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How do I counter objections to my history of self employment?

by Dan

I've been self employed as a sales professional for the last eight years. Business was good up until about a year ago. As a result, market conditions have made me decide to go back into engineering (I have 20 years experience in engineering prior to sales).

I'm told that prospective employers are turned off by self employed people. In my sales business, I've learned a lot including: prospecting/cold calling sales, closing deals, dealing with business owners, learning about business financing, etc.

Without tossing the last eight years of experience aside, how do I handle the eight years on my resume without turning off prospective employers? Any and all comments are welcome and greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Answer: I think it's a bit of a generalization to say that all employers would be turned off my someone who has been self-employed. I have to believe that a business person would recognize what it would take to be self-employed for that long.

But they may have concerns about how well you'll work in a team or taking direction from someone else, etc., things along those lines. So if I were you, I'd try to anticipate all of the possible objections to hiring someone with your background and write both your resume and cover letter to counter them.

You are correct... you have lots to bring to the table, so be sure you sell yourself. With your background in sales, that shouldn't be too hard for you! :)

Best... Kathi

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