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Interview Preparation Tip Self-Employed Part 3: Pitfalls and Strategies

Being self-employed is great, but the journey can be tricky when you decide you want to get back to the standard work arrangement (having a boss). Keep reading to uncover some advice.



When we look at a self-employed candidate, we often see something that looks unique to their profile versus something that works for someone other than themself.


Something that signals to us and most likely to prospective employers that your profile does not seem to match or mesh with their expectations. This is likely due to the resume trying to sell your services to a customer rather than selling your skills to an employer’s job posting. This is much more visible with the LinkedIn profile because your goal as a self-employed person is to solicit customers and to provide a service.



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Pitfall #1

The resume and LinkedIn look like you are selling services to a customer versus selling your skills to a particular job posting. Target the job posting and make things easy for the resume screener to pick your resume from the applications.



Pitfall #2

Your job title says business owner, instead of Marketing Manager. If you apply for a Marketing Manager job and do marketing stuff at a managerial level, then you are a Marketing Manager, so write that as your job title. Explain during the interviews that this is your business, but marketing is a significant part of your job and why it applies to their job posting.



Pitfall #3

You do not have a good answer for “Are you still running/operating this business?”. We recommend thinking about your exit strategy. If you tell the future employer that you are winding down operations and expect to be fully detached from the job in three weeks, this signals to the employer that you are serious about applying for a new role, and they can expect to have your undivided attention in three weeks.



Pitfall #4

The perception is that you will be unable to take direction from a manager since you were your boss for x number of years. Convincing the hiring person that you are fully capable of being an employee again is essential. You can do this by demonstrating that you are open to change, like learning, and look forward to a collaborative environment.



Pitfall #5

“I’ve done xyz for so many years, I know this..”. Answering a question with that answer is a bad idea. This ties into Pitfall #4. It’s important to use examples, and it’s okay to say that you are eager to learn and do things their way but add value through your experience.




I think those are the main items that we see when we work with self-employed clients. Do you have anything else to add? Perhaps some things that you encountered yourself? Don’t be shy; leave a comment somewhere or contact us and say ‘hi.’ Don’t forget to share and like this post.