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Writing an Effective Resume to Accompany your Business Plan

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Many lending institutions and investors require a resume to be submitted along with a business plan.  While your business plan likely already contains a description of you as an owner or member of the management team, a resume offers readers additional information in a detailed, yet succinct, format.  Since a resume submitted alongside a business plan can differ from one submitted for a job application, keep the following tips in mind. 

  • Keep it short.

A few fields naturally lend themselves to longer resumes because of industry-specific requirements, such as lists of certifications for IT professionals.  However, in general, try to keep your resume to a single page if possible. 

  • Include everyone.

If you are the sole proprietor of your business, yours is likely the only resume to submit.  However, if there are other partners or officers, include fairly consistent resumes for all parties.  If key members of your staff or management team have extensive experience or industry knowledge, adding their resumes can be beneficial as well.

  • What’s your point?

The objective listed toward the top of your resume will be different when you are submitting a business plan, as opposed to when you apply for a job.  You need to clearly state who you are and what you seek.

  • Create a strategic layout.

After your objective, create a bullet-point list of your key qualifications to be a business owner in your industry.  These might include leadership skills or specific certifications.  Next, outline relevant professional and volunteer roles, beginning with the most recent.  You do not have to list every job you have ever had—include only those that are relevant. Include job title, location, dates, and key responsibilities.  Education is next, with the school, year, and degree or concentration listed.  A final section can highlight your professional affiliations, industry awards, or special skills or honors. 

  • Choose your references wisely.

If you opt to include references in your resume, select two or three that can speak to your skills that are relevant to the business plan.  For instance, choose a former employer that can elaborate on your managerial aptitude or a distributor that will vouch for your promptness in payments.  Always remember to ask permission to list your references and to fill them in on what you are doing.

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