Here’s the scenario for quite a number of executive resume clients who come to me. They’ve built up a successful entrepreneurial venture to the point that their involvement isn’t required any longer because others are running it smoothly or they were able to sell the company.
Similarly, some entrepreneurs are failing and they’ve decided to cut their losses and move on to a corporate leadership role.
All these business leaders are looking for their next career challenge, but fear that being a business owner will be a detriment in executive job search.
They may be right. Some employers hesitate hiring entrepreneurs assuming they will still be pulled by their own company and not fully engaged as a corporate employee. They can’t afford to hire a bad risk.
But, as an entrepreneur, you may be just what many corporations are looking for. You’ve worn many hats building a business, so you probably offer your next employer a wide range of expertise in many areas of business and operations management. Your promise of value is immense.
Here’s how I deal with this executive resume roadblock. Consider using this tactic so you won’t be dismissed in initial review or overlooked as a viable candidate, before you have the chance to dispel their concerns.
To avoid red-flagging of your resume, don’t use the title “Founder” or “Owner” for your company, or anything indicating ownership.
Instead, call yourself the “President” and/or “CEO”, if you can legitimately claim either or both of those roles. They convey leadership, but not ownership.
You can expect to talk about your company in interviews. Be prepared with a concise and truthful answer about your current and expected future involvement with your own (or former) company. Allay their concerns about your dedication to your new career opportunity.
For comprehensive strategic executive resume writing advice, take a look at my in depth series: