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Side hustles are a great way to increase your knowledge. What I do for JobScan or the resume reviews is considered a side hustle. It’s also a great creative outlet, especially if you are feeling stuck in your career. I often encourage candidates to have side hustles, as this also helps bridge any gaps you might have in your linear career history (even though we all know that careers are not linear all the time). Side hustles don’t have to make you much money or any money as long as you enjoy it. 

Certificates are what I consider the toppings on a sundae. They aren’t necessary but can enhance the overall product, in this case, the product is your work experience. Companies look for people who are constant learners and certificates are a tangible way to prove that on your resume before you even speak to them. Certificates also help you break into certain new fields without having a 4-year degree.

Question #1: Using freelance work to get a full-time job

Q: How do you represent Freelance work in a way that major companies will take seriously? What if the sites I worked on aren’t impressive?

Most companies take freelance work seriously if properly positioned on the resume. If you are doing freelance, you are more than likely doing so on a 1099 contract. I’d suggest registering an LLC in your state and listing that LLC on your resume.

Underneath this ‘job’ you’ll list your accomplishments and duties. I’d also create your website with this same LLC and put your projects there. And impressive is subjective, in my experience what most companies are looking for is something that functions and provides value. The quality that companies look for depends on how much experience you have, if you are entry-level or junior, what they are looking for is your comprehension of the technologies and how you implement them. Companies will look for basic functionalities and whether your sites are tested.

Question #2: Adding side hustles on the resume

Q: If you are a person who has side hustles that are consistent, do you include them on a resume?

Hey there! Honestly that depends on what you are trying to accomplish with these side hustles. If they can help remove any employment gaps on your resume, I’d recommend it. However, if there isn’t a clear reason why they’d help you look for qualified for the position, then I’d say no. 

In our current world almost everyone has some kind of side hustle. And most employers assume it. However, what you do in your own free time has nothing to do with your employer. I know many employers who look at side hustles in a negative light. They might assume that if you have a side hustle then you aren’t committed to your 9-5, and will use company time to work on your side hustle. 

If you list two jobs that you were working at the same time the recruiter and hiring manager will question your motivation and intention. Not saying this is right or wrong but it is the reality. I have had a side hustle for 3 years but it’s not listed on my resume. Now, if you were to convert your side hustle into a full-time job that’s a different story.

Question #3: LinkedIn Learning certifications on the resume

Q: My question is regarding professional development transitioning to a new industry especially for entry-level jobs. Regarding certificates, what do recruiters think about LinkedIn Learning certificates, especially those that aren’t validated by recognized institutions such as universities, associations, etc?

LinkedIn Learning certificates are nice. They recently partnered up with for their learning content. The content of these certificates is created by real people actually doing the work. But unfortunately, there is no way to verify the accuracy or even the validity of the content. Whereas an accredited course has to meet certain standards for its content. While LinkedIn does a great job to remove a previous barrier to entry, in the eyes of recruiters, it’s still considered a lower caliber than an accredited course or a professional association.

So, the simplest answer to your question is, it doesn’t hurt, but unless the person interviewing you can test your knowledge they won’t know for certain what value you received from it. It’s the same thing with boot camps, some are great, you learn a lot, others are not so great and the students coming out barely know how to code in HTML.

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