Should You Include Details About Your Side Gig During Your Job Search?

Many people have what they call “side gigs” — either for the sole purpose of making more money or, often, to be able to engage in a passion completely unrelated to their careers. I know several people who devote a lot of time to side gigs, and I have often wondered if they should add the skills and experience gained outside of their regular 9-to-5 job to their resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

The two career pros I consulted have slightly different takes on the topic.

Matthew Warzel, president of MJW Careers LLC, thinks these folks “should absolutely think hard to understand and decide if they should include this on their resume or LinkedIn profile.” And he says they need to ask, “Will this help me increase my chances of landing an interview?” before making that decision.

“If they say it won’t, then do not bother with inclusion. If you think this may hinder your chances of being selected for an interview, then please do not keep it on there,” Warzel says. “You can bring it up in the interview. However, if it’s a business that translates well with your professional career, then do keep it on there and even expand upon in terms of accomplishments and job details.”

Information about time spent in a side gig is also good to include if you have a job gap to fill, and it can help demonstrate skills that could translate to a new career, Warzel adds.

Austin Belcak, the founder of Cultivated Culture, who teaches people how to leverage unconventional strategies to land jobs they love without connections or traditional experience, gave a resounding “yes” to the question.

“Side gigs are the best strategy people have for accelerating their career in today’s market,” Belcak says. “They should absolutely be included in your resume and on your LinkedIn Profile.”

He gives several reasons why:

–Side hustles highlight some pretty amazing aspects of who you are as a professional. “They show that if you don’t already know something, you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and dive in to make up the skill gap,” Belcak says.

–They show that you’re driven, motivated and not afraid to work hard to get more of what you want.

–They show that you’re willing to take on new challenges. “You saw a new field you were interested in, so you took the leap with confidence knowing that you’d figure it out,” he says.

–They show that you’re passionate and willing to invest your time and resources into ideas and projects you care about.

“An employee with those traits is a hiring manager’s dream,” Belcak says. “They see a motivated self-starter who isn’t afraid to dive into new challenges and solve problems — and they’re likely willing to pay a premium to have someone like that on board.”

When deciding what to include on a resume or profile, remember you want to communicate how the value you bring thanks to your side gig experience. “Value is what employers invest in and what you can use as leverage when it comes to landing a new job or salary,” Belcak explains. “Be sure to include measurable metrics and specific skills in the bullets you share about your side gig.”

He gives these examples:

— Instead of “Launched and managed social media campaigns on Instagram” you should aim for “Executed contest-driven campaigns to grow Instagram following from 550 to 4,000-plus in three months.”

–Instead of “Designed and illustrated post images for online blog” you should aim for “Designed blog post images leading that drove an average of 10,000-plus views and 560-plus social shares.”

Belcak says, “This type of value is what employers are looking for and what will turn your side gig into tangible experience that will help you land a job you love with a salary you deserve.”


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