Using Your Side Gig On Your Resume

Using Your Side Gig On Your Resume

Whether you're trying to pay off college tuition or save up for a deposit on a new home, you might have a side gig. Some people solely rely on gigs to earn a living. Whatever the case may be, you could be faced with a common dilemma - how do you include the gig on your resume? Learn more about how you can use a side gig on your resume, and you can improve your job prospects.

Times are Changing

It's important to realize that times are changing for businesses and individuals alike. Rideshare platforms and grocery delivery companies have made it possible for people to work for themselves. For some, the side gig is a way to earn money after working hours. Others use side gigs to make money as stay-at-home parents. Meanwhile, some people only work side gigs to earn a living.

Years ago, working gigs seemed impossible. Before there were apps for gigging platforms, people had to start their own small businesses to earn money as a side hustle. However, apps like Uber, Instacart, and TaskRabbit make it possible for you to freelance through an established platform.

Unless you live under a rock, you probably know a few people who work a gig. And the same can be said for employers. Due to the prevalence of gig work, hiring managers aren't surprised to see gig work on a resume. But there are still some disadvantages to listing gig work, such as:

Short-Term Nature

Most high workers don't stay with the job for an extended period. Unfortunately, a prospective employer could hold that against you. They would rather see you work several years for a certain employer than six months on one platform and five months on another.

No Collaboration

Generally, gig work involves independent tasks. You might have to communicate with a client every so often, but you don't usually need to consult with co-workers or take everyday direction from a manager. Because of this, a hiring manager might see your gig experience and assume you lack the ability to work well with others.

Few References

When you work in an office, it's not difficult to find references. If you don't get along with your boss, you can ask co-workers, managers, and clients for references. But gig work doesn't give you that luxury, and you might not have any references to include on your resume.

Lack of Relevant Experience

Gig work doesn't always translate to relevant experience. For example, you might be applying for a job in the finance sector. Working as a rideshare driver doesn't give you much relevant experience, which hurts you during the job hunt.

Tips for Adding Your Side Gig to a Resume

While there are disadvantages to using side gigs on your resume, you can overcome them and use your side gig to make you a more appealing job candidate. For that to happen, follow these tips:

Have an Exit Plan

Before you start off in a gig position, come up with an exit plan. Know how long you plan to work the gig lifestyle, and consider what type of job you want when you move on. After you make your plan, stick with it.

Read the Job Description

Don't just slap a few skills on your resume and submit it to an employer. Instead, take time to read the job description and update your resume to meet the brief. Think about how the skills you use in your gig apply to the job listing.

At times, the connection between the two positions isn't clear. It might take a little creativity, but there's bound to be something you can find to relate to your desired position. If you delivered groceries, one skill might be time management or attention to detail.

Pander to the ATS

These days, human eyes don't always see resumes. Before a hiring manager looks at a resume, the document may need to get past the applicant tracking system, or ATS. A resume that lacks the right keywords won't ever make it on the hiring manager's desk.

To make it past the ATS, you need to optimize your resume. This means incorporating specific keywords, some of which could be in the job listing. If you're not familiar with how an ATS works, do some research on it. The skills you developed working your gig could come in handy.

Use a Functional Resume

There are several formats you can use to create a resume. If you don't have a traditional work history, a functional resume could be the best format for you. It doesn't rely on a chronological list of all your past employment. Rather, the format places transferable skills at the top of the resume.

By using the functional format, you make it easier for the hiring manager to see past the fact your last few jobs were gigs. They can directly see your transferable skills and accomplishments.

Use Specific Examples

Whenever possible, list specific examples of your skills and accomplishments. On your resume, you can only include so much. But if you make it to a phone or in-person interview, be ready to list off detailed examples of your skills and accomplishments.

When it comes to side gigs, employers don't always understand the roles or responsibilities. This is why it's up to you to spell out what happens on a day-to-day basis. Don't simply explain that you drove customers from one place to another. To give a hiring manager the full picture, tell them about a time you satisfied a problematic customer, or you exceeded expectations.

Don't Force It

It's true that you want to point out similarities between your gig and the job. However, you don't want to force the connection. If you can't sell a connection between your gig and the position in question, focus more on your qualifications from a previous position.

In the end, your gig doesn't need to hurt your prospects. At best, it will help you obtain a job. And at worst, it can fill in a gap on your resume.

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