While you’re dusting off your resume, consider these tips
for job hunting. Whether you’ve been working for yourself for a few months or
many years, a positive attitude and careful planning will help you find new
Tips for Preparing Your Resume
Highlight your impact. Like any candidate, you need to use your past
to suggest what you can do for the company’s future. Provide specifics about how
you increased quality, saved time, and cut expenses.
Describe relevant experience. You may have been responsible for everything
from answering the telephones to bringing in new clients. Tailor your resume to
match the job description. Hone in on the areas that a hiring manager
will be most interested in, and downplay the remaining details.
Name your business. An official name can make your business sound
more impressive even if your headquarters was your dining room table. Pick
something that conveys your brand.
Gather references. How do you replace the supervisors and
coworkers who usually provide references? List your top clients and any professionals
you collaborate with.
Tips for Networking and Interviewing
Be proactive. Expect that the interviewer will want to know
why you’re considering working for someone else. Put a positive spin on the
situation by volunteering the information up front. You might say that you’re
looking for a fresh challenge or entering a different stage in your life.
Demonstrate flexibility. The interviewer may also have the impression
that you’re used to doing things your own way. Tell stories that show how you
can adapt to changing demands and various work styles.
Focus on teamwork. Another major concern could be how well you’ll
fit into the corporate culture. Do your homework so you can speak convincingly
about why you want to join the specific company you’re interviewing with.
Ask for referrals. Word of mouth is still one of the most
effective ways to find a new position. Ask your clients to keep you in mind if
they have openings or any leads to pass on. You may be surprised at whom your
hairdresser knows or what advice another parent at your child’s school has to
Submit a proposal. As you gain more experience, it may be more
fruitful to create your own position rather than just scanning the want ads for
vacancies. Select a company you’re interested in, and propose your unique
Expand your options. Some hiring managers will be more open to
considering candidates with entrepreneurial backgrounds. If you encounter too
much resistance, move on to a more welcoming climate.
Explore start-ups. Speaking of entrepreneurs, fledgling companies
may speak your language. Seek out the newcomers in your field, and
position yourself to grow along with them.
Think long term. In some cases, being self-employed may increase
the time it takes you to find your next position. Maintain a positive attitude
and surround yourself with supportive friends.
Give yourself credit for having the courage and creativity
to run a business. As you re-enter the corporate world, look for employers who will
appreciate your background and welcome the contribution you can make.