5 THINGS ENTREPRENEURS SHOULD INCLUDE ON A RESUME TO FIND THEIR NEXT ROLE

Entrepreneurs are driven people who have worn a variety of hats to lead their business to success. Spending that time focusing on growing the business typically means that there was no time to track all of the things you did to make it happen. Entrepreneurs do what needs to be done. Now facing an exit (whether by choice or not), it is time to write a resume to find your next challenge. Here are the 5 things every entrepreneur should include on their resume when they want to find their next challenge quickly:

1. ACHIEVEMENTS

Entrepreneurs are results driven and have a strong work ethic. Make sure to highlight your achievements on the resume in a way that draws the attention of the recruiter or hiring manager. (Check out tips on how to write a resume that beats the ATS). Think about the following when listing achievements on your new resume:

  • Include Numbers. Remove ambiguity by including numbers to help illustrate the size of your accomplishment.
  • Incorporate the problem, your action, and the result. People outside of your business need to understand what you are saying. Remove the technical or industry jargon and focus on how you solved a problem.
  • Relevant. Be ready to change up your achievements so they fit the industry/company where you are applying.
  • Keep it fresh. Focus on recent accomplishments as most recruiters or hiring managers want to know what you can do now – not 10 years ago.

2. VERSATILITY

Small business owners wear many hats to make their business work. This means that entrepreneurs are highly versatile and skilled communicators. This versatility can make them a great catch, but many entrepreneurs struggle to capture all of the things they did to grow the business on their resume. To convey your versatility, consider the following:

  • Functions. Think about the specific departments/areas where you worked and draw these out. This could include human resources, sales, marketing, accounting, or general operations. Entrepreneurs work in all of these areas, but focus on the functions that are most relevant to what you want to do next.
  • Skills. All of the things that entrepreneurs do requires certain substantive, industry, and soft skills. Incorporate these on your resume to illustrate your versatility. Thinking about changing industries? Check out tips on how to write a resume for that career change here.
  • Differentiation. The reader of your resume should immediately know what makes you different from the next person. Think of your summary section as your elevator pitch and use it to sell the reader on how you are different.

3. MANAGEMENT STYLE

Entrepreneurs lead companies of all sizes. Your resume should explain what type of manager you are while illustrating the scope of your management experience. This can mean many different things depending on the specifics of the company you are leaving. Consider the following when communicating your management style:

  • Numbers matter. Incorporate an achievement on your resume specifically identifying the number of direct reports you managed and any indirect reports. Also make sure to include budgets or targets where it helps illustrate your accomplishment.
  • Responsibilities. Where you an individual contributor as well? Or, were you more of a coach that provided training and mentoring to your team?
  • Board of Directors. Did you report to one? Did you have any responsibility in managing the board? This information can be incredibly helpful when trying to land a C-Suite role somewhere else. Definitely include the details of all your board experience – even if that experience was as an adviser for another company or as a volunteer for a non-profit.

4. FOCUS

Wearing many hats can also mean that entrepreneurs do not have a depth of expertise in a specific area. Beat that unfavorable appearance by focusing your resume on what you do best and incorporating details on how you bring a clear vision. To do this, think about the following:

  • Multiple resumes. Many executives have more than one resume to make it easier to highlight different skills to support their wide search. Not sure if you should have more than 1 resume? Read here. 
  • Categorize your achievements. Adding a few strategic headers to your achievements or skills to help group/organize them in a way that easily conveys your skills. This could be words focused on the function (i.e. operations, human resources, accounting, etc.). Or, it could be using headers to break out your exit experience, board experience, or other categories of information that would help to draw attention to your unique message.
  • Illustrate your vision. Include examples of how you defined a vision in your past company/companies and used that vision to align the resources to fit the overall objectives. This will help the reader understand who you are as a leader while also appreciating the fact that you can also keep a handle on the daily details.

5. RELATIONSHIPS

Names matter almost as much as numbers on the entrepreneurs resume. This could be the specific client name or the industry/size of the organization. Including this information on your resume when looking for a job after exiting your company helps the hiring manager to understand who you have worked with. Remember the following when drawing attention to your relationships:

  • Have the right to do so. Your resume is generally a private document (instead of a social media profile), but you still may have signed agreements that prevented disclosure of the client’s name. When in doubt, keep it general (i.e. Fortune 500 Retailer, Regional Developer, National Bank, etc.)
  • Be strategic. Categories of clients can also serve to hit important keywords that the recruiter/ATS may be looking for when reviewing resumes. In that case, the specific names matter less than the nature of the work you were doing before. Make sure to tweak this information to fit the specific job where you are applying.
  • It is different than a reference. A prospective employer could eventually ask to speak with the person at the customer referenced on your resume. More likely, they will simply ask for references. Remember to compile the list of references you will use early on in your search (and let the people know) so it is ready to go when you need it most.

Used to hiring experts or delegating work you don’t enjoy? The Contingent Plan resume writing experts love writing executive resumes and are standing by ready to help. Our resume writing team frequently work with entrepreneurs and can help you prepare a compelling resume to capture your experience. Submit your resume today to get started.

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With years of experience in the job acquisition field, Kathy has delivered exceptional service by providing in-depth knowledge about recruiting qualified employees, and crafting the perfect resume. The Contingent Plan comprises a team of expert recruiters, resume writers, and outplacement experts—all ready to help you! Read Kathy’s blogs, and discover simple tricks and tips to help you land the job of your dreams.