Resume Strategies for Business Owners Returning to Employment
The first example business owner resume shown here was written for an entrepreneurial former business owner client. This resume illustrates a technique entrepreneurs can use to return to traditional employment. This person had worked for himself for over a decade but was selling his business and wanted to land a new job in sales.
When you write your business owner resume it is crucial to know your audience and then frame your experience in ways that will show how you are the best person for the job.
Entrepreneurs and business owners often have a tough time because the potential employer will be concerned that they are too independent to return to employment, often overqualified, and they also may worry that the entrepreneur is just passing the time until the next good business opportunity.
In this example resume for a former business owner, we chose to emphasize all the aspects of the person’s experience relevant to sales and business development-related positions and de-emphasize all the aspects that have to do with high-level business management.
Resume Strategies for Founder CEOs Seeking C-Suite Employment
The second example business owner resume is a very different situation. This CEO founder had held entrepreneurial roles, building multimillion-dollar businesses from the beginning of his career. He had never held a traditional job as an employee.
Now, he wanted to explore senior leadership positions as a CEO, COO, or SVP for a growing, established company. This resume was written to call attention to his high-level executive leadership and position him as a leader capable of growing both start-up companies as well as managing large corporate organizations. The goal was to show him as a leader capable of stepping in and profitably managing any operation.
Note that this example resume is designed using the flexible executive resume template available for purchase through Distinctive Resume Templates.
More Tips for Writing a Business Owner Resume
1. Start with a Strong Summary:
- Leadership: As a business owner, you’ve led teams, made decisions, and steered the direction of your company.
- Problem-solving: Owning a business comes with its set of challenges. Highlight instances where you’ve overcome obstacles.
- Project Management: Discuss projects you’ve managed from inception to completion.
- Financial Acumen: Detail your experience with budgeting, financial forecasting, and profit and loss management.
3. Detail Your Business Experience:
- Instead of just listing your title as “Owner” or “CEO”, delve into the specifics of what you did.
- Highlight any processes you improved, teams you built, or significant growth milestones achieved.
4. Tailor Your Business Owner Resume for the Role:
- While your entrepreneurial experience is valuable, ensure your resume speaks to the specific job you’re applying for.
- Customize your resume and remove any jargon or industry-specific terms that might not be relevant.
5. Highlight Relevant Soft Skills:
- Adaptability: Owning a business requires wearing many hats. Emphasize your ability to adapt to different roles and situations.
- Negotiation: Discuss deals or partnerships you’ve brokered.
- Networking: Mention relationships you’ve built in the industry and how they could be beneficial to a potential employer.
6. Include Relevant Certifications and Training:
- If you’ve taken courses or earned certifications while running your business, list them. They can show continuous learning and expertise in specific areas.
7. Address Potential Concerns:
8. Showcase Achievements with Metrics:
- Instead of just stating you increased sales, mention by what percentage or amount.
- Use quantifiable data in your resume to show growth, efficiency improvements, or cost savings you’ve achieved.
9. Keep it Professional:
In conclusion, as a business owner transitioning to traditional employment, your diverse skill set is a strength. Tailor your resume to highlight the most relevant experiences and skills, and approach the job search with confidence. Remember, your entrepreneurial journey provides a unique perspective that can be invaluable in many traditional roles.