The Ultimate Guide: Incorporating Side Hustles into Your Resume

Nowadays, it seems that everyone has a side hustle.

We choose to work “on the side” of our regular jobs, whether it is to earn extra money, to pursue a passion or interest, or to acquire a new skill. Few people include their side hustle in their resume.

Side hustles are still work. It can be a lot. Time and energy.

They teach valuable transferable skills, which employers look for, such as time management, multitasking and initiative. These jobs also allow you to develop your skills by using them in a practical way.

It could cost you the job that you are hoping to obtain if you don’t include these skills, abilities, and experiences in your resume.

Table of Contents
What is the purpose of a resume?
How Can Your Side Job Make You A Better Candidate for a Job?
Should I include my side hustle on my resume?
Why you should include your side hustle on your resume
Why you should NOT include your side hustle on your resume
What skills have you gained from your side hustle?
How to List Side Hustles on Your Resume
What information should I include?
In conclusion
What is the purpose of a resume?
This may seem like an absurd question. Everyone knows the purpose of a CV is to land a job.

Yes and no.

Your resume’s goal is to land an interview. The resume is a marketing tool that is used to grab the recruiter’s interest by demonstrating how you meet the requirements and expectations for the position.

Your sales pitch is what will convince a new employer to ask you for an interview so they can learn more about you.

The bad news is that it’s not all good.

Recruiters and hiring managers spend an average of 6 seconds looking at your resume. Your resume must be easy to read and error-free. It should also clearly demonstrate why you are the best candidate for the job.

Include your side hustle strategically on your resume.

How Can Your Side Job Make You A Better Candidate for a Job?
This is the most crucial thing you should consider when adding your side hustle to your resume.

You should tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. This includes your work history, education, skills, and any extras, such as side hustles or volunteering.

Consider how your side business relates to a job vacancy.

What makes you a more qualified candidate?
What skills have you developed in your side hustle?
What value can your side job add to your CV that you don’t have already?
What would you like the recruiter or employer to know about your side hustle and experience?
You should only include side hustles that are professional and appropriate on your resume.

There are many scenarios in which it is a good idea to include a side hustle.

You can also read about the benefits of using
Should I include my side hustle on my resume?
I am a strong believer that your side hustles do belong on your resume.

It’s hard enough to find a job. You will want to emphasize anything that gives you an edge over other candidates.

You can learn a lot from your side hustle. You can improve your skillset. It’s not just about making some extra cash. You can use it to showcase your skills and talents.

It is better to ask how you can include it in your resume. This question is not always easy to answer.

Because there’s no one way to apply for a job, what works well for one application may not work well for another.

It makes sense in some cases to include everything that you do as a side hustle. Other times, it is better to select and only include parts of your side hustle.

We’ll come back to this.

Here are some guidelines that will help you decide whether to include a side job on your resume.

You should include your side hustle on your resume if:
You will be a better candidate and your resume will look more impressive.
You should consider the type of position you’re applying for
You can demonstrate your abilities
Your career goals are aligned with this program
Professionalism is the name of the game
You operate your side hustle like a business
This helps you “fill in the gaps” on your resume
This will make a great first impression
Clients, customers or sales
You can show that you have worked for/with people/companies relevant to your industry
Your side hustle is something you are proud of
You’re switching industries or moving into a field related to your side hustle
You are new to the world of work or have little experience.
You worked part-time while you were in school
If you are unable to include your side hustle on your resume, then:
The job you are applying for has nothing to do and is irrelevant
There’s something about it that might be deemed inappropriate or controversial
If you are a brand-new business, there are no clients or sales yet.
It’s a pure money-making hobby
You’re not proud of your work
This could be viewed as a potential conflict of interest
Your current job could be at risk
This list is by no means exhaustive or definitive.

If your side hustle puts your job in danger, it’s better to leave it out. There are ways to incorporate the skills that you have gained.

If you are an artist, you may consider it a hobby. You decide to remove your artwork from your resume because you don’t sell or have customers for it.

If you are applying for a job in marketing, adding it to your resume will make you more attractive as a candidate because you can show your creative side.

You should always take into consideration that there are exceptions.

Relevance is an important factor to consider when deciding whether or not you should include your side hustle in your resume.

It’s important to think about why you want to include something, as well as how.

Why you should include your side hustle on your resume
Many people believe that their side gig is not a “real job” and therefore cannot be included on their resume. It is!

You can do a side hustle just as well as if you were working full-time or part-time.

Consider all the benefits you will receive from your side gig.

It’s still valuable experience, even if you don’t make much (or any). Would you hesitate to include unpaid work, or volunteer experience on your resume?

Your talent, your time and your energy will be very important. Include it on your CV to show more about you as a potential employee and candidate.

Get noticed with side hustles
You can stand out by having a side hustle. You can stand out by doing something different.

