Lets say I am working on technology x in my current company.I want to work for a company working in technology y. I am really passionate about technology y.In order to get a job at this new company,I did some projects in technology y in my spare time. So should I include these independent projects before my professional projects? The new organization likes to hire employees with some experience in their technology.Thats why I am confused on the ordering of my projects?

EDIT: By independent projects I meant projects that I did in my free time(Not for any customer or company).

EDIT2: My independent project is not a small project.Its a large project that took 6 months to complete.I followed a very famous book to complete that project.The book ends with a finished project.The thing is, lets say I developed mobile phones and that company I am applying for develops robots.So I followed this famous book to learn this technology and made a similar robot in 6 months.Ofcourse, their robot would be much more advance than mine as they have been working on it for years.But I created a robot with very basic features ,in order to learn this technology.So is'nt this project more important than my industry work? I am sure my industry work is of no use to them as there is a large difference between the two technologies.

EDIT3: What if that independent project resulted in a publication?


3 Answers 3


This sounds like a perfect opportunity for a well-written cover letter.

Rather than worrying about what to put first in your resume, put what you think is important in the cover letter.

Dear Employer,

I am a huge fan of dinosaur cloning. The only time I put down my dinosaur toys is to look at what your company is up to. It has been my dream to work at InGen, which is why I am applying for a job as egg-sitter at your company.

I think I would be a tremendous addition to your company because in addition to my professional experience, I spent the last 6 months re-sequencing apatosaurus DNA taken from an amber pendant with a mosquito trapped in it my mother had, and cloning it in my bathtub.

I have attached my resume with more details on my employment history and education for your review. I look forward to hearing from you.


Ian Malcolm

Obviously take it a bit more serious than the above, but if you think your personal project is the reason that you're a good fit, sell it in the cover letter! If it's a good selling point, then they will be sure to read the information on it in your resume more closely (regardless of the order).

  • just one last thing.What if that project results in a research publication?
    – zzzzz
    Commented May 17, 2013 at 13:52
  • Add it to the cover letter.
    – jmac
    Commented May 17, 2013 at 17:24

So should I include these independent projects before my professional projects?

Many people use reverse-chronological order on their resume. That highlights the most recent work - which is what interviewers tend to consider the most relevant. You could use this traditional format, but highlight your experience in the relevant technologies in a "Summary of Relevant Skills" section.

You could also choose to break from the traditional and organize your resume functionally, in order to highlight the specific technologies that you believe are most relevant for this potential employer.

This might help: http://www.ivyleagueadmission.com/organization.html

Be careful here. I'm not sure what you mean by "independent project", but many interviewers will discount your non-professional work as less relevant to them. Work done to further a company's goals, perhaps under time and budget deadline, is often considered more relevant than side projects done for fun or self-education.

If you have published something, and this publication involves your independent project, you can easily reference this in your resume, perhaps in a "Publications" section. Of course, you can expand on that in your cover letter when this publication and independent project are particularly relevant for one potential employer.

Good luck!

  • What if the non-professional work was more relevant to that job than my industry work? I know what technology they work in.I made a large project (6 months) that is very relevant to their field of work.
    – zzzzz
    Commented May 14, 2013 at 5:59
  • Its almost like a replica of their main product.
    – zzzzz
    Commented May 14, 2013 at 6:19
  • what if that project resulted in a research publication?
    – zzzzz
    Commented May 17, 2013 at 13:51
  • 2
    @workerboy, in industry people are really fairly unconcerned about academic publication.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 18:09

Do not include the projects that pertain to Y before your actual job-related projects about X. It doesn't matter if you made money from your projects on Y. You were employed by your company to work on X, and that is what you should display first.

Even if you do display the Y projects first, the interviewer will ask you, "Were these projects what you did at work?" You can't lie because it will be easily discovered, not to mention dishonest. So then what is the point of putting the Y projects first? It will only get in the way for the interviewer, who will say, "What did you do at work?"

Definitely include your project work on Y, especially if it were compensated. Even there you need to be a little careful, as you don't want to give the impression that you do a lot of moonlighting. But it is very helpful to include the Y related projects, as long as you actually accomplished something and can use them to demonstrate some familiarity with Y. Make sure that they appear after your current experience, and just before, or after, your education, depending on how much emphasis you want to give to that.

  • The y projects are not small projects.Its one large project that took me 6 months to complete and I did it just to learn technology y as I am very passionate about it.I followed a book to complete that project and its very similar(about 80 %) to the new company's work.
    – zzzzz
    Commented May 14, 2013 at 6:15

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