Related to this question - Should I include side project in resume?

This question is very similar to multiple previous questions. Additionally we often get questions around this subject, there are questions:

Not to mention the numerous questions related to side projects. I'm sure I missed several but there are many many questions on this site all nearly identical. This one had some close votes and I cast the fourth.

I am not sure how to best proceed on these sorts of questions. We get them very often and nearly all of them relate.

I am thinking it might be beneficial to somehow combine or otherwise create a cannonical question addressing, "How should I represent side projects and hobbies on my resume?" in a single question which can more completely be referenced for ALL questions on this topic. Similar to this one for salary expectation questions.


  • 1
    single question to cover both lightweight hobbies and important stuff may be too broad, I can easily imagine two canonical questions (properly cross-linked for convenience of readers) instead of one – gnat Nov 25 '14 at 17:17
  • There's also the newb vs professional vs professional changing careers. I would prefer to see some of the existing question(s) broadened to actually answer another question rather than simply closing as dupe however. – Telastyn Nov 25 '14 at 18:10
  • ...upon further thinking, I yield to stratification suggested by @Telastyn above. Split by "target audience", as in newbie-vs-experienced job seeker feels more productive than by the type of projects – gnat Nov 25 '14 at 19:39

I think this is a really good idea too. How about something like the following? (I've just included bullet points as headers - obviously it will need fleshing out!)

"Q: How should I represent side projects and hobbies on my resume?

Alongside my full-time job, I've worked on a variety of smaller projects that I think have taught me skills I'd like to bring out when applying for future roles. How can I bring these out without employers thinking "less" of them for not being fully-fledged positions?"


- Is my hobby or side-project worth including on my resume at all? Discussion of types of projects, the difference between a hobby and a project, scope, and how to judge a project's worth from an employer's perspective.

- What kind of things should I think about writing when I list my side project? Details on how to extract skills and figures from the project and think about the impact the project as had, even if it is not a business-oriented one.

- What other experience should I group side projects with on my resume? Answers questions about whether it should come under "Volunteering", "Work Experience", "Hobbies", etc.

- My supervisor/friend/next-door-neighbour thinks it's not worthwhile if it's not paid - how can I convince them otherwise? Covers things like contribution to worthwhile open source projects and considers ways to spin them positively.

- I was doing paid work part time alongside my old job, and I don't want potential new bosses to think I'm not dedicated to the day job. How do I include both? Covers a quite specific situation, but is a question I'm sure many people have.

I believe this covers most bases, as it breaks a project down into several aspects than could apply to both an ongoing position or a small contribution. Bullet points can also be added to cover other cases if required.

  • I don't have time to flesh this out at the minute, but I can return later to improve it if people are interested. :-) – user29632 Dec 5 '14 at 12:55

I think this sounds like a really good idea.

To flesh out the comments, I think that there maybe need to be a couple of different answer types (or perhaps two questions):

The one for the newbies who desperately need experience in their field and maybe have done small projects, and one for experienced people with larger projects, possibly in a different field. I'd certainly answer the two differently - prestigious / exciting 'side projects' may be too big to consider as a side project at all, whereas a quick'n'easy side project done to demonstrate ability may well be worthwhile but still small fry.

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    Is there a way to structure a question such that a comprehensive question and can be answered somewhat like this answer? – enderland Nov 25 '14 at 19:18

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