This shows you have taken the initiative to do something on your own. It also shows you are capable of launching your own business.

It shows your passions, interests, and personality outside of work.

Your side hustle is often complementary to your main job.

You can gain new perspectives that will help you better relate or bond with coworkers and customers. You can network and build meaningful connections.

It can also be used to come up with ideas for new products or systems, or improve those that already exist.

A side hustle related to your career (even in the broadest sense) shows you’re invested and committed in your career.

You are passionate about the subject and spend time on it in your free time.

You can highlight your side hustle experience if you want to transition from one industry or field to another. This will demonstrate that you’re a good candidate and have knowledge of your new field.

You gain tangible experience through your side hustle. It’s not enough to just say that you are passionate and driven, you need to be able show this through your actions. The perfect side hustle is to do that!

Why you should NOT include your side hustle on your resume
Including your side hustle in your resume can sometimes do more harm than benefit.

You can either leave it out or add it in a more appropriate way if you’re worried that it will raise red flags.

There are many valid reasons for including your side hustle in your resume. However, there are also legitimate reasons not to.

It Doesn’t Matter
Some side hustles won’t be worth a resume. Include them in your resume and you will not improve your chances to land an interview or increase your application.

Swagbucks, for example, allows you to earn extra cash by answering surveys. However, it will not add much to your resume.

It could be, however, if you’re applying for a position that requires data entry or the creation of surveys.

It looks Negative
Freelance work, side hustles and gig jobs sometimes carry a negative connotation.

Some people may question your side hustle’s legitimacy, especially if you appear to be doing it solely to hide periods of unemployment from your resume.

You might be perceived as unqualified, unmotivated and incapable of finding a job. This is the last thing you want!

It’s a Confidential Job
If you have signed a confidentiality agreement or a non-disclosure contract, you may not be able to list this project or experience on your resume.

But you could always ask. You could ask your client if they are okay with sharing certain details or aspects of the project after it is complete.

You’re Overloading Your Resume
It’s not necessary to list everything you have done. Less can often be more.

One page is enough. No one wants to look at a five-page resume.

If your side hustle does not add to the skills and experience you already have, then there is no need to include it.

If you’re an administrative professional applying for administrative positions, but also babysit your neighbor at the weekends to earn a little money, adding this to your resume is not likely to improve it.

This will just take up space and hide the important details.

It Doesn’t Seem Like a Side Hustle
You may be so committed to your side business that you sound as if it is your main job or priority.

Maybe it’s so popular that people don’t believe you’re not already working full-time.

Employers do not want to be concerned that you will use company resources or company time to work on your project. Do not leave any doubts in the mind of your employer!

I’m not one to encourage anyone to minimize their success or hard work, but you have to strike the right balance in this case.

Be careful to not imply that you plan to turn your part-time gig into a full time job.

Common Sense
Use your common sense. If you’ve signed up as a Rover dog walker last week but haven’t had any customers yet, it is too early to include it on your CV.

Many people who have written about this subject also suggest that you shouldn’t include side jobs like driving for Uber and Lyft in your resume.

There are times when you absolutely should be there! You might be applying for a job as a driver. Obviously. If you were working part-time while attending school full-time.

Uber drivers do more than drive. Customer service, bookkeeping and marketing, maintenance work, problem solving, unlicensed counselling (probably) are all part of being an Uber driver.

You should list these skills on your resume.

Next, I will discuss my point.

What skills have you gained from your side hustle?
I have mentioned skills many times and with good reason.

You possess a variety of skills. Your talents are being developed with each sale, client, project, or hustle that you make.

Transferable skills can be developed in a variety of ways, from tutoring and professional cuddling to a wide range of other activities. The skills that most employers look for in a potential candidate.

Your strongest and most relevant should therefore be listed on your resume.

These are some examples of skills that you may need:

Transferable skills:
Listening and communication
Interpersonal Skills (Empathy, Respect, Patience)
Time management, meeting deadlines
Organisation and planning
Customer service
Teamwork
Leading
Clerical and Administrative
Research and Analysis
Troubleshooting and problem solving
Critical Thinking
Multitasking
Computer and technical skills
Numeracy (accounting, budgeting, bookkeeping, calculating)
Creativity is the ability to think creatively and with creativity.
Attention to detail
Networking
Personal Skills
Dedication
Drive
Determination
Motivation
Dependability
Passion
Resourcefulness
The following are some of the ways to get started:
Willingness to Learn
Adaptability
Consistency
Flexibility
Self-starter
Industry-specific skills:
Marketing (social media marketing, digital marketing, branding, SEO)
Maintenance or development of a website
Contract negotiations
Production
Payroll, billing, and bookkeeping
Sales and Pricing
Skills in technical areas (programs and software, hardware and tools)
Mechanical skills (electrical and plumbing, machines, licenses, etc.)
Physical Ability
Shipping and Logistics
You can use hundreds of skills while side-hustling. Write them down and focus on the skills you use most.

