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Resume Tip: Include Personal Projects

ideasIf you’re new to the work force, it’s important to add your personal projects as experience.

Include Personal Projects On Resumes When You’re Just Starting Out

Getting a job when you’re just starting in your field can be difficult because your resume is essentially empty. That said, it has been suggested by many professionals seeking to hire that those personal projects you undertake are a great way to pad out your resume and showcase your potential.

Most people don’t walk out of a college with a lot of relevant work experience, but chances are you have plenty of experience in the field you’re looking to get into. The trick is to embrace that experience, even if you didn’t actually get paid for it:

Don’t limit yourself to the confines of a traditional resume. Recognize that under “Skills” you can list everything from Photoshop to silk-screening, that studio time can be just as important as past employment, and that unpaid side projects show dedication, initiative, and responsibility. If the majority of your experience is personal, studio, or classroom work, add more of a description than you normally would, explaining the kind of timeline you were working with and why you chose the subject matter.

While it’s not the same as prior experience at an employer, you personal or side projects can showcase your skills just as well. This is especially handy for anyone getting their start straight out of college, but if you’re looking to change career paths this is an effective way to talk about how you’re qualified for a position even if you don’t have the paid experience to back it up!