Real vs freelance jobs (was Re: [thelist] Job Change Question)

Steve Lewis slewis at
Fri Oct 25 13:57:01 CDT 2002

jon at wrote:
>>   While one of my best works is a portal for which I wrote all the
>>code (backend, frontend) and deal with systems and database manage (all
>>but design), when I talk to employers, they center all their attention in
>>my 'real' works. I cannot give the importance to this portal. They seems
>>only interested in real jobs (start, end, company, what to do in that
Have they heard of the portal?  What sort of traffic does it get?
Unless the portal has a reasonable share of traffic from it's intended
audience and is currently alive, I doubt it will help you much but this
depends alot on how you sell it.

If you can claim that you developed "the premier web portal for
underwater basket weaving resources on the web," that would probably
mean more to an employer than claiming that you developed "a
database-driven web portal."

How about noting that your portal was "featured in slash-dot /
metafilter /" or some other independant resource that has
written about/referenced your portal.

> You need to provide a commercial context for any 'self employed' work.
> Anything done as a personal hobby, eg: your own website, is only useful as
> an example of your work. You can supply copies of the code and design
> documents as examples of your ability to do various things.
> I personally have very little personal stuff that is worth presenting, and
> all of my commercial code is protrected under confidentiality agreements.

I agree: provide a commercial context.

I would suggest that in addition, when advertising my 'freelance' or
'personal' work, I have had more positive feedback during interviews
when I put a business name in and entered my position as

When applying for 'real' jobs as an employee of someone else, there is a
tendancy on the part of those doing the hiring to discount work that was
not done as an employee of someone else.  You could postulate that The
Man wants to see proof that you are a well behaved and obedient cog. :)

Based on my experience and reading, when hiring a freelance
artist/consultant, it pays to convey a long history of, and a
professional attitude about, such work.  Having a business name helps
lend that impression.


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