Did you know that your side hustle may help you land your dream job? And for the record, when I say “side hustle,” I’m not only talking about a side business. I’m actually talking about all the little things you do on the side of what may be considered your day job. 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. Still don’t believe me? Here are four ways the stuff on the side can make you stand out!
It creates tangible industry experience.
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 land your dream 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 relating fields, you’re creating information to put on your resume. Others can then recognize your industry knowledge and that you would be a good candidate for the position!
It highlights 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 that you’re able to multitask and work across various projects at once. Which is huge!
When you’re 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 help your resume stand out.
To land your dream job, a significant factor is your ability to capture the reader in your resume and persuade them to learn more about you in an interview. By highlighting a side project, you’re giving the reader something to think about. It shows you’re multi-faceted and may have more to offer than the standard work experience they’re looking for.
It creates a talking point.
Including your side hustle in your resume also creates a potential talking point for an interview. Which in turn can make the whole interview much less awkward! It’s 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 much 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. 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 weighing heavily in my favor.
It highlights 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 gives people better 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. It can also represent what causes you care about and how you’re willing to work hard to further develop your career during your free time. 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. Think about what you care about and what you’ve 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!
What’s something that helped you land a job? Any side projects mentioned above?