How to write a self-employed CV (with template and example)
Updated 7 November 2022
Managing and succeeding in your own business requires skills and competence. Showcasing these skills to an employer if you're considering re-entering the workforce can increase your chances of getting a job. Drafting a CV highlighting these skills and competencies may impress your employer. In this article, we discuss a self-employed CV, give tips on how to write one and provide a template and a sample of this type of CV.
What is a self-employed CV?
A self-employed CV lists work experience from running a business, working as a contractor or freelancing. It showcases a candidate's duties, skills and accomplishments as a self-employed professional. This CV sometimes includes experiences gained while working for other employers. The primary focus of this CV is highlighting a candidate's skills and capabilities demonstrated by running their own business.
How to present self-employed experience on your CV
When presenting your self-employed experience on your CV, you can follow these steps:
1. Start with a header
You can begin your CV by creating a header with your contact information. You may want to double-check that this information is accurate, as your employer may use it if they decide to reach out to you for an interview. You can include your name, email address, telephone number and other contact information on your header. Using an email address that is formal and without any nicknames can help you seem professional and a worthy candidate.
2. Include an objective
This is an opportunity to give a summary of your skills and visions. This objective usually doesn't exceed three sentences and contains concise information. You can make your objective captivating so your employers want to read further. You may give details on the skills you possess that helped you run your own business successfully to display your competence.
Related: CV Objectives: Tips and Examples
3. Discuss your work experience
In this section, you can discuss your self-employed businesses and the position's responsibilities. List these experiences in chronological order starting from your most recent post to older positions. If you were a freelancer or contractor and have a lot of experience, you can list all of these jobs together with the responsibilities. Try to show statistics when listing your experiences.
For example, if you were to present your experiences working as a social media handler for a brand, you could state it as 'increased social media awareness and active followers by 25% in one week'. That way, employers can gauge your skills. You can try to only include experiences relevant to the role for which you're applying.
4. Mention your education
You can assure your employer you have the right qualifications for the position by including your educational background. Include the institutions you attended and your graduation date. If you're still in education when applying for the job, you can write your expected graduation date.
5. Highlight your skills
Presenting your skills in a way that lets potential employers know you are a good fit for the job is important. In this section, you can highlight the skills that helped you excel in your self-employed business or as a freelancer. State skills that are relevant to the job position for which you're applying. You may include both hard and soft skills.
6. List your awards and certifications
You may have earned certifications during the period you were managing your own business relevant to the job position for which you're applying. You can include these certifications in your CV to increase your employment chances. If you have awards from your business, freelance work or contract jobs, you may also include these. You may also have an award of excellence from your school or another organisation with which you have been involved. Listing these awards may impress your employer and increase your chances of success.
Tips on drafting a successful self-employed CV
Below are popular tips on creating a CV:
Give a company name
When writing your CV, stating the name of your business is essential. This gives credibility to your work experiences as your employer can conduct research on the company. If the work experience was a freelance job, it might also be helpful to include the name of the company or brand.
Include a job title
A job title adds more professionalism and credibility to your CV. Including a job title might increase your chances of getting the job as it clarifies your responsibilities. For example, if you were helping a family member manage their emails and correspondence for their business, you may like to include this in your CV. When discussing this position, you can use a job title such as 'personal assistant' or 'business communication manager'.
Add a link to your portfolio.
These days, the majority of applications are online. This allows you to attach a link to your business portfolio on your CV. It is easier to show your employer results and statistics through your portfolio as you may not be able to go into detail on your CV. You may impress your employer with your portfolio, which might increase your chances of getting the job. Ensure you add experiences and results that are relevant to the position for which you're applying.
Focus on your core skills
Highlighting your skills in a way that emphasises your capabilities may be helpful in getting the job. You may want the employer to see your business as an experience that helped you grow and build your skills and not a break from your career. You can draft a CV that focuses on all your strengths, experiences and skills. This is a way to assure your employers that you are as competent as other candidates that may be applying for the same position.
Include client reference
If you have references from clients you have worked for, you can include these references in your CV. When doing this, list the name, title and contact information of your references. These references may impress your employer and also show your competence and capabilities.
Self-employed CV template
Here is a template to help you draft your CV listing your self-employment:
[A summary of your values, career goals and professional accomplishments]
[Company], [City], [Employment date]
[Bullet list that states your responsibilities and accomplishments for each role, include a separate entry for your self-employed job]
[Degree, diploma or licence earned], [institution name], [City], [Graduation date]
[List all relevant soft and technical skills]
[List of professional certifications]
Awards and accomplishments
[List all relevant awards and accomplishments]
Self-employed CV example
Here is a sample CV that showcases self-employment:
+44 6754 6543
Goal-oriented salesman with over five years of sales and production experience and six years of experience managing my own production business. Ready to use my knowledge of sales, managing production processes and good customer service to propel the company's vision further. Seeking an environment to demonstrate, utilise and develop my skills by increasing customer satisfaction.
Mitch.T Scented Candles, Edinburgh, 2015 - 2020
oversaw the production process which includes melting of soy wax, anchoring of wicks to the bottom of mason jars and pouring of wax into mason jars
supplied over 100 scented candles per week
selected the essential oils and fragrances for the product
created a website and interactive social media presence to sell products
marketed products to nationwide convenience stores and supermarkets
designed banners, labels and packages
handled the supply chain and logistics of finished goods
implemented product-marketing strategies and distribution plans
kept track of financial statements and records
managed inventory and raw materials stock level
ensured customer satisfaction
maintained shipping records and paperwork
maintained quality communications and customer service
Barney's Soap Company, London, 2010 - 2014
operated soap-making equipment
oversaw the production of bar soap
observed process to detect variation in colour of agitate mixture
ensured consistency and homogeneity of boiling ingredients
cut bar soaps
graded and packaged the finished product
Goldrose retail store, London, 2008 - 2012
observed and replenished stock inventory accurately and on time
engaged and interacted with customers concerning their purchases to ensure customer satisfaction
increased sales by 50% and met the target of 25% sales increase in the first 3 months of working
ensured loss prevention and theft by observing shopper behaviour and maintaining accurate records
BSc in Business Management
Red Gold University, London, October 2007 - July 2010
excellent customer service
proficient use of Microsoft office
sales and marketing
good decision-making skills
exceptional problem-solving skills
Certificate in sales and marketing
Project Management Professional (PMP)
Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP)
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.
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