Who needs a resume when you’re self-employed? The simple answer is that you do – and you need to grow it with your small business. Why? Two main reasons that benefit your small business include:

  1. Vendors and customers want to know that they are dealing with an experienced and capable leader. Your resume – which is a detailed foundation for your short bio or Curriculum Vitae – provides evidence for your experience and capabilities.
  2. Keeping a record of your small business achievements helps inform your marketing efforts and gives you solid evidence to back up your sales claims.

Focus on action and results!

You are the best one to keep a record of your small business achievements. Think of your performance every six months, and write down the benchmarks as if you were preparing a real resume. Consider the resumes that most appeal to you as an employer.

I prefer to see a one-page resume, two at the most. I want to see a list of titles and bullets that match the needs I have identified and put into my search. I don’t need or want flowery or rambling discourse on life’s objectives and dreams. The best candidate is the one who can make the match, and demonstrate how actions correspond to results.

  • List bullets beginning with action words, such as, negotiated, brokered, contracted, hired, budgeted, and so on.
  • Wherever possible, quantify the action. List the number of contracts or the dollars budgeted. Use whole numbers, percentages, currency, and the like.

In short, the small business owner needs to be his/her own record keeper. If nothing else, this is therapeutic; it just makes you feel better. But, it also remains a record of achievement that may be meaningful down the road to clients, vendors, employees, and other potential partners. It will reflect your sweat equity, the building of your business and confidence, the shaping of your personal and business identity.


by Steven Schlagel