Most of my experience is from my online freelance work. However, as I started when I was 16, I had to use a fake name on a freelance site and and ask users to pay me through PayPal (I couldn't take money out of the site otherwise).

Most of my work was done during this time. It would greatly benefit my resume. Should I include it?

  • 1
    What, exactly, do you mean by "done under another name"? Are you stating that you adopted a pseudonym on a freelance site and worked as that pseudonym? Or are you stating that another developer had an account on the site and you did some of the work on the projects that he won (or all of the work on some of the projects) as a subcontractor? Or are you stating that you worked under a (possibly fictitious) company name? Does someone on any of these projects know you as you? Aug 30, 2012 at 17:39
  • 2
    I dont know... having an already established, vetted alternate identity might be more valuable to you in the long run. You never know when you'll need to skip town and vanish. Er, so I'm told. Aug 30, 2012 at 17:58
  • By 'done under another name' I mean I signed up under a fake name.
    – Brandon
    Aug 30, 2012 at 18:28
  • Does this work mention a sizable portion of your prior work experience?
    – Freiheit
    Aug 30, 2012 at 20:20
  • 3
    If you do include it, make sure to connect the dots for the reader: "writing as" or "(name) (pseudonym)" are ways to do that. Don't just leave the reader wondering who the heck John Doe is and why Brandon Whoever is mentioning him on his resume. Aug 30, 2012 at 21:29

4 Answers 4


Was it for legal reasons (i.e. you can't be a freelancer if you're under the age of 18)?

If yes, avoid mentioning this work. It will harm you much more to mention in your CV that you did something illegal and than you don't pay your taxes, even if you don't do it any longer.

Professional experience is, as it says, your professional experience (note that professional experience doesn't always have to be positive). If you're a freelancer, it contains what you've done for real customers, and should avoid illegal or embarrassing activities.

  • If you did a porn website, don't mention it, even if it's technically outstanding. Even if it's legal to create one in many countries, such a project may be perceived dirty or embarrassing by other people.

  • If you hacked CIA server, don't mention it, either (unless you're hired as a hacker or you really want to have problems with the FBI).

  • If you found a way to have an internet access without paying anything, it may show your hacker skills, but doesn't have to be on your CV.

  • 3
    This answer would be perfect if it stated when/how to include work under a pseudonym. This exact situation is probably a case where you wouldn't want to list it, but others finding the question might not fall into one of these categories
    – Rarity
    Aug 30, 2012 at 21:32
  • 5
    I would so hire a person with those 3 things on their resume.
    – MrFox
    Sep 13, 2012 at 17:12

In the case you mention, I would not bring up experience under another name. What you did was fraudulent and thus not something you want a potential employer to know about.

In another situation (say a woman who changed her name with a marriage or divorce or a transgender person), if you need them to know the work was under a different name becasue that is the name your references would know you as, I would not address this in the resume at all but in the cover letter. You could use language such as

My references from CompanyXYZ would know me under my previous name of Mary Smith.

or (the transgendered who had a different name might need a longer explanation)

In May 2010, I underwent a change of gender. My work history until that date was under the name of John Smith and that is the name my references from that time will know me by.


Can someone google you under that fake name?

If no: don't include it, would make no sense.

If yes: are you sure that you want to be found under that name by someone reading your resume? If the answer is yes, include it.


Working as a freelance under pseudonym isn't illegal (it might be in your country if you are underage) and so you can tell about it.

If however, your work was illegal in any way (working without your parent's authorization, without being declared, without paying taxes if you have to) then just don't, or say you did it as a hobby work without earning money (if it is possible).

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