Did you put your Uber Driving experience on your resume? You probably shouldn’t.
It might seem logical to put your Uber driving experience on your resume; after all, it is an honorable, regulated profession in most markets. There is nothing in it that you need to be ashamed of. But, will it hurt your chances of landing the job you’re applying for?
Unfortunately, it might, but not for the reasons you think. Some people in our society might look down on Uber drivers as some type of illiterate lumpen, and it is tempting to think that is the reason those who make hiring decisions might not want to hire us. While that may be true, more often, that’s usually not the case.
If you are sitting in front of the hiring manager / potential employer, doing an interview and you tell them about your rideshare driving experience, they might actually admire the fact that you’re the type of person who takes responsibility for their life and doesn’t just wait for things to happen to them; and that you actually are the type of person who considers themselves in charge of their own destiny.... and, believe it or not, that is exactly why they will not hire you. Before you dismiss this out-of-hand, let me explain:
When a company is interviewing a prospective employee, they’re looking for more than just someone who can do the job. They’re also looking for someone who will be devoted, heart and soul, to the company. Someone who will even put up with the employer’s bullocks if it comes down to that. They’re looking for someone who will pretty-much be totally dependent on “The Company” for their sustenance and paying their bills. But if they know you are a rideshare driver, or for that matter, you’re a participant in any form of the Gig Economy, they will look at you as someone who always has ‘one foot out the door’. And all you need is a good reason to take your other foot also out the door and be gone, and the hiring process starts anew.
Now in this day and age, you might think that no one takes employee loyalty seriously. We might even contemptuously say: “Employee loyalty? What’s that? Does it taste like chicken? Company man? Oh that was something my Grandfather was back-in-the-day. Please! Nobody does that now.” Oh you would be surprised how corporations and small businesses are still expecting great loyalty from their employees, even if, quite often, they really don’t give their employees any good reason to stay loyal to them.
One member of this esteemed forum related what happened when he applied for a pizza delivery job. He told the prospective employer that he also drives for UberEATS, DoorDash, etc.; but the pizza-shop owner outright refused to hire him, even though our comrade assured the owner that when he’s doing the shop’s work delivering pizzas, his delivery app is off. But it wasn’t enough. Why would that be? Simple: because that employer assumed that our comrade would have “one foot out the door.”
And you have to admit that is technically true. Since driving for Uber or Lyft, or doing any other kind of Gig Economy work, do you find that you put up with nonsense at your real job a lot less than you used to? That’s not coincidental. That’s because you know you have an out that your coworkers who don’t participate in the Gig Economy don’t have. And employers knows it too.
My employer, a school-bus contractor for the city of Toronto, knows that I drive for Uber on the side. They probably don’t like the fact that I’m doing other driving work (which impacts my Hours Of Service [you commercial vehicle drivers know what I’m taking about]). But there is a crushing shortage of school bus drivers, and no one is banging down their office door to apply for this job. That’s why they’re not going to put up resistance to anyone having a side job apart from their own work. And besides, school-bus driving is a part-time job that simply cannot pay anyone’s bills in an expensive place like the Greater Toronto Area.
But other employers that pay considerably better with nicer jobs might not be as forgiving. I sent in a resume for a good paying, bus-driving job at one of the local universities; and I made the mistake of putting my Uber driving experience on it. I even included that I was a highly rated driver with lots of customer experience, and that I’ve been doing it as a sideline for a number of years. Of course I also included my spotless driver’s abstract and the fact that I have a number of years experience driving large school-buses as well. I never heard back from them at all. At first I couldn’t understand why. I had everything they wanted; but, thinking back on it now, they probably saw me as someone with ‘one foot out the door’.
If possible, don’t even let your current employer know that you’re working on the side as a rideshare driver or any other type of Gig Economy self-employment, or even another part-time job on the weekend. True; some employers / hiring managers will admire the work-ethic of anyone who would choose to get in their car and take drunk people home on Saturday night instead being one of those drunk people themselves or simply staying home and watching the telly. And to be honest, rideshare driving really does require a good work ethic to be able to last in it. But unfortunately, not all employment decision makers think that way; and you simply don’t know the attitude of the person making the hiring decision when your resume lands on their desk. If you can, simply leave it out.
There’s also another thing to keep in mind. Allot of the people in HR at the bigger companies, especially the men, are beta personality types. To do any kind of livery work, you have to have a dominant, alpha or sigma personality. The ladies who also do this type of work have a dominant personality too. And beta types always feel intimidated by alpha personalities. You’ve probably observed this when a male, corporate type rides with you in your car.
In the interest of fairness, I did message a few people on LinkedIn who listed their profession as Human Resources executives; and out of all the messages I sent, only three got back to me. Those three persons indicated that being an Uber driver would be neither here nor there to them, which I have to admit is a pleasant surprise. But then, there’s the majority who did not reply to me. I have nothing to indicate what they think and, for them, I would just assume the worst attitude.
But what if you’re a full-time driver and you simply can’t explain away that period in your resume? In that case, do not put “to present” if you must include it. Put an end date of at least a few months ago. If they ask you about it, downplay it as much as possible and make sure you give the impression that diminishing earnings and rising vehicle maintenance costs had made it become a waste of time and that you’ve moved on. And let’s be honest, comrades: rideshare driving really is starting to become a waste of time these days.
No one should ever feel ashamed of doing an honest job; and in a perfect world, you should feel proud to put any type of decent work you’ve done down on your resume with pride. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world; and there are stuck-up people out there who wouldn’t know an honest, decent job if it came up and gave them a good smack in the face. And even in this day of precarious employment and Millennials who refuse to stay in a job more than two or three years if they are not moving up, there are still employer’s out there who for some reason, think you should devote your entire life and being to their bottom line regardless of the pittance they pay. They live among us.
Uber on, comrades; Uber on.