Recruiting, Talent

Side Gigs Are Great for Boosting Résumés, Says Majority of Recruiters

As more American workers take to the gig economy to supplement their income, many recruiters are coming out in favor of side gigs, saying the skills and experiences learned through this extra work are a great boost for candidates’ résumés.


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And because the Internet has ushered in a new era of entrepreneurship, individuals can now sell whatever they desire on several websites at any time and place. In turn, this flexibility has revolutionized people’s attitude toward work—with many trying to pursue an online enterprise that they are passionate about outside of their standard job/studies.

At the forefront of this surge are college students—keen on earning some much-needed money to support them while studying. Once on the “grind,” they often find themselves making much more from their “side hustle” than they would from a part-time job.

Those college students approaching graduation and in the process of applying for jobs wonder if it is worthwhile to add their online enterprise(s) to their résumé and job applications.

To answer this question, training and qualifications provider looked at three of the most popular “side hustles” among college students and quizzed 602 American recruitment professionals to see how valuable each one would be for candidates to include on their résumé/job applications.

Garage Sale ‘Flipping’

According to 85% of U.S. recruiters, students should list garage sale flipping on their résumé/job applications.

The concept is simple. Visit different neighborhoods, and every time you come across a house that is having a garage sale, go and have a look. Go through as many things as possible; if you perceive an item to be of high value, then go onto a popular online marketplace on your phone and check its value.

If the price at the garage sale is less than what you see it selling for online, buy it or even potentially haggle with the seller to get it at an even lower price. Garage sales can uncover some real gems, such as vintage video games, rare trading cards, old electronics, and highly sought-after entertainment (music, movies, and books) titles.

How Does It Benefit Résumés/Applications?

“Garage sale flipping shows an individual has real drive, as not a lot of people would make the effort on the premise that it is too much ‘hassle’ for them,” Kishen, a talent acquisition executive, tells TheKnowledgeAcademy. “It takes determination and patience for an individual to go to as many houses as possible and rifle through many items as possible, in the hope of finding some valuable ones. Even if they don’t, by doing so they are highlighting multiple skills such as market research, negotiation and risk analysis.”

Creating/Modifying Products to Sell Online

The research also shows that 67% of U.S. recruiters believe students should list creating/modifying products to sell online on their résumé/job applications.

This involves creating your own product or product range to sell online. This could be anything from customized clothing/shoes to hand-crafted jewelry. In doing so, the seller is responsible for the whole selling process, which would involve design, production, product listings/descriptions, shipping, and customer service/relations.

How Does It Benefit Résumés/Job Applications?

“Introducing a product to market takes real guts,” Joanna, a recruitment consultant, tells TheKnowledgeAcademy. “It’s not an easy process and for a student to show the capabilities to do so at such a young age is encouraging for any prospective employer to see. It showcases traits such as a willingness to take risks, effective planning/organization, persistence under intense pressure and an ability to develop strong customer relations.”

Photography Services for Hire

Additionally, 60% of U.S. recruiters believe students should list photography for hire on their résumé/job applications.

Those with a decent enough camera and beginner- to expert-level photo-editing skills provide their services for hire on social media, event hire specialist websites, and online classified advertising platforms.

Through this, they get booked for photography gigs for occasions like weddings, birthday parties, music festivals, college events, family portraits, and product launches. As they build up their portfolio and editing expertise, it becomes easier for them to get photography jobs.

How Does It Benefit Résumés/Job Applications?

“Whilst some might just view it as a means to making some extra money, photography is actually a very creative component for student applicants to have,” says Jerry, a senior recruitment lead. “To then actually get jobs from it, exhibits a real go-getting spirit and willingness to try new things/different approaches.”

“Also considering that when at the photography events, they must display various competencies such as clear communication, consistent professionalism and excellent customer service—it only adds to their desirability as a candidate,” Jerry adds. “So, if you’re a student who is doing photography as a side hustle, then definitely put it in your résumé. It’s only going to be a worthy and positive addition.”

Can Companies Support Employees Who Are Pursuing a ‘Side Hustle’?

As more and more workers turn to the gig economy, TheKnowledgeAcademy questioned how employers can help support these workers.

The survey findings reveal that 52% of recruiters feel companies that know employees have an ambitious and growing “side hustle” should take an active approach in supporting them through actions such as offering them flexible working hours or giving them a small number of working hours during the week to manage their online enterprise.

Employers may not like to “share” their employees with other forms of work, but the results clearly show that side gigs are beneficial for all parties involved. These alternative ways of working offer clear skill sets employees can learn outside of your workforce, and in turn, your company can reap the benefits of having skilled workers from very diverse working backgrounds.

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