How to Include Your Side Hustle on Your Resume

by / ⠀Career Advice Entrepreneurship / January 11, 2021

Nowadays, what we refer to as a “side hustle” seldom has anything to do with either rushing to get something done quickly, or shady dealings. Despite its traditionally negative connotation, these days, it’s just another word for a “side job,” just like “part-time work” or “freelance work.” 

There is no shame when you use the phrase “side hustle” anymore. There’s also no shame in admitting that you’re doing the work. In fact, the very opposite is true. You may well want to advertise the skills and experience you acquire with your side job when you write your CV, or resume, to go out looking for a primary source of income.

Side Hustles Can Hone Your Technical Skills

Fundamentally, most side hustles are some sort of specialized activity that another entity is willing to delegate to you. In most cases, you need a particular set of skills to actually do what is needed.

When writing your resume, it is a good idea to advertise that you possess these skills, have honed them well over time, and haven’t let them atrophy through neglect. Being proficient with the modern tools required to get a specific job done before getting hired to do that job is something that employers have come to value highly. If you’ve had a technically-oriented side hustle, you should advertise the skills that made you successful in your work.

Furthermore, the tangible results of your side hustles are an excellent way to prove that you actually have the abilities you claim to have in your resume. In general, it is a good idea to advertise all the skills you have in your resume, especially if you have the official papers to prove it. However, providing a real-world example of the fine work you’ve already done is likely to do more for your chances of getting hired than any certificate, so make sure you include a portfolio of your work in your resume, if possible.

Even if the work you do on the side is of no interest to your prospective employer, the very fact that you’ve had a more comprehensive range of experience is very much relevant to them. If you’ve already mastered various technical skills needed for side jobs, this indicates to employers that you’re open to training and capable of picking up new skills. Those are both soft skills that businesses value highly in this day and age.

Emphasize the Soft Skills You’ve Gained as a Result of Your Side Jobs

You can’t really do side jobs successfully without having some very useful skills and character traits, such as dedication, strong motivation, discipline, perseverance, etc. The very fact that you’ve managed to work on the side proves that you really do possess those skills.

Practicing most side jobs requires developing communication skills and good time management, as well as the ability to coordinate efforts and negotiate conditions. Your experience and skills in this field are very useful for any employer, which is why you should advertise them as much as possible when composing your resume.

Curate the Information in Your Resume

Side hustling may be a good way to supplement your budget, but there’s a reason why it’s the exception rather than the norm for most people. There are problems with doing side jobs regularly that you are most likely already aware of, and your prospective employer will probably be familiar with them as well.

This means that you will have to be very careful about how you present the information about your supplementary activities in your resume. Suppose you have an inkling that total dedication, commitment, and your undivided attention are paramount for filling the position you’re applying for. In that case, it may not be the best idea to advertise the fact that you’re in the habit of hustling on the side.

Use your discretion as to whether or not you should include your side hustle on your resume. 

About The Author

Andrew Arkley is the founder of PurpleCV, one of the UK's leading CV writing providers. He has personally written over 3000 CVs, has over 15 years’ experience in recruitment at a senior level and has conducted thousands of interviews, so he knows precisely what it takes to land a job!

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