How to Incorporate the Experience From a Home Business on a Resume

You can portray home-based businesses in a professional light on your resume.
You can portray home-based businesses in a professional light on your resume. (Image: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

Earning a living at home means you are, at once, all things business-related -- including manager, accountant and technical support. However, on a resume, you have to incorporate this experience for prospective employers and clients in a way that effectively shows off your many talents and skills. The human resources personnel and hiring managers who read your resume can't automatically assume that you possess all of the qualifications to perform a particular job. Instead, you can remove the guesswork and provide home business experience on the resume in a way that meets the employer's expectations.

Narrow the resume to one specific employer that has a job opening. Print or save a copy of the job description. Read and pull out the qualifications that the employer expects applicants to possess. For example, a customer service job description might state the following: "Must have the ability to simultaneously converse with customers and touch-type on the computer keyboard for order entry."

Write each qualification separately on a piece of paper as a rough draft. List your matching qualifications next to each expectation. For example, if the employer expects proficiency in touch-typing and you have home-based experience in data entry, you would diagram your matching qualifications like so: "Touch-typing = 10-key data entry." Repeat this step for each expected qualification. You need to mention on your resume as many of these qualifications as you possess.

Open your resume document in the word processor application on your computer. Delete the outdated "Objective" section if one exists. Type a new heading titled "Summary of Qualifications." List your matching qualifications using short words and phrases, based on your rough draft. For example, "Capable of handling high-volume inbound customer service (back-to-back)"; "Proficient in 10-key data entry"; "Familiar with customer relationship management software."

Move to the section titled "Work Experience." Create a new listing for your home-based business, including the date range. For example, a work-at-home, self-employed customer service agent should state the following: "Customer Service (Independent Contractor) -- January 2008 to Present."

List each client or company with which your home business contracts, on separate lines below your home-based business listing. State your duties and accomplishments while serving your client in paragraph form or on separate lines as well. For example, "Household Shopping Channel (Seasonal): Take phone orders at home during the holiday season; Consistently meet call length goal of five minutes or less through simultaneous talking and data entry"; "Mega Pizza Delivery Chain (Active): Take pizza orders over the phone from customers nationwide and forward details to local stores for fulfillment; Consistently exceed up-sell and add-on goals."

Tips & Warnings

  • Alternatively, read various job descriptions across a few companies that are hiring for the same job title and create a generalized resume that can pass muster when you apply for these similar job openings.
  • Cover letters are still relevant to the job search. Like the resume, write the letter specific to what the hiring employer is searching for.
  • Arrange your listings in the work experience section in reverse chronological order if you are engaged in both home-based and not-at-home employment.
  • Obtain permission to list the personal and company names of your business clients and contracts on your resume. If you signed a contract, read it again and look for the confidentiality section.

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