Answered by Dana, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on Thursday, September 4, 2014
Excellent question! In similar situations, I have seen folks use verbiage like “Chief Electrician/Owner-Operator” as the job title, along with the proper name of their company (e.g. Kurtz Electric, LLC.).
Along with the dates of your involvement with this role, I would include the geographic scope of your work (e.g. “Metro Chicagoland Area” as the job’s location).
Using bullet points, I would then carefully document highlights from your career, including your areas of expertise (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.), and any related certifications you acquired to do the job. You can do a basic image search online for examples of other electrician’s resumes, to get ideas as to how this might be best formatted.
I would also list transferable skills, including soft skills. For example, you could say: “Built and maintained a significant book of business, while continuously seeking out new local clients via referrals and industry affiliations,” or “Provided top-quality service with excellent attention to customer needs in high-pressure situations.” These are just a couple of examples, but I am sure you will find more online.
Emphasize the parts of your role that reflect sales/business development, account management, project management, people management, budget forecasting, financial know-how, etc. Show off your customer service skills, your ability to handle multiple projects, and your dedication to customer satisfaction. If you ever hired help for a big project, mention that you have leadership experience and are able to coordinate the activities of a team.
And definitely work to obtain written recommendations to back up your skills. If you have a LinkedIn page, you can list it on your resume, and have clients write up a little blurb about you in that handy LinkedIn “Recommendations” section. You can also obtain more traditional recommendations in letter-format if your clients don’t typically use LinkedIn, and offer to provide these documents to recruiters upon request.
I would also encourage you to have your best clients recommend you on sites like Yelp – yet another resource which can be shared with recruiters or Hiring Managers at your discretion. It may boost your credibility as you search for a new career, and “wow” someone who is reviewing your info.