Writing from the bar at Soho House Barcelona tonight. I just landed, and I'm in town for the next four days for this very cool conference called IAM Weekend 18. It's gonna be a quirky mix of people, weird academics and crazy artists and thoughtful entrepreneurs, talking all about the future of the internet for three days
I'll post about it all over Instagram, so follow me there and check in on my Stories.
And since I'm writing this newsletter from a bar at 10PM on a Thursday, I figured it's high time I talk about how to explain 'side hustles' or 'side projects' or 'un-official' work of any kind on your resume/CV.
Here is the big secret you don't know: there is no resume police going around demanding to see your pay slips for whatever it is you list out on your resume.
No. Resume. Police.
And besides, it would be aggressively nosy for someone to do that.
Week in, week out, I get people asking me if they're 'allowed' to list their unpaid internship, or their volunteer work, as work experience. I see people edit out the huge projects they did in their free time, because they don't think it 'counts,' or something.
So, let's start here:
It does count, my love. It so, so, so counts.
If you are learning new skills or flexing your strengths in some way, that should totally go on that piece of paper. Whether or not you got paid for that work is nobody's business, quite frankly.
How you explain that stuff, though, depends.
Here are my ultimate guidelines on this topic:
If your unpaid work (or side-hustle or side business or internship or whatever) aligns closely with the job description you're applying for, highlight it front and center. Talk about it like it's a real job, list it under your Experience section.
If you were volunteering or doing something to fill a 'gap' on your resume, highlight it front and center. Talk about it like it's a real job, list it under your Experience section.
If it's a side thing that's super cool and special to you, but doesn't necessarily 'fit' for the job you're going after, include it in a different way. Pop in a Volunteering or Additional Projects section at the bottom of your resume. Highlight it as if it's a real thing -- because it is, anything you do with your time is 'real' -- but just separate it out on the page so that people can read your career narrative first, before they get to this.
Hope that helps.
Remember you can always hit reply and send questions you'd like to see answered in this newsletter. I'm always listening, and always rooting for you.
That next job is right around the corner, my dear. You've got this.