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Should I include a second job on my resume if its unrelated to my career?

Dear Deb,

I have moonlighted for five years at a local restaurant.  It has never affected my day job.  Without the extra income, I could not get by.   Now I am interviewing and my friends tell me that I should not put the restaurant night job on my résumé.  Is that true?   What do I say in an interview?  What if they see that employment when they research me? 

Bethany M., New York, NY

Dear Bethany,

There is nothing wrong with working a second job to supplement your income.  As you progress in your career and your earnings from your primary job increase, you can drop the second job.  You are not required to show it on your résumé.  However, when you complete a job application, you will need to show all the jobs you have held for the time period the application requests.  During the interview, you can easily handle that question.  You could say something like, “I am saving to purchase my first home and the nighttime job has enabled me to save a significant amount each month.  It has never interfered with my career.”  If you are willing to drop the night job when you gain the new job with the higher salary, you could also indicate that in the interview. 


If you have a question for Deb, please email [email protected]. The Ask Deb column appears every Friday on our blog at the Careers Done Write website.  

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Dear Deb,

I have moonlighted for five years at a local restaurant.  It has never affected my day job.  Without the extra income, I could not get by.   Now I am interviewing and my friends tell me that I should not put the restaurant night job on my résumé.  Is that true?   What do I say in an interview?  What if they see that employment when they research me? 

Bethany M., New York, NY

Dear Bethany,

There is nothing wrong with working a second job to supplement your income.  As you progress in your career and your earnings from your primary job increase, you can drop the second job.  You are not required to show it on your résumé.  However, when you complete a job application, you will need to show all the jobs you have held for the time period the application requests.  During the interview, you can easily handle that question.  You could say something like, “I am saving to purchase my first home and the nighttime job has enabled me to save a significant amount each month.  It has never interfered with my career.”  If you are willing to drop the night job when you gain the new job with the higher salary, you could also indicate that in the interview. 


If you have a question for Deb, please email [email protected]. The Ask Deb column appears every Friday on our blog at the Careers Done Write website.  

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