If you’ve owned your own business and now find yourself returning to the workforce, there are certain things you need to do to maximize your odds of landing a great job. Of course, creating a great resume is at or near the top of that list.
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs are uncertain about how to include their entrepreneurial skills within their resume. Sure, you’ve undoubtedly developed and used skills as a business owner that would provide great benefits in any company setting. But how do you convey those skills to an employer without scaring them away? We have the five steps you need to write a good resume after being a business owner or entrepreneur, followed by an example of an ATS-compliant resume.
5 tips on writing a resume after being an entrepreneur
1. Focus on your (selective) achievements
A business owner resume can be tricky, but you can create a truly stellar document by focusing on the things that matter. De-emphasize your role as a founder and owner of your own company and fill your resume with experiences and achievements. After all, hiring managers are less interested in where you’ve come from than in what you did while you were there. Learn as much as you can about the company you want to work for and identify its most pressing concerns. You can then use your resume to describe achievements that addressed similar problems.
For example, is the company having problems with decreased sales? Is it experiencing an unusually high level of turnover? Or is it perhaps confronted with a company culture that is creating a negative atmosphere for employees?
If you had success growing sales at your own company, or proven expertise in team-building, you can highlight examples of those achievements in your business owner resume. The goal is for the employers to recognize that you’re the solution to whatever problems their company is trying to solve.
2. Showcase the valuable lessons learned as a business owner
You can also use your business owner resume to demonstrate your ability to learn and adapt to new situations and challenges. Describe specific problems that you encountered, how you resolved them, and how that impacted your future strategies. While companies are focused on ensuring that employees can follow directions, they also want innovators and people with leadership skills. They need to know that you’re a problem-solver and someone who learns from every experience.
3. Describe your achievements using quantifiable numbers
When you’re describing accomplishments, use hard numbers to demonstrate real value. You want to paint a picture in the reader’s mind, so the hiring managers can easily imagine you adding that sort of value to their company if they hire you. For example:
- Designed and executed customer acquisition strategy that increased daily customers by 20%
- Implemented sales strategy that increased monthly sales by $100,000
- Launched customer appreciation bonus plan that increased client retention by 80% in six months
4. Emphasize teamwork
Your ability to work as part of a team is critical to any company that may want to hire you. Your business owner resume must emphasize teamwork if you want to be seriously considered for any position.
You can do that by discussing projects and strategies in your own company that saw you work with others to achieve common goals. Those efforts may have been in collaboration with clients or your own employees. The important thing is that you convey to the hiring manager that you are a real team player.
5. Highlight how you progressed over time
Obviously, your company didn’t just magically achieve success overnight – if at all. Chances are that you started with limited success and small sales or projects and progressed to larger deals as time went on. As that happened, your own responsibilities and roles almost certainly grew as well.
Your business owner resume should include challenges that you encountered at different stages of your growth. Describe the actions that you took to address those challenges, and the results that those actions achieved. This will showcase your ability to take on more responsibility and greater challenges in any job role.
Bonus: don’t forget to cover the basics
Those five tips can help you focus on the right elements while you create your business owner resume. At the same time, however, it’s important that you cover all the basic elements as well. Make sure that your resume is ATS-compliant, using the right keywords to ensure that it gets past the automated screeners.
Choose a standard resume format, with traditional fonts and formatting, and stay away from flashy graphics. Don’t forget to include a powerful summary statement at the beginning of the document, to capture the hiring manager’s attention right away.
ATS-compliant entrepreneur resume example
The good news is that you can land a great job if you take the time to create a great resume as an entrepreneur or former business owner. By focusing on your skills and achievements, deemphasizing your role as a company owner, and stressing your desire to work with a team once again, you can land more interviews and make the right impression on hiring managers.