Compare your list of abilities with the skills required by each job posting. Do they match? These skills are already listed on your resume.

You can include them on your resume in a different way if you want. This can be done in any part of your resume. However, it is easier to include your side hustles.

Make sure that the skills you choose are valid. Prepare to demonstrate and explain how you have learned and used the skills.

Include data, statistics, and measurable outcomes whenever possible to support your claim. This could be your customer satisfaction rating, the number of social media followers or sales, or even your client count.

How to List Side Hustles on Your Resume
We have established the purpose of a CV.

We have discussed the pros and cons of including your side hustle in your resume. We’ve also discussed the skills you have gained.

We’ll now cover how to list them. When it comes to side hustles the “how” is what matters.

Even though they’re becoming more popular, some people still consider side hustles or freelance work to be a waste of time. Avoid giving the impression that side hustles and freelance jobs are just fluff work.

Consider carefully what skills you learned from your side hustle and how they match the requirements of the new job.

This will allow you to determine the best way to incorporate this experience.

You can include your side hustle in four different ways:

You should treat your side hustle as you would any other job.
Include your side hustle as a separate section
Use a combination or functional resume format
Include only the skills that you have learned through your side hustle

  1. Include your side hustle like any other job
    You can add it to your resume just like any other job.

List your title, your company, your dates of employment and bullet points describing your duties and achievements. You can find more details on each in the following section.

As an example:

Online Retail Shop Owner – XYZ Printables (June 2015 – Present)

Maintaining an online shop that sells over 50 unique printable charts and planners, as well as customized artwork.
Developed social media campaigns to promote the shop and its products on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Effectively gained over 25,000 fans.
Optimizing search listings, ranking #1 for three main keyword phrases and optimizing sales and revenue by 27 percent in the last fiscal.
This is the best approach if your side gig is directly related to a job opening.

It’s important to have solid statistics and data that support your work. They can also help you achieve your career goals or make you stand out.

  1. Include your side hustle in a separate section
    You can title your main section on employment history “Relevant experience,” “Professional experience,” or “Experience” if you’re concerned about misrepresenting you.

This is a great way to include any experience that does not fall under “Work Experience”, “Work History”, or other more traditional categories.

You could also create a separate section from your main work history. This will make it clear that the experience you’re describing is unique.

This new section can be called any variation of what follows:

Professional Achievements
Additional Experience
Freelance Work
Consult History
Relevant Projects
External Projects
It’s important to keep this section simple so that a recruiter can easily understand its unique features.

  1. Use a functional or combination resume format
    The chronological format is the most popular. This format lists your career history in reverse chronological order (from newest to oldest), and includes bullet points that elaborate on the responsibilities and achievements of each role.

A functional or combination resume might be better. It might be better to use a functional or combination resume.

Functional Resumes
Functional resumes focus on your abilities, skills and accomplishments while minimizing your work history.

You can use a functional CV if you’re entering the workplace for the first-time, changing industries, you have gaps in your employment history, or you have many skills but little relevant experience. All of these are good reasons to list your side hustle.

A functional resume lists your skills under different headings such as “communication skills,” Customer Service Skills,” or Administrative Skills.

Under each heading, include a few bullet points that demonstrate how you’ve developed and used that skill. These items will form the bulk of your resume.

What to do with your work history
Your work history will be included on your resume, but only briefly.

It’s usually a list of dates, your job title, and the companies you worked for. That’s it.

You do not need to list bullet points for each position. This is already included in your skill sections.

Functional resumes are viewed with mixed emotions by people. Functional resumes don’t mention where or how you developed your skills and achievements.

You want to make sure that the recruiter understands your qualifications as clearly as possible, but functional resumes may raise more questions than they answer.

The requirements of Applicant Tracking Systems are not always met.

Many employers use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to screen and scan applicants, rather than having a person do so. Some systems can’t read functional resumes correctly, which may make your application appear to be incomplete or full of mistakes.

Combination Resumes
A combination resume is another option that may be better.

This format is a mix of chronological and functional resumes.

List your relevant skills and credentials first (like a functional or chronological resume). Then, list your work history.

This resume emphasizes your achievements and skills over your past work experience, but it also provides the background information that people are looking for.

Combination resumes can be useful when you have a combination of work experiences that are only slightly related to the position for which you are applying.

Include your side hustle skills and experience to show that you not only have these transferable abilities, but also a stable employment history.

  1. Only include the skills you’ve learned from your side hustle
    You should include any relevant skills or transferable abilities you have gained through your side hustle, even if you don’t include it on your resume.

You could include it as a single bullet, as in the following example:

Four years experience selling customized printables using Instagram and Pinterest on Etsy
Knowledge of Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop and other photo editing software is essential.
These two examples are both short but they can convey a lot.

