Your resume is your chance to make a great first impression and stand out from the competition. But if you run your own business as your main gig or even just as a side hostel, it can be hard to describe in your resume.
You want to make it as attractive as possible for future opportunities but you don’t want to be too proud. So, how can you be sure that your small business or side hostel is shining in your resume? See our top tips below.
You will be able to catch the eyes of potential employers and show them that you are not just another applicant – you are an entrepreneur with real-world experience and expertise. And it will set you apart from everyone else.
1. Emphasize your accomplishments over your responsibilities
For starters, when writing bullet points for your entrepreneurial experience in your resume, you want to focus on your specific accomplishments rather than your daily responsibilities. This will show future employers that you can create results-oriented and realistic results, two things that any employer will look for decision makers wherever you are applying.
Remember, your resume is not just a description of what you do every day – it’s a job description! It’s about proving that you’re done and that you can do it again for another chance. It’s your chance to sell yourself, so make sure you’re highlighting your successes in the best light, instead of phrasing things like job postings.
Take the time to think about what you have achieved while running your small business or side hostel and make sure to put those accomplishments at the front and center of your resume. Your bullet point should follow the following formula:
- Active verb
- Contributions and skills used
- The result
- Add contributions / results metrics
An example of this is: “New social media strategy implemented, Instagram followers increased by 25% in 3 months”
- Implemented: This active action shows that you were responsible for something and had control over the outcome.
- Extended: It shows that you have made an impact and improved on something.
- Instagram Follower: This is the specific result or result you have achieved.
- 25%: This is a metric that determines the amount of your results.
Using this formula, you can be sure to write strong and influential bullet points that will attract the attention of future employers.
2. Include what is relevant to the opportunity you are applying for
As a small business owner, you definitely wear a lot of hats. And while your experiences may be impressive, they do not need to be included in your resume in detail. When applying for a job, always create your resume for the specific opportunity you are applying for.
This means that you focus your professional experience and summary sections on the skills and experience that are most relevant to the role you are interested in. First, go through the job description and look for key skills and requirements. Then, using the specificities outlined in Step # 1, make sure you include examples of how you used those same skills in your own business.
Topics to look for in a job description include any “must” or required qualifications, as well as preferred qualifications / skills – specific skills, level of experience, education or credentials. Take the time to understand and consolidate even those soft skills and company values as much as you can. You want to show that you are fit for the opportunity, which means highlighting things that set you apart as a match.
Taking the time to customize your resume for each job you apply for can seem like a lot of work. But it’s worth it. You’ll hear back from more employers because you’ll quickly show that you have what they’re looking for, with dozens or hundreds of other applicants who don’t take tailors.
3. Focus on transferable skills
Another thing you want to keep in mind when writing your resume is that not all of the skills you need for the job will seem directly apparent in your entrepreneurial experience. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have them or shouldn’t include them!
You can still highlight any of your transferable skills in your resume – and should. These are skills that you have acquired from running your business that may not seem obvious but can be applied to the role of your interest.
Transferable skills can be both hard skills (e.g., programming, invoicing and other technical skills) and soft skills (e.g., teamwork, communication, leadership). Remember, employers are looking for good round candidates with different types of skills, especially since it is difficult to teach transferable soft skills.
Some examples of transferable skills that you might be able to emphasize from your small business:
- Team management
- Inventory management
- Conflict resolution
- Customer service
- Talk – talk
You’ve probably used all of these skills (and more!) In some capacity while building your business.
Highlight them at relevant points throughout your resume, including the summary section, the skills section, the professional experience section, and even the volunteer section if you have one. Be sure to not only name these skills, but also give examples of how you have used them in your career journey.
4. Save your cover letter, networking and discussions about the future of the business for interviews
When applying for a job, it is important to focus on the present. This means that while you may be too proud of your small business or side rush, this is not the time to talk at length about future plans or potential growth because it takes up valuable space in a resume.
Sometimes, you may think that there may be a conflict and the employer wants to know if you will continue your business if you take the job. However, it is not necessary to mention this in your resume yet – it is something that can be easily discussed during the interview process if necessary. In some cases, if you are really worried, you can say that there will be no conflict in your cover letter.
In short, save the discussion about the future of the business while you have more time to talk about it in detail.
Time to get written!
Now that you know what to include (and what not to include) in a winning resume, it’s time to write! Keep these tips in mind as you create your resume, and the impressive accomplishments from your small business or side rush will surely bring you that new opportunity.