While a lot of people who are unemployed are giving up the job search to start a business, some entrepreneurs are throwing in the towel and looking for a job. Some business owners have always worked for themselves and never had the need for a resume. A business owner does just about everything a CEO, managing director or senior manager does. She also does the marketing, accounting, hiring and administrative work, and cleans the office. Putting together a first resume after running a business can be a mind-boggling task. Where to start?
1. Functional Resume. With only one job (your business) there is no chronology to your work history. A functional resume, which groups categories of skills together, will best show how your skills and work experience fit the position.
2. Using a spreadsheet or a legal pad, make column headings, such as “Management, Accounting, Human Resources, Design, Marketing, IT, Customer Service,” or general headings for skills or experience that you have from your business. Under each heading, write what you did and what types of software, systems or websites you used to do the job. For example, if you handled the accounting, did you put information together once a month for your accountant, or did you set up the company finances in QuickBooks, produce monthly reports, balance sheets, etc., and reconcile all the bank statements? Add new columns as you think of other categories.
3. Let the spreadsheet rest for a couple of days. This will give your brain a time to recuperate. Pick it up again and fill in the holes. You’ll probably think of some major skills or experience you forgot.
4. Examine the list, and determine where your greatest strengths lie. What areas are most marketable? What jobs would you be most qualified for?
5. What job are you applying for? Resumes should be customized to fit the position. The resume will have a different focus if you are applying for a management, administrative or professional position. If you have a wide variety of experience and skills, you may find a greater number of opportunities.
6. What is your passion? You may be a ringer for a senior accounting position, but if you hated that part of the business, why make yourself miserable working for someone else? What would you do even if no one paid you? What do you really enjoy? Try to match your passion with your job skills.
Once you’ve gone through this process, you’re ready to start writing a customized resume for targeted positions requiring your talents and experience. If the job still seems too daunting, hire a professional. You’ve already done the preliminary work, and soon you’ll have a solid resume to start sending to prospective employers.
What is the most difficult part of writing a resume? Share your struggles in the Comments section below.