You can show that you know how to design a great online store, are familiar with social media and digital marketing, and have a good understanding of sales.

The second shows you are creative and that you possess technical knowledge of specific programs in high demand.

What information should I include?
The side hustles that are available today can be diverse and relatively new.

Some recruiters and hiring managers may not understand the importance of these qualifications.

You need to be very clear about what your side hustle and business is.

It is important to make it clear for the person who reads your resume. Connect the dots. Use the language from their job description. It should be obvious that you have the qualifications required.

If needed, use your cover letter as an opportunity to elaborate further on your side hustle.

Your side hustle is likely to be different from traditional jobs in that it doesn’t have a formal title or job description.

You have a great deal more freedom in deciding what to call yourself, and what achievements and duties you wish to include.

This can be used to your advantage. You should tailor your job title to match the job you are applying for.

This can also be an advantage, since it is easy to overthink things and complicate them.

What job title should I use?
You can describe your side hustle with a variety of job titles.

You own your small business. You can technically call yourself anything you like: Chief Executive, Chief Operating, Chief Financial, Chief Marketing, etc.

Does it best represent and reflect what you do? Does this help the recruiter to understand your role better? Most likely not.

If it does, then you’re doing great! It’s possible to make your side hustle your main job.

Use a job title that is easy to understand and describes your work.

It is not appropriate to use a title that is too fancy or extravagant on your resume. You could lose an interview if you use one, especially if the applicant tracking system is used to screen your applications.

These systems look for keywords. It will not understand that you are a “Nutritional Transport Captain” if your job is to deliver food via UberEats or DoorDash.

Some people may not even make the connection. Keep it simple. Call yourself a Food Courier or Delivery Driver in this case.

What is the meaning of your title?
If you have a side hustle that involves a variety of tasks, it might be difficult to choose the right job title.

It’s important to choose something that not only reflects your skills and experience, but also is relevant to the position for which you are applying.

As a freelancer or blogger, you probably use social media for promoting your articles and posts.

It could be tempting to refer to yourself as “Director of Social Media” when applying for a position as a Social Media manager.

You’ll surely get an interview this way. It would be difficult to give yourself this title if you are only loading Tweets and Pinterest images into programs such as Hootsuite or Tailwind.

It’s better to choose a title that is more relevant, like Blogger or Freelance writer, and include your knowledge of social media in your duties section or skills section.

It’s acceptable to add a description to your main or niche side hustle when in doubt.

As an example:

SEO Consultant
Independent [Online Sales] Contractor
Self-employed [Caterer]
[Beauty] Advisor
Contract [Bookkeeper]
Personal Finance Content Creator
Freelance [Writer]
“Fitness” Coach
“English” Teacher or Tutor
Director or Manager of Social Media
[Logo] Designer
Email Marketing Assistant
Owner of [Etsy shop]
[Website] Founder
Professional [Landscaping]
What company name should I use?
It’s not necessary to mention the name of your side business, but it might be worth doing. This can help give your resume a consistent look and provide more context to the recruiter.

It’s possible that you already have a name for your company. You could use the title of the website you run or the name of the online store.

You can use the name of your company if you find side hustles through an app, such as Fiverr or Instacart.

Self-employed individuals create a company name for use. You can operate as a sole proprietorship in general without having to officially register a company name.

You will be personally responsible for any taxes due. The government will view your business as an extension of you. You have to pay tax on the side hustle income!

You can call your side hustle whatever you like, so long as you use your official name when filing your taxes and other legal documents.

This aspect of side hustles can be confusing and varies by country, state or province. For more information, you can contact the city clerk, small business centers, or government agencies.

You have several options if none of the above apply.

Self-Employed
Various Clients
Clients include XYZ Foundation Bob’s Money Site and Jane’s Pie Shop
Your name + keyword (e.g. “John Doe Publishing”, “Mary Smith Photography”)
What duties should I include?
It’s easy to get carried away by all that we do. This is just a summary.

Your resume should be brief and highlight your most important and relevant accomplishments and strengths in just a few bullets.

Use the same format as you used for your previous work experience. Explain your work by using an active verb.

Quantify your success by using dollar amounts and percentages.

Have you worked with clients or brands that are relevant and recognizable? Include it.

Mention notable projects that you have completed or worked on to demonstrate your abilities. Do not forget to mention any notable accomplishments or recognition, such as 5-star reviews from customers.

Be honest and do not misrepresent your self.

In conclusion
Your resume should show the employer how you can be a valuable asset. If you don’t do this, it is unlikely that you will be able to get the job.

It becomes obvious why side hustles should be included on your resume when you examine what they entail.

This will help you to stand out from the crowd and land a great new job.

This post was originally published on The Money Mix. It has been republished by permission.


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