I am working as freelance E-commerce consultant and developer, While having a Full time Software Engineer job.

My freelance job and full time job are fundamentally different from technology perspective. Despite the fact that, the job that I am seeking are more related to my Full time job, but I wish to highlight my freelance job in my resume, not only it shows I have a wider technology hand on, but also because I can speak about my skill on communicating and dealing with non-technical people, and playing roles beyond a developer.

My only concerns is that, the hiring manager may not like it, if he/she founds out that I conduct freelance activities while working as a full time engineer for another organisation.

Is my concern valid? How can I address it?

  • @JoeStrazzere, there is no problem with my current company to freelance, thought there shouldn't be any activity related to freelance job during working hours.
    – comxyz
    Dec 4, 2017 at 12:47
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    @comxyz Its a crap shoot as to whether the company will care or not. Why bring freelancing into it all unless you have to?
    – Neo
    Dec 4, 2017 at 12:51
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    How will you convince them that either you wouldn't continue freelancing (or start again soon) or that it wouldn't interfere with your new job duties? That's pretty much your main problem. You might also be asked whether your current employer knows and any answer you give there could potentially paint you as dishonest. Dec 4, 2017 at 13:13
  • What country is this in? Some countries like Germany allow you to also be self-employed at the same time as your full time job, and without a special clause in your work contract they cannot do anything about that as long as you have enough resting time.
    – simbabque
    Dec 5, 2017 at 11:10

4 Answers 4


Is my concern valid? How can I address it?

It is clearly a valid concern.

Many companies don't care what you do in your own time, but some do. You said yourself you have experience with two companies who had different views on freelancing - one where " there is no problem" and one where you "were not allowed to work as a freelancer outside of the organisation".

So if you intend to keep freelancing, then it only makes sense to include a mention of your current freelancing in your resume as a signal to those companies who wouldn't allow it. Clearly, you don't want a job with those companies anyway.

And if you intend to stop freelancing anyway, or would be willing to drop it, then omit the freelancing from your resume. That way you avoid unnecessary worries by the hiring manager.

(I'm assuming here that if a reference check with your current company talks about your freelancing, that they would be fine with it and that they would say that it never took away from your great work at their company.)


Is my concern valid?

Based on my experience, you do indeed have a legitimate concern. There are some companies that do not care about freelancing (what you do on your time), and others will not like it.

How can I address it?

My advice to you is leave freelancing projects off your resume unless you absolutely must have them on your resume to qualify for the position. (to demonstrate proficiency in a specific skill)

This approach allows you to avoid the question "Will this candidate use code written on my dime to make money or share our intellectual property after hours ?"

  • No serious, above-junior. software engineer squeezes in freelance while doing a real full-time role. Just don't make a fuss about it: mention it on your resume without drawing a lot of attention to it. Say your current role is "2016-1018, SQL Architect" It's fine to add: "2016: CSS lead on xyz.com" Just leave it at that.
    – Fattie
    Dec 4, 2017 at 22:42

My only concerns is that, the hiring manager may not like it, if he/she founds out that I conduct freelance activities while working as a full time engineer for another organisation.

Do not include the freelance work in your chronological employment history. Instead, append another section and title it "Personal Projects". Detail each project separately, but do not include any dates or indication of freelance payments or conditions.

Focus on describing what you achieved doing that work. Avoid speaking in terms "for the client" and think in terms of benefits you yielded.

There is huge value in a technical person who can sit down with another human and communicate wants/needs for a project. Try to see how your freelance experience demonstrates you are a nice person and not just technically skilled.

the job that I am seeking are more related to my Full time job, but I wish to highlight my freelance job in my resume

Only include freelance projects that directly relate to the job you are applying for. Exclude others if you know they are not related.

If you are posting this resume on the Internet, and you do not know who will be reading it, then include all your projects, but when you are applying for a specific job filter the content.

Think in terms of risks

The employer is engaged in risk management when hiring a new employee. For them, there are many risks that the new hire will not work out. Try to keep this in mind, and work to actively reassure them there is no risk.

  • You were not freelancing because you were underpaid. You would do the work for free.
  • You did the work for the enjoyment of it, and not because you disliked a day job.
  • If asked, you did freelance when employed and you learned many new things that directly related to your current job. Share an example of that fact.
  • Reassure them that you've never been tired at work. Started each day on time and refreshed.
  • If asked why you did the projects. Explain that you did it to help others and share examples of projects and how they helped change lives. (i.e. a client was struggling to grow his business online, and your work helped relieve that stress and worry).

They are simply afraid of making a hiring mistake and might not directly say it, but they are thinking it. Be proactive and help them see their fears are unfounded.

Ask a friend or coworker to review your resume. Be very specific. Do you see anything here that would be a red flag for a hiring manager?

Often we can't see the negative aspects of our resumes as we're too emotionally connected to it. Remember that it's perspectives and not facts that are important. If in doubt leave it out.

Keep in mind that the job of the resume is to get the interview. It's in the interview that you have a conversation. So no red flags in resumes. Just positive signs that you're a smart, skilled and friendly person.

  • "Detail each project separately, but do not include any dates or indication of freelance payments or conditions" Exactly correct, this is a great answer.
    – Fattie
    Dec 4, 2017 at 22:43

You should address your plans for freelancing in your cover letter. Acknowledge you've been doing it with the permission of your current employer. Also, indicate whether or not you plan on continuing and whether or not you will leave it up to your next employer.

If the type of work done under contract is similar to what you do on your current job, there's no reason to include it in a resume when looking for full-time work. The only reason I could think it is important is if you don't have a lot of experience or you're applying with consulting firms who may be interested in whether or not you can work with different clients.

  • Any programmer that asserts they will be "doing freelance" while taking a full-time role, is simply saying they don't want to do it. You might as well state you're already pregnant while wanting to get married. It's just a total non-starter - instant dismissal.
    – Fattie
    Dec 4, 2017 at 22:44
  • @Fattie - How can one comment have so many out-dated and autocratic ideas? My company has it in the employee handbook that you just need to get permission before doing side-work to make sure there are no conflicts of interest. Of course, if you're a slacker, they'll suggest you focus on your job, but there's no obligation to put in any additional time. If I want to watch TV for two hour after work, that's my business and shouldn't obligate me to work more. My time is my time. Stop working for tyrants.
    – user8365
    Dec 8, 2017 at 15:54
  • hi @JeffO, to clarify I can only say what, seems to be the "business norm" at the moment. in any basic programming job - let us say in the US just to be more precise - paying more than say 100k (current prices), it would be seen as totally inappropriate.
    – Fattie
    Dec 8, 2017 at 16:45

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