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Andrew Arkley|October 18, 2020

Moving From Self-Employment To Employment: How To Write The Perfect CV

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Being self-employed is a dream come true for many people. You get to be your own boss, make your own rules and build on your passion.

And it’s becoming more and more common. Around 16% of the UK’s workforce is now self-employed.

However, being your own boss isn’t always a bed of roses. It can be isolating, stressful and financially unstable.

Time to move on

If you’ve decided you want to transition from self-employment to employment, you may face a number of obstacles.

Fitting into a corporate hierarchy can be tough when you’re used to setting your own agenda, and employers may be wary of this.

You may also find yourself battling against the perception that you’re giving up on a failed business.

But don’t worry – there’s hope. Self-employment requires dedication, self-motivation and a host of transferable skills. These are all very attractive to hiring managers.

Here’s how to write a Curriculum Vitae that will make moving from self-employment to employment that much easier.

Include a mission objective

One of the first questions on every employer’s lips will be: why do you want to come back to employment?

A short profile or mission objective at the start of your CV will help answer this. Briefly explain the reasons for your career change, and what you hope to achieve in your new role.

Only include positive statements in this section. Focus on what you can bring to the new role, rather than what you’re leaving behind.

You can outline the reasons for your decision in your career change cover letter.

Highlight transferable skills

Being self-employed requires skills in all sorts of areas, many of which are highly transferable.

As well as undertaking your actual work, you may have coordinated your finances, marketed yourself, forged connections with clients or managed staff.

You’re probably results-driven, adept at setting and meeting targets for yourself and used to overcoming challenges.

These are the sorts of skills you should highlight on your CV. List brief examples that demonstrate how you used these attributes to grow your business.

Focus on relationships

A key part of self-employment is finding and retaining clients or customers.

The ability to foster relationships is a valuable one. It requires good interpersonal and communication skills, as well as persistence and determination.

All of these skills are highly prized by employers, so include examples that show how you successfully cultivated a client base if you can.

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List key achievements

List any major successes and accomplishments from your self-employed career.

Explain what you achieved, how you overcame obstacles and the results. Include figures or statistics if possible.

This will give hiring managers a concrete measure of your success, and help to allay the assumption that you’re seeking employment because your business failed.

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Demonstrate the breadth of your experience

If you’re a freelancer or contractor, you may have worked for multiple companies throughout the time you’ve been self-employed.

There’s no need to list all of them on your CV. Instead give an overview of the types of clients you worked for, perhaps naming the most well-known or distinguished ones.

The fact you’ve experienced lots of different companies and ways of working will stand you in good stead for fitting into a new organisation.

Pick the right references

If you’ve been self-employed for a long time, you may not have previous employers to list as referees.

However, there are other people you can call on to attest to your good character and ability to do the job.

Perhaps you had a business partner, or another contact you’ve collaborated with.

Or, if you have a particularly long-standing and trusted client, you could ask them to provide a reference. Have a look at how and when to add references to your CV.

Our infographic below shows the skills employers most commonly look for in applicants, and examples of these skills you might be able to give from your self-employed work:

Moving from self-employment to employment – a summary

Moving from self-employment to employment is perfectly possible.

Arm yourself with a CV that demonstrates your most valuable and transferable skills, experience and attributes, and you’ll be on the right track to securing an interview.

If you’d like help writing the perfect CV, get in touch with us today – we’d be delighted to assist.

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