Can Freelance Work Boost Your Job Prospects?

6 May, 2016

Can Freelance Work Boost Your Job Prospects?

6 May, 2016

Recent graduate Natasha explores how freelancing can help you find a graduate job or internship

Recent graduate & freelancing advocate, Natasha

Like a lot of new graduates, the few months between graduating and finding a full-time role was a very anxious time. I knew all the stats and read the scary stories, such as over half of graduates in the UK are working in a non-graduate job. I didn’t want this to happen to me and applied for countless jobs to try and make sure I had something lined up before I graduated, but I struggled to find something that ticked all the boxes.

I wanted to work in the advertising industry as a copywriter. I’ve always enjoyed writing and if I could make a career of it, even better! However, I found the creative industry quite closed off and it definitely felt like your personal connections were much more valuable than your potential and talent. Not only that, but I didn’t have any official writing experience – so of course, trying to convince potential employers I could do the job was tough. I thought about starting my own business and read about all kinds of Start-ups, from businesses that make jewellery out of ashes to clothes that can be connected to smartphones but I didn’t think I had that entrepreneurial streak.

However, I did know that I was creative and had a skill I could put to use. I started freelancing as a copywriter, putting up adverts on the likes of Gumtree and creating a profile on Fiverr and I watched the work roll in. Well, I say, “roll in” but perhaps it was more of a steady stream! But people were interested in my skills and I managed to build up some repeat business too. Sure, I wasn’t working with multinational brands, but I approached every piece of work as an opportunity to develop my writing, build on my experience, and earn some money whilst I was doing it. After a few months, I gathered up all my best writing examples and made them available in an online portfolio that I could send to companies along with my CV.

Being able to showcase examples of my previous work made all the difference. Employers were interested in my education and experience, of course, but I found that my freelance work was a real talking point during interviews. After freelancing for a few months, I found a full-time job that I really enjoy and there’s no doubt that taking the initiative to build a portfolio helped. I still take on freelance jobs now and then, although admittedly, with the security of a full-time job, they’re a lot more intermittent!

Would I do it again? Yes, absolutely! Not only did freelancing boost my CV and give me that all important experience, but it taught me how to be business-savvy and seek out opportunities instead of waiting for them to come to me – something that’s crucial during the job hunt. It also helped prepare me for the world of work, as I was managing my own time and working completely independently, which is something I now do every day in my job. Ultimately, freelancing helped me make the most of my skills and talent and really helped me to stand out from the crowd.

This blog post was written by Natasha Walker, a recent graduate and freelancer. You can check out more of her work over on her website Freelance Thinking


If you're looking for ways to stand out in the job hunt, then check out our post on the top ways to become more employable. Or why not jump right in and start applying for our graduate jobs today?

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