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I graduated a year ago, worked for a year for my dad's company because the plan was for me to take over. I do not want to do this anymore, and would now like to start as a freelancer. I am worried about my resume though. Will I have to mention the employment at my dads company? Can I just say that I had been freelancing all this time? How could I avoid mentioning the name of the company?

PS: The name of my dad's company and my surname give it away, that this was my dads company. PS2: I really would like to not tell anyone and hide that I worked there, but I don't know how.

Edit: I am a software engineer.

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Employer Perspective

As a former hiring manager, reading a resume isn't about the positions held. I could care less about where you worked. It's about inferring a work ethic and ability to expand. If you grew in skills in an unrelated field, it's relevant to express growth. If you did something in a related field, how can I apply that to my need? Some things I would look for when reading a resume:

  • Has this candidate used the skills I'm looking for?
  • Has the individual in question been actively engaged in professional development?
  • What is the growth rate of relevant skills?
  • Is there an explanation for why the skills haven't grown at a rate I would expect?
  • Given the previous questions, can I reasonably expect to train the candidate in the skills I need in a timely manner?

An employer-employee relationship often takes on the burden of training and professional development. You are looking to prove that you are worth their investment of time and money.

Client Perspective

When hiring freelancers I look for similar things:

  • Does the contractor have a history of my task?
  • Is there evidence of strong understanding in the area that I need assistance?
  • How has the contractor solved problems similar to the problems solved by my task?

In a client-contractor relationship the expectation is that you can carry out the task at hand with little burden on the client. You want to highlight projects that are similar to the task being contracted. Primarily those that have been successful, but failed projects are acceptable as well if you can turn them in to lessons learned.

Contractor Perspective

As a freelancer, you can't afford to lose jobs due to inexperience.

Starting as a freelancer, you should use your resume as chronological reference to build your portfolio. In each past work experience, what have you done that can be applied to the type of work you are pursuing? Everything else is irrelevant.

You are responsible for sales and marketing of yourself. Why should they hire you? What makes you stand out?

I often take a client proposal and respond with a statement of work (SOW). With each skill expressed in my SOW, I look for at least one past project that highlights my capability of accomplishing the task.

Summary

If hiding previous work experience makes you unable to provide evidence that you are capable, then you can't afford to. If you can highlight your capability without it, then you can hide whatever you choose.

Stating that you've been freelancing for a period of time that you have nothing to show for will most likely have a negative impact. Leading to the assumption that you aren't very successful/efficient.

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Freelancing isn't about "resumes" it's about practical work history.. if you have work history, you don't really need any resume.

I, personally, haven't needed a "resume" in over a decade... Just a list of previous clients and possibly some testimonials, work samples, and client reference... more of a marketing sales promotion than a "resume" in the traditional sense. There's often little or no need to detail time frames, contact information, responsibilities, etc like a resume entails.

I guess it depends upon your area of freelance, which you don't explain at all.

  • thanks for your answer. I edited my question, as to say that I am freelancing in the area of software engineering & webdesign. – userjmillohara Dec 26 '17 at 16:22
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If you did something that is relevant for the kind of freelancing you are looking for in this company, you very very well mention it with the name explicitly stated as confidential, or simply omitted.

If this is irrelevant experience, why to mention it ?

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