3 Tips for an Entrepreneur Resume

Posted October 04, 2013 by
Joe Flanagan

Joe Flanagan

It’s important as a student or entry-level candidate to weigh up all options for your future career. While most will move into a job where they work for somebody else there are minorities of young people who take the chance to work for themselves.

At first thought, you may at first think that an entrepreneur doesn’t need a resume, they work for themselves and they’re need to apply for another 9 – 5 job is way out of the question. The truth is that even graduates who start their own business should possess a resume as a contingency plan if things fall through. You can read about the types of skills an employer looks for on a resume.

For all students considering taking the individual path after college let’s first define the types of resumes an entrepreneur can create. An entrepreneur resume can be defined into three formats. The first is the entrepreneur who has decided to move out of their current line of work into a position where they are not the boss anymore, this may, or may not, be within the same industry.

The second type of entrepreneur resume is that of a career change, this entrepreneur is looking for a role that does not fit in with their previous entrepreneurial experience. This drastic move is the most complex of resumes and requires the most thought.

Finally, there is the unorthodox resume that may be included as part of an investment seeking process for an entrepreneur’s own organization. This type of resume format may be of less importance than the actual business plan or the proposal for seeking investment.

The three main pieces of entrepreneurial resume advice provided here will primarily cover an entrepreneur who is looking for a highly regarded position in a different industry.

1. Mention your key transferable skills as an entrepreneur

You may not be the boss anymore but you should have the knowledge of a boss. One of the great assets of an entrepreneur is the amount of daily hands on experience you will entail. From your own analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) you can use this vital information for the executive position you will probably be applying to.

You only need to lightly outline your competition, the amount of revenue and your strategies for expanding your organization. You can then try and tie in any key skills you acquired in with the job description you are applying to. If you’re unsure of your key skills read these 10 traits employer’s want that will ensure your resume is employer friendly.

Some of the stronger skills will include leadership of a defined amount of workers, negotiation with said workers in addition to stakeholders. As an entry level candidate you may not have any experience of this yet, but if you have just consider that you will possibly be working under other persons now. Can you handle this? I hope so. Mention how you’ve learnt from others in your experience.

Think of the bottom-line both positively though profit growth and saving costs through inevitable budget constraints. If you do this your entrepreneur resume will look great.

2. If your business venture failed, don’t mention it

American Hiring Managers love entrepreneurial failures, don’t they?  Walt Disney and Henry Ford are two prime examples of entrepreneurs who initially failed in their business enterprises only to become financially and influentially very successful indeed.

A failure usually signifies one learned from their lessons and will not make the same mistake twice. It’s called experience, and yes, Hiring managers tend to see favorably on this. However, your resume should be a positive bastion of hope. Save the hindsight and rising phoenix from the ashes talk for your interview. If you did fail, spin it with positive licks; after all, every entrepreneur has a few things they did well.

Define your understanding and the needs of the organization you are applying to. Are they currently downsizing? Mention how you had to downsize too and how you’re able to streamline operations in the face of constraints. If the company is currently in bull times, define how you’re the perfect fit to manage projects in line with the budget, from administration to customer support. You’ve managed a few projects, right?

3. You may be unique, but your resume layout need not be

According to a Babson and Baruch Colleges study 13% of American adults are currently entrepreneurs. You should always know that your ability to take calculated risks in the face of adversity is very admirable in most employers’ eyes and the fact that you are in the minority makes this even more special.

If you had previous experience working for other organizations as well as experience within education you should mention this. You can also include a Summary of Qualifications at the top of your resume with a preview excerpt of whom you are and where you aim to go.

Define those skills that you elaborated on in your Professional Experience section and try to tie in achievements whenever possible. We all know someone who talks the talk but leaves you asking more questions than you need. A Hiring Manager shouldn’t have to ask too many questions, your numbers and figures should emphasize your skills and your work history should be laid out in reverse chronological order.

At the end of it all you should have a resume that you can be proud of whether you hit your entrepreneurial goals or not.

Joe Flanagan is a Senior Resume Advisor at Resume Companion. He enjoys deconstructing myths around resumes and seeks delight in helping others achieve what they deserve in life. In his spare time he’s an avid music connoisseur and when the sun isn’t out, neither is he.

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