Why You Need a Side Hustle Resume

Magazines on a Wall

If you’ve been in the work world, applied for one of most colleges, or taken a career readiness class in high school, you’ve already written at least one resume. They help a potential employer see that you’re experienced. It gives your interviewer a basis for asking you questions about the job you’re applying for.

That explains why a resume is useful when you’re applying for a job, but it doesn’t explain why you should consider writing a resume when you’re your own boss.

While resumes are traditionally used to help you get an interview with a company (because resumes don’t actually get you jobs) a resume can also be used to help you personally keep track of your work experiences. They’re a good reminder of how qualified you are to be on a particular career path.

Why do you need a side hustle resume?

Short answer: you don’t.

In most cases, people aren’t going to require your resume to prove that you can do the work that you’re offering to them from your own business. They’re going to want to see examples of your work, read testimonials from former customers, or be swayed by your extensive knowledge on the topic. Or all of those.

So why create a side hustle resume?

For you.

When you think about the thing you love, you’re probably so deep in the game that you forgot how you got this deep into it.

Let’s say you make candles. Today you might make scented candles that are appropriate for different moods. Maybe you sell candles that help you feel energized in the morning and candles that help you get to sleep at night, etc. However, if that’s what you do today, that’s probably not where you started.

You may have started by selling candles in just one scent. Or maybe the highlight of your candles was that they were really pretty colors. Or maybe you made all of your candles on demand. Think back to all of your experiences in this particular craft.

Or, you might love writing comedy, but forgot about that time you wrote a play in middle school, made it to the final round of a super selective comedy writing program, wrote those witty headlines for your friend’s startup, etc.

You have more experience than just what you’re doing today.

Are you a part-time chef? Did you cater your family birthday parties (even if it was for free) because everyone wanted your famous macaroni and cheese? Are you a part-time makeup artist that used to work at a department store makeup counter? Your past experiences are relevant.

Going back and looking at your previous experiences will remind you of how long you’ve loved this and how much work you’ve already put into this. Also, having a clear list of these can help you remain confident when you have those “I’m so bad at this / everyone’s better than me” days.

Believe me, those days come.

A side hustle resume will help

You don’t have to get all super fancy with it. What’s most important is that you list out the different kinds of work that you’ve done and what you learned while doing that work. Think back as far as you can and write everything down. Then, after you’ve done that, ask people who’ve known you a long time if they can recall any times that you’ve done similar work in the past. They’re likely to remember things you might have forgotten.

Put that resume together and think about how much you’ve invested in being good at this particular thing. If you’re still on the fence about which side hustle you should be developing, try this exercise for each idea you have.

Then let me know how it works.

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