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Resumes for Entrepreneurs

Resumes for Entrepreneurs Seeking Full-time Employment

Entrepreneurs have many skills and qualities that can benefit companies, but recruiters and hiring managers may have a bias against them. For example, they may wonder if these candidates will leave if another entrepreneurial opportunity presents itself. They may also question whether someone who has been his/her own boss is capable of fitting into the corporate culture, taking direction from someone else, performing well in a more rigid environment, or adhering to company rules.

How should entrepreneurs, business owners, and self-employed individuals address this issue on their resumes? Above all, an entrepreneur should present an honest accounting of her professional experience. She should downplay (as much as possible) business ownership while emphasizing entrepreneurial qualities that are relevant to the position. For example, if she was "CEO" and "manager of information systems," she could list the latter role on her resume (if it pertains to the position). She should also focus on responsibilities, skills, and achievements that specifically pertain to the position.

The fact that an applicant owned a business cannot be hidden, but downplaying business ownership may increase the likelihood of getting an interview. Then the applicant can discuss how his/her entrepreneurial background can contribute to the company's long-term success.