Yes, there is virtually nothing to hide: in a family business you have probably worked harder than other employees, in many cases more would have been expected of you and you must have contributed your own quota more than most employees.
Most apprentices in the United States often kick-start their careers in a family company, learning all facets of the trade under the guidance of parents or relatives. Also, graduates and students often turn to family businesses to earn income by doing casual work on weekends, evenings, and during holidays.
So irrespective of the reason or situation, working in a family business is not wrong or anything to feel awkward about. In a more visible way, you should be proud of the work you did and promote it to potential employers with confidence. However, where you will get into trouble is if you lie about it or try and disguise the family connection and it comes out during the recruitment process.
Family business atmospheres more or less tend to be different than the typical workplace structure, as these businesses often operate with a different sense of teamwork. For example, in a family business most individuals who work there will exchange responsibilities and take on varying duties as long as things get done and success is achieved.
Even though this dynamic work model can build success for the company, some may not know how their family business experience can translate to job skills applicable for a resume. And while your daily responsibilities should be highlighted on a resume, there are other qualifications and competencies that may go unnoticed.
When putting together a resume, here are important things to consider that many family business owners or employees tend to take for granted:
3 Important Skills Family Business Owners Forget to Add to Their Resume
1. Marketing Skills
Note that for most people who are self-employed or work within a family business, advertising the company might never seem like marketing. Especially since attracting people into the business is how a family makes its living; this tends to make all marketing efforts feel like a responsibility rather than a job skill.
Even though some family businesses are lucky enough to have established a reputation in their community, allowing most of their revenue to come from word-of-mouth or customer retention scenarios, individuals should consider what they have done to increase their customer base.
Have it in mind that managing social media pages and interacting with customers on the Internet can also translate to Internet and content marketing. In addition, those who build a business as a result of communicating directly with others in the community can sometimes identify themselves as having face-to-face marketing, as well as sales, skills.
2. Certifications and Community Involvement
Also, note that one of the most crucial things found on a resume is whether or not the applicant has continued to learn new job skills throughout his or her career.
Even though it is imperative to list education that may have been completed while working for a family business, it is also pertinent to note any training courses that were completed or certifications that were maintained throughout the career.
Most people see these credentials as just a necessity for keeping up with a family business, but for employers, they reveal an effort to stay current. It will also do more good than harm to state any community involvement you have that may be tied with your work.
Since many family business employees are more or less closely tied to their neighborhoods, those who work at family businesses may be able to highlight local organization memberships, such as being on the Chamber of Commerce. In addition, if a business has sponsored a local sports team or hosted a charity event, these instances can also fit within a resume.
3. Management Skills
In a family business, overseeing the work of others may not be that noticeable—especially if they are somehow related by blood. Nonetheless, from the outside, any individual you offer direction to on a regular basis could be seen as a form of management.
Family business employees should address how many staff members they oversaw, including part-time members. It is also imperative to note any team projects that have occurred and required one’s direction. Also, if the business is a true partnership and there seems to be no internal management, you should also consider any management you oversaw—including vendor relations.
5 Important Tips to Consider When Putting Family Business on Your Resume
You can and should add your family business experience to your resume. Have it in mind that family experience works are great additions to your resume, especially for anyone who’s dealing with employment gaps in their work history. Here are a few important tips to remember while doing this.
1. Give yourself a Job Title
Always remember to treat your family business experience as other independent contractors and other freelancers would on their resumes — give yourself a title that reflects the type of work you were doing during your time of employment.
2. Start with Contact Information
Also start by listing your contact information at the top of your resume. Include your full legal name, mailing address, phone number, email address, and professional website if applicable. Check to make sure that your contact information is updated and accurate so any potential employers can contact you easily.
3. Include an Objective or a Summary
After your contact information, remember to include either a career summary or a short description of your professional objectives. Note that most entry-level professionals opt for an objective, while mid-level and senior professionals typically write a summary of their achievements. Keep this section short, as it should include no more than two sentences.
4. Highlight your Key Accomplishments and Responsibilities
While mentioning your family business work history, include a bulleted list of the major projects you led. State your main responsibilities, any major achievements, and a reference if possible. Also, remember to list all relevant technical and soft skills you possess.
Depending on your field, you may want to include the software platforms you use, the computer languages you know, or other keywords that potential clients and employers seek. Mention your level of fluency when applicable.
5. Mention your Academic Achievements
After listing your family work experience, mention your academic accomplishments, starting with the highest educational level you have achieved.
Include associates, bachelor, master’s, and doctoral degrees. However, make sure to include information about your high school diploma or equivalent if you have not pursued post-secondary education. After each diploma or degree, mention the institution, graduation date, major, GPA, and honors if applicable
People who work in family companies tend to have more business acumen, especially since they have put in more hours, taken on more responsibilities, and worked harder to achieve results. They also have exposure to the workings of a business and how every function in every role plays an important part in the overall success of the company.
However, remember that your experience whether it has been gained in a family business or someone else’s is still experience. Don’t sell yourself short, be proud of your contributions and honest about the employment.