Make the direct connections between what the prospective employer is looking for and how it relates to the specific projects you've worked on. This could mean you change your examples of project work frequently to customize it for each position.

2. Look for flexible opportunities. One of the features that likely appealed to you about freelancing was the flexible schedule. Try to find full-time (or even part-time) opportunities that offer similar freedom. Since you've already proven your ability to work from home as a freelancer, you might be more qualified for a full-time work from home opportunity.

3. Pay attention to your industry from an employee perspective. If you've been freelancing for a while, you might not know how difficult it is to get a job in your field. Spend some time finding out what's happening and where the jobs are so that you're better prepared for your job search.

4. Ask your clients for a job. If you've successfully made your clients happy as a freelancer, they might be the first place to start if you're looking for full-time work. Be prepared to explain why you're getting out of freelancing. Ask your clients if they're hiring, or if they might be able to refer you to another company.

5. Don't stop freelancing. Finding the perfect job may take a while, so don't close up shop just yet. You can continue to freelance while searching for a job, which might in turn help you find another job. At the very least, it will help you pay the bills until your first paycheck.

6. Professionalize your portfolio. Freelancing gives you plenty of proof of your job skills, but you'll need to make sure your portfolio is set up to highlight those skills. Create an online portfolio on your website linking to samples of your work, and include this link in your cover letter.

7. Get linked. LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for any job seeker, but especially for freelancers. Connect to clients and other freelancers, then to employees of companies you're interested in working for. Ask for tips for how to best be considered for a role.

8. Network locally. Many freelancers never network locally, since their gigs tend to come from all over. Now is the best time to make connections in your city that will lead to a job. Find business networking groups where professionals in your field meet to talk shop. Put it out there that you're looking for a job. You just might find a referral for one.

9. List your freelance experience as a business. Many employees tend to look more positively on companies than they do freelancers. So consider listing your writing experience as ABC Writing Company, with you as (Your Job Title), rather than simply "freelancer." Doing this will also help your resume come up for a future search and via online job boards and profiles.

10. Consider all types of employment. While you've made the decision to get back into a full-time role, stay open to temporary and freelance roles, as many companies like to start out with less risk, then offer you a more permanent position once you've proven your ability on a job.

Moving from freelancing into a full-time corporate opportunity doesn't have to be difficult, if you do the legwork to position yourself as the ideal candidate.

Lindsay Olson is a founding partner and public relations recruiter with Paradigm Staffing and Hoojobs.com, a niche job board for public relations, communications, and social media jobs. She blogs at LindsayOlson.com, where she discusses recruiting and job search issues.

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