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.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Should Work For The Family Biz Be On Your Resume?

Yes! There is nothing wrong with putting the job you did for your family business on your resume.

  1. Is Family Business Considered Work Experience?

Yes! Any person whose family owns a business likely has business experience, whether it be casually or seriously. This work experience is a valuable part of one’s work history, so it should be included on a resume.

  1. How Do You Handle Work In A Family Business On Your Resume?

Include the name of the company, your job title, the duration of your employment there, and a bulleted list of your work responsibilities and accomplishments. But while there’s no need to bring up that the business is owned by family, intentionally trying to hide this from employers can make you look dishonest.

  1. Worked In A Family Business, What Position Do You Put On Your Resume?

List your current or most recent job, and work backward in time. Include your job title, your employer’s name, the city, and the state in which it is located. Also, list the start and end dates (month and year) of your employment. For each position, add a summary of your responsibilities and accomplishments.

  1. How Do You Get A Job After Working In Your Family Business?

To become an employee after working in your family business, consider the following steps;

  • Take reference letters that include all duties as per your NOC
  • Take payslips for at least 6 months
  • Include appointment letter with details of terms and conditions
  1. How Should You Show A Job In Your Family’s Business On Your Resume?

The family business is where you pick up the ropes of learning the business. Mention the contributions made by you, any value additions, new businesses, targets achieved, etc.

7. Can Disclosing That You Worked For A Family Business Ever Help You Get a Job?

If you think your experience working with a family business makes you a better candidate for the position you’re applying for, you should absolutely emphasize it on your resume, it may be of good help.

8. Can You Go To Jail For Lying On Resume?

No! Lying on a resume, cover letter, or job application isn’t technically illegal. These forms aren’t legal documents, so usually you can’t get prosecuted or jailed for lying on them.

9. What’s The Difference Between A Resume And A Curriculum Vitae

A Curriculum Vitae gives a full history of your academic credentials, so the length of the document is variable. While a resume presents a concise picture of your skills and qualifications for a specific position, so length tends to be shorter and dictated by years of experience- usually 1 to 2 pages.

10. What Should Not Be Included In A Resume?

The listed below are not be included in a resume;

  • Outdated or irrelevant social media profiles
  • Resume objective statement
  • Multiple phone numbers
  • Unprofessional email
  • Full mailing address
  • Personal details
  • Headshot
  • Buzzwords
11. How Do You Write A Resume, If Your Employment Type Is From A Family Business?

These are tips on how to write a resume if your employment type is from a family business;

  • Use a summary statement
  • Choose the right format
  • Select the right job title
  • Focus on your core skills
  • Clean up your social media
  • Don’t be afraid to cite your business accomplishments
12. Is It A Good Idea To Work With Family?

Yes! Working with a family member you like can really be fun. Family members know your strengths and weaknesses, and that too can come in very handy in the workplace. Another great thing about working with family is that you will have someone around whom you can rely on and really trust.

13. Can You Put Your Small Business On Your Resume?

The answer is yes! You can add self-employment experience to your resume. Self-employment and other forms of freelance work are great additions to your resume, especially for anyone who’s dealing with employment gaps in their work history.

14. How Do You Describe Your Small Business On A Resume?
  • Give yourself a job title that reflects the nature of your freelance work
  • Consider adding a company name for consistency on your resume
  • Provide a summary of the services you offer
  • Use bullet points to highlight noteworthy projects or clients
15. Should I Put My Small Business On My Resume?

No! It is not necessary. Your resume is to help you get a job not to provide more doubt about you getting the job. Unless you have a gap in your resume where you worked on your business full time, then you have to explain the gap by admitting that you started your own business.

16. What Do Employers Look For In A Cv?
  • Skills
  • Education
  • Experience
  • Results and achievements
  • Roles and responsibilities
17. Can You List A Family Member As A Reference If They’re Also Your Boss?

Yes! If you have worked in a family-owned business for a couple of years and your boss happens to be a family member, you can certainly list them as a reference.

18. Does Working With Your Parents Count As Work Experience?

Yes, it does. Top business schools and Ivy leagues do accept and value work experience from the family business.

19. Do Companies Hire Family Members?

It’s common for small, private, or family-run businesses to hire family members. In most cases, hiring family members is not illegal, but it can depend on the job or company. For example, if you work for the government, hiring a family member might be considered a conflict of interest.

20. Why You Should Never Hire Family?

By having someone who is in your family (personal life), you might be compromising that atmosphere and lose the ability to separate personal life from work life.

21. Does Family Business Count As Work Experience For Mba?

Yes, it may actually count, but only under certain conditions and circumstances, one of which is if the family business you have been working for is a registered entity.

22. Can A Company Refuse To Hire Relatives?

Yes! There is nothing illegal about it. Many employers resist hiring relatives for some reasons – some logical and some ridiculous.

23. What Do You Put On Your Resume When You Have No Work Experience?

You can create a killer no-experience resume by emphasizing your education instead. Include relevant internships, soft and hard skills, and projects. Other sections you can include on your resume are hobbies and interests, languages, certifications, or even achievements.

24. Does Gmat Require Work Experience?

No, there is no minimum or maximum threshold for work experience to take the GMAT. You can be a fresher with no experience or a seasoned industry veteran.

25. Why Is It So Hard To Work With Family?

Working with family members is difficult for any number of reasons. You know so much about the other person, so you’ve been privy to intimate information about them. You’ve most likely had arguments or negative conflicts with them. You have years of experience with them, both positive and negative.

26. Do Family Businesses Practice Nepotism?

Yes! Nepotism is mostly common in family businesses.

27. Can Family Business Ruin A Family?

Yes! There’s a possibility. In fact, there are countless ways a business can wreak havoc on a family.

28. How Much Is Too Much On A Resume?

For those with more extensive experience or accomplishments, they may have three pages. Any more than that is overkill and will quickly lose a hiring manager’s attention. Note! If your resume is more than three pages, you can make some major revisions and reassess what you are including.

29. What Are 6 Drawbacks Of Working For Your Parents?

Here are six drawbacks of working for your parents;

  • Lack of respect
  • Family friction
  • There’s no escape
  • Your ideas are shot down
  • You are emotionally invested
  • Family time equals business time
Joy Nwokoro