Is it appropriate to list an "extracurricular" business (selling crafty stuff on eBay or Etsy for example) on CVs, LinkedIn etc if they are unrelated to my "career" activities ? Lets say I'm a Embedded Widget Programmer by day and sell Customised Cat Car Decals by night?

If my current company doesn't know about this would it change the situation?

Edited to add: an extracurricular business is run just by myself and shows more of the whole "spectrum" of business I.e. planning, buying, sales, admin, accounting, customer service.......than a specialised role as Widget Wrangler does. I don't get involved with buying, budgets, accounting etc at WidgetCo as they have dedicated people for that. edit2: Do employers only want the people who fit narrowly to the printed requirements..?

  • 1
    Related: Looking for a new job with a side business
    – David K
    Dec 4 '15 at 17:09
  • I certainly wouldn't list eBay as a side business; it's just a sales process. If you were making something like jewelry and selling if through eBay, and design skills were part of the job you were interesting for, maybe.
    – keshlam
    Dec 4 '15 at 19:10

If it doesn't relate to the job you are doing, leave it out. However, if you feel it may upset your employer then I would mention it passing - over lunch , to see how they feel about it. In bigger firms, there are legal requirements so you may very well need to divulge it

  • Can you elaborate on legal reqs of larger firms?
    – user43744
    Dec 4 '15 at 17:14
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    @user43744 It's not particular to a larger firm and from what I know it's not a legal requirement. Most places ask that you notify them if you are working in competition to them. For example if you work at a cake factory and on the side you have your own cake business then you'll want to disclose that. Most of the time they don't care if you do eBay as a side business unless it takes a bulk of your time or you are using company secrets to sell items.
    – Dan
    Dec 4 '15 at 17:47
  • Of course I wouldn't set myself up as a Widget Wrangling Consultant while working for that company. It's a completely independent assignment
    – user43744
    Dec 4 '15 at 18:07
  • Over lunch? I have never had lunch during an interview process. Dec 4 '15 at 18:35
  • @MartinSmith - Well, assuming that he's selling homemade soap on eTsy and just wants to let boss know. Then after getting hired he can drop a "so on the side, I make soap and sell it on Etsy. Makes me some coffee money"... Dec 4 '15 at 18:36

If you should list it on your resume depends on which skills, if any, transfer from the extracurricular activity to the position you're applying for. Crafts and e-retailing are not things that I would list as a programmer. If you made/customised your own store platform and are applying for a web development position and the site speaks to the quality of your work then I'd list it.

When and how a particular activity meets the bar for inclusion is highly dependent on the context and your level of experience.

On LinkedIn I'd include this kind of activity under interests. Please don't list yourself as the CEO/Owner of your own business unless it's a significant source of income rather than a hobby.

If my current company doesn't know about this would it change the situation?

Depends on your contract. Some no-compete clauses rule out all commercial activity and that could become an issue. That kind of question is largely off-topic on this site, you'd have to check your contract or company policy and potentially discuss it with a laywer. In most industries you could just ask your manager or HR instead if you think it's a problem. Only dysfunctional companies will object to employees running an online crafts store as a hobby.

  • Regarding non-compete clauses: I checked the contract and employee rules etc and am informed that: (paraphrase) if you intend to engage in activities with a potential conflict of interest with WidgetCo you must inform HR. You must not compete with WidgetCo
    – user43744
    Dec 4 '15 at 17:04
  • @user43744 Sounds fairly standard and reasonable. Shoot over a quick mail to HR if you're at all worried, but they'll most likely say that it's really no big deal.
    – Lilienthal
    Dec 4 '15 at 17:06
  • Should I do it verbally (I have a "tame" HR person I could bring it up while chatting) or formally?
    – user43744
    Dec 4 '15 at 17:16
  • It's fine to just ask him directly. You can do it via mail if you want a paper trail but if you ask me you're overthinking this quite a bit.
    – Lilienthal
    Dec 4 '15 at 17:23

When I recruit I always look for what extra-curricular activities people have on their CV. It helps me get a view on wider aspects of their activities and their interests.

I far prefer to hire people who can do a lot of things at once, and evidence of success from other jobs, volunteer roles etc is a big plus from me.

If your other job directly conflicted, then I'd also want to know about it as that wouldn't be good to suddenly discover later on after I'd hired you!


It is really simple. Leave it out.

  1. Who cares?

  2. It makes me think you aren't giving work 100%.

  3. It makes me think you don't think you earn enough with your job and will looking to make extra money in different areas.

Moonlighting is a tricky business. It is really tricky when it is stuff like ebay and etsy. I have had workers use both and this always spilled into 9-5.

  • Can you give some example of 'spilling into 9-5'? Responding to ebay mails in work time for example?
    – user43744
    Dec 4 '15 at 18:41
  • @user43744, I think what he means about it "spilling into 9-5" is that sometimes people get so invested into their side business that it ends up affecting their "day job", so they start doing their side job at work, etc.
    – New-To-IT
    Dec 4 '15 at 21:51

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