When I say “side hustle,” I’m not only talking about a side business, but I’m talking about all of the little things you do on the side of what may be considered your day job or traditional career. This includes any volunteer work, freelance work, hobbies, or part-time work that earns extra income. It might be surprising that all of these side projects impact your ability to land a job, however, a recent government study found that volunteering is associated with 27% higher odds of employment.
Baily Hancock, Collaboration Expert, weighed in on the subject as well: “A side hustle can be a super effective way to gain experience, sharpen skills, or build your portfolio when you’re looking to transition into a new industry or new role. Nobody needs to know whether you got paid for it or not, what matters is that you put effort into learning and growing professionally”
Still don’t believe me? Here are four reasons to add your side hustle to your resume.
It will add tangible industry experience to your resume
Ultimately, if someone can’t look at your resume and see how you align with the position you’re applying for, you’re not going to be able to land the job. If your side hustle or side project directly relates to the job you’re interested in applying to, it will help you add more related industry experience to your resume. If you are passionate about something and are trying to change career paths, it’s important to create tangible information to include on your resume.
Think about it this way: you may be interested in design, but if you have zero related experience or education, you’re going to struggle with getting a design job. However, if you highlight your side hustle and/or volunteer work in the design field, you’re creating information to put on your resume to help others recognize your industry knowledge and that you would be a good candidate for the position.
It will show your ability to multi-task
Due to the rise of startups and small businesses, employees are often required to wear many hats, work with cross-functional teams, and adapt to the role as situations arise. Showing that you can successfully manage your time to work both a day job and side hustle shows potential employers that you’re able to multitask and work across various projects at once. Highlighting your ability to work with others across different projects and different scopes is a key factor of landing your dream job.
When you are highlighting your ability to multitask, be sure to articulate what you’ve accomplished at both your day job and side project. If you focus too much on your personal project and not enough on your actual job, a potential employer might fear that you won’t care enough about their company. Highlight your ability and success with both so that you can easily show effective time management and that you prioritize your roles equally.
It can be used as a talking point
A significant factor in landing your dream job is your ability to capture the reader in your resume and persuade them to learn more about you in an interview. When you add your side hustle to your resume, you’re giving the reader something to think about, which creates a potential talking point for an interview.
It’s also another opportunity to establish a connection with someone through your resume. When I first started college, I applied for a PR internship in San Francisco. I didn’t have a huge amount of office experience, but I had worked at the front desk in a neighborhood cupcake shop. I didn’t think much about it and really considered the position a space filler for my resume, but it turns out that the PR company had a major cupcake shop as one of their clients, so they immediately connected with me, and were thrilled that I had inside experience. It’s not likely that this was the deciding factor of why I landed the internship, but the job which I thought was just a filler ended up creating a great talking point, which weighed heavily in my favor.
It will help highlight your personality
Personal projects act as a window to your personality and who you are outside of work. Your job does not define you, but how you spend your free time does give people a lot more insight as to who you are and what matters to you.
Highlighting your side hustle can act as a way to show potential employers how motivated you are, what causes you care about, and how you’re willing to work hard to further develop your career during your free time. You can only learn so much about someone through their resume, but a personal project often shows much more about a person than what they were hired to do. A personal project articulates what you choose to do, not what you’ve been hired to accomplish.
As you start writing your resume, think about what you want others to learn about you, what you care about, and what you have accomplished. Take note of all of the projects and activities you take on outside of work to determine what you should include on your resume. Chances are that there is a lot of additional information you can add in!
You’re putting effort into it, so make sure to use this to your advantage and add your side hustle to your resume!