Summary: Learn whether or not your entrepreneurial experience will complement your resume.
Question: I’m a junior majoring in finance and international studies at Indiana University. I’ve heard about the importance of internships, but is experience owning and operating a small business also appealing to employers? I’ve operated an asphalt maintenance and repair company for the past four years. Will my lack of experience in a corporate setting make me less appealing to prospective employers?
Answer: Your experience operating your own business and your participation in a study-abroad program nicely complement your major of finance and international studies and should produce a marketable combination. While corporate experience is desirable, operating a small business offers you insight that isn’t always accessible in a more traditional internship. You have experienced profit-and-loss responsibility and know all about both big-picture concerns and all of the details that go into making a business work on a day-to-day basis.
Read up on organizational development issues, and think about how your experience and flexibility will enrich the corporate environment. Try creating a functional skills section on your resume, briefly highlighting your accomplishments in core business areas. A graduating senior with first-hand experience in budgeting, marketing, operations and customer service should attract progressive employers, particularly those with an entrepreneurial bent.
See The Successful Entrepreneur’s 10 Daily Habits for more information.Can You Use Entrepreneurial Drive to Land a Great Position? by Andrew Ostler