can I list work for my father on my resume?

A reader writes:

I graduated university back in August last year. Since then, I’ve mainly been filling my time job-hunting and working for my dad since I moved back home.

My question is, would a recruiter look unfavorably on this if I were to list this on my resume? Even moreso since his business’s address and phone number is the same as our home address, and I am not getting paid for this. I am currently back in community college taking classes during the day, but if I don’t list the work I’ve done with my dad, I have a pretty big gap of nothing from August to December, and I can’t imagine that would be good at all.

I think you should list it. You’re doing actual work for him, right? It’s legitimate. If you want to be completely safe, you could add “family business” in parentheses so that no one is taken by surprise later. But you really shouldn’t feel weird about this.

That said, you don’t want to use your dad as a reference. But listing the work is fine.

{ 3 comments… read them below }

  1. Anonymous*

    I'm in the same boat, only unemployed and working with our family business for free. I recently put "pro bono" on my resume along with family business.

    I always kept it off because I just have a feeling that most people don't take working with a family business seriously, or that you get to slack off and not be held accountable for producing outstanding work.

    My mom is a ballbuster. She knows the kind of work I am capable of and accepts nothing less than that or more.

    If you can handle working with family, I think you can pretty much tackle any kind of work environment.

  2. Anonymous*

    I agree. I work for my dad's business and I work harder here than anywhere else because I have lots more to prove. My dad is a very lenient and generous boss but I would hate for people to think I get a free ride. That being said, I wish I could use him as a reference. It is the one downside to working for a family business. If I ever move on he is my immediate boss and would give a glowing review (ok, maybe he's a teeny bit biased…still, its annoying).

    The gap in resume would be much worse. With such high unemployment all around, I think it looks good that you are keeping busy, gaining skills, and taking control.

  3. Faryal Humayun*

    Being honest will always pay off. Leaving gaps in the resume leave a much worse impression on the hiring manager than stating your work. What recruiters want is a million dollar question, though.

Comments are closed.