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How to Include Entrepreneur Experience on a Resume

by Lisa McQuerrey

Being an entrepreneur can expose you to a variety of business experiences not learned in the typical workplace. If you've been self-employed at any point in your career, include this valuable experience on your resume. Be prepared to address the issue in a cover letter as well, and to answer questions from potential employers about whether you plan to continue freelancing if you accept a full-time position.

Chronological Inclusion

If you're writing a traditional chronological resume that lists your employment experience, starting with the most recent and progressing backward, include entrepreneurial experience as you would any other job. Write the name of the employer as a heading, and where you would traditionally list your position, note your independent contractor status. For example, “ABC Company -- consultant” or “ABC Company -- freelance writer.” Follow with a brief description of your responsibilities.

Separate Category

If you have multiple entrepreneurial endeavors to your credit, create a separate category for them under the work experience heading of your resume. Title the category, “self-employment” or “entrepreneurial activity.” List each project or undertaking by name and include a brief description. For example, “independent marketing consultant -- handled advertising collateral and marketing materials for numerous mid-sized marketing firms in the tri-state area.”

Small Business Ownership

If you owned and operated a small business or partnership, make note of this as a separate entry on your resume. Provide an overview of the company and its clientele and detail your responsibilities as an owner or co-owner. For example, “owned and operated a full-service marketing firm that handled corporate communications, public relations, promotional materials and marketing campaigns.”

Questions to Expect

A potential employer may see your entrepreneurial history as a pro or a con. For example, if you're applying for a high-level management position, an employer will appreciate seeing you have business management experience. If you're seeking an entry-level position that reports to a higher authority, an employer might be concerned you won't be comfortable taking orders from someone after being your own boss.

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