How to write a self-employed CV (with template and example)

Updated 7 November 2022

Managing and succeeding in your own business requires skills and competence. Showcasing these skills to an employer if you're considering re-entering the workforce can increase your chances of getting a job. Drafting a CV highlighting these skills and competencies may impress your employer. In this article, we discuss a self-employed CV, give tips on how to write one and provide a template and a sample of this type of CV.

What is a self-employed CV?

A self-employed CV lists work experience from running a business, working as a contractor or freelancing. It showcases a candidate's duties, skills and accomplishments as a self-employed professional. This CV sometimes includes experiences gained while working for other employers. The primary focus of this CV is highlighting a candidate's skills and capabilities demonstrated by running their own business.

Related: Self-employed vs employed: Differences between the two options

How to present self-employed experience on your CV

When presenting your self-employed experience on your CV, you can follow these steps:

1. Start with a header

You can begin your CV by creating a header with your contact information. You may want to double-check that this information is accurate, as your employer may use it if they decide to reach out to you for an interview. You can include your name, email address, telephone number and other contact information on your header. Using an email address that is formal and without any nicknames can help you seem professional and a worthy candidate.

Related: How To Create an Effective CV Header (With Tips and Examples)

2. Include an objective

This is an opportunity to give a summary of your skills and visions. This objective usually doesn't exceed three sentences and contains concise information. You can make your objective captivating so your employers want to read further. You may give details on the skills you possess that helped you run your own business successfully to display your competence.

Related: CV Objectives: Tips and Examples

3. Discuss your work experience

In this section, you can discuss your self-employed businesses and the position's responsibilities. List these experiences in chronological order starting from your most recent post to older positions. If you were a freelancer or contractor and have a lot of experience, you can list all of these jobs together with the responsibilities. Try to show statistics when listing your experiences.

For example, if you were to present your experiences working as a social media handler for a brand, you could state it as 'increased social media awareness and active followers by 25% in one week'. That way, employers can gauge your skills. You can try to only include experiences relevant to the role for which you're applying.

Related: How to write work experience on a CV (Tips and example)

4. Mention your education

You can assure your employer you have the right qualifications for the position by including your educational background. Include the institutions you attended and your graduation date. If you're still in education when applying for the job, you can write your expected graduation date.

Related: How to create an effective graduate CV

5. Highlight your skills

Presenting your skills in a way that lets potential employers know you are a good fit for the job is important. In this section, you can highlight the skills that helped you excel in your self-employed business or as a freelancer. State skills that are relevant to the job position for which you're applying. You may include both hard and soft skills.

Related: Transferable skills: what companies want

6. List your awards and certifications

You may have earned certifications during the period you were managing your own business relevant to the job position for which you're applying. You can include these certifications in your CV to increase your employment chances. If you have awards from your business, freelance work or contract jobs, you may also include these. You may also have an award of excellence from your school or another organisation with which you have been involved. Listing these awards may impress your employer and increase your chances of success.

Related: How to include achievements on your CV

Tips on drafting a successful self-employed CV

Below are popular tips on creating a CV:

Give a company name

When writing your CV, stating the name of your business is essential. This gives credibility to your work experiences as your employer can conduct research on the company. If the work experience was a freelance job, it might also be helpful to include the name of the company or brand.

Include a job title

A job title adds more professionalism and credibility to your CV. Including a job title might increase your chances of getting the job as it clarifies your responsibilities. For example, if you were helping a family member manage their emails and correspondence for their business, you may like to include this in your CV. When discussing this position, you can use a job title such as 'personal assistant' or 'business communication manager'.

Related: How to write a manager CV (with example)

Add a link to your portfolio.

These days, the majority of applications are online. This allows you to attach a link to your business portfolio on your CV. It is easier to show your employer results and statistics through your portfolio as you may not be able to go into detail on your CV. You may impress your employer with your portfolio, which might increase your chances of getting the job. Ensure you add experiences and results that are relevant to the position for which you're applying.

Related: What is a portfolio? Tips and guidelines to create one

Focus on your core skills

Highlighting your skills in a way that emphasises your capabilities may be helpful in getting the job. You may want the employer to see your business as an experience that helped you grow and build your skills and not a break from your career. You can draft a CV that focuses on all your strengths, experiences and skills. This is a way to assure your employers that you are as competent as other candidates that may be applying for the same position.

Include client reference

If you have references from clients you have worked for, you can include these references in your CV. When doing this, list the name, title and contact information of your references. These references may impress your employer and also show your competence and capabilities.

Related: Types of References: a Guide and Tips on Using Them

Self-employed CV template

Here is a template to help you draft your CV listing your self-employment:

[Full name]
[Phone number]
[Email address]

[A summary of your values, career goals and professional accomplishments]


[Job title]
[Company], [City], [Employment date]
[Bullet list that states your responsibilities and accomplishments for each role, include a separate entry for your self-employed job]

[Degree, diploma or licence earned], [institution name], [City], [Graduation date]

[List all relevant soft and technical skills]

[List of professional certifications]

Awards and accomplishments
[List all relevant awards and accomplishments]

Self-employed CV example

Here is a sample CV that showcases self-employment:

Mitch McDougall
+44 6754 6543

Goal-oriented salesman with over five years of sales and production experience and six years of experience managing my own production business. Ready to use my knowledge of sales, managing production processes and good customer service to propel the company's vision further. Seeking an environment to demonstrate, utilise and develop my skills by increasing customer satisfaction.


Mitch.T Scented Candles, Edinburgh, 2015 - 2020

  • oversaw the production process which includes melting of soy wax, anchoring of wicks to the bottom of mason jars and pouring of wax into mason jars

  • supplied over 100 scented candles per week

  • selected the essential oils and fragrances for the product

  • created a website and interactive social media presence to sell products

  • marketed products to nationwide convenience stores and supermarkets

  • designed banners, labels and packages

  • handled the supply chain and logistics of finished goods

  • implemented product-marketing strategies and distribution plans

  • kept track of financial statements and records

  • managed inventory and raw materials stock level

  • ensured customer satisfaction

  • maintained shipping records and paperwork

  • maintained quality communications and customer service

Barney's Soap Company, London, 2010 - 2014

  • operated soap-making equipment

  • oversaw the production of bar soap

  • observed process to detect variation in colour of agitate mixture

  • ensured consistency and homogeneity of boiling ingredients

  • cut bar soaps

  • graded and packaged the finished product

Sales associate
Goldrose retail store, London, 2008 - 2012

  • observed and replenished stock inventory accurately and on time

  • engaged and interacted with customers concerning their purchases to ensure customer satisfaction

  • increased sales by 50% and met the target of 25% sales increase in the first 3 months of working

  • ensured loss prevention and theft by observing shopper behaviour and maintaining accurate records

BSc in Business Management
Red Gold University, London, October 2007 - July 2010


  • inventory management

  • time management

  • excellent customer service

  • multi-tasking strength

  • critical thinking

  • proficient use of Microsoft office

  • sales and marketing

  • good decision-making skills

  • exceptional problem-solving skills

  • active listening

  • visual merchandising


  • Certificate in sales and marketing

  • Project Management Professional (PMP)

  • Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP)

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.


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