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This Weeks Burning Questions

This week’s questions (submitted by readers) answered.

How to Write a Resume If You Are Self-Employed?

Congratulations on your self-employment! But, yes, self-employment does present some unique challenges when it comes to writing your resume. Most of the process is the same – except you probably wear multiple hats and depending on the role you are going for – might want to highlight a certain skill set instead of focusing on a broad overview.

For example, let’s say you are a self-employed Dog Washer/Groomer. If you were applying for another dog groomer role, you would highlight these responsibilities in your job description. BUT if you were applying for an administration role, you would focus less on the dog grooming responsibilities and really highlight the administration side of the business. And if you were going for management? Highlight the leadership side. See an example below of how the role responsibilities on your resume change depending on the job you are going for:

Applying for a Dog Groomer Role

2020- 2023 Small Business Owner Dogs Groomed 4U

  • Greet and handle dogs in a friendly and compassionate manner.

  • Bathe dogs using appropriate shampoos and grooming products.

  • Clean and dry the dog's coat to ensure a clean and fresh appearance.

  • Clip the dog's coat as per the owner's preferences and breed standards.

  • Inspect dogs for any skin issues, fleas, ticks, or other health concerns.

  • Handle dogs with care and ensure their safety throughout the grooming process.

  • Follow safety protocols when using grooming equipment to prevent accidents.

  • Consult with pet owners to understand their grooming preferences.

Applying for an Administration Role

2020- 2023 Small Business Owner Dogs Groomed 4U

  • Conduct market research to identify target customers, competitors, and potential growth opportunities.

  • Create financial projections and budgets to ensure the business's financial stability and growth.

  • Manage the business's finances, including revenue tracking, expense management, and cash flow analysis.

  • Ensure timely payment of bills and invoices and maintained financial records for tax purposes.

  • Address customer feedback to continuously improve services and customer satisfaction.

  • Ensure compliance with local regulations and licensing requirements for operating a pet grooming business.

  • Respond to customers calls and emails, using diary management software to book appointments.

As a final note – make sure you include any volunteer work on your resume – especially if you have been self employed for a long time as it shows that you can work under someone else. Which is arguably the most common concern a recruiter will have.

How to Write a Resume for a 14-Year-Old

Ahhhh, the first job. How exciting! Of course, writing a resume for a 14-year-old comes with its own challenges – mostly in relation to the complete lack of experience most 14-year-olds have. Of course, you need the basic info – name, phone, email, and education. Once you have the basics taken care of, it’s time to get creative.

You really want to highlight any sporting or extracurricular activities. Plays soccer – list it. Part of the school music program – list it.

Next is any awards – Student of The Week, Year Captain, Sports Captain, Mentor for Younger Students? It all gets highlighted.

Ditto for the volunteer work or school-based work experience.

While your student won’t have any formal work experience – they may have worked for family or friends in the past. Technically my first ever job was dressing as a clown for my aunty and face painting at children’s birthday parties. I also babysat the kids up the road after school occasionally. List it!

It’s also a really good idea to start your professional profile section of the resume off with HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT or something similar so the employer can see straight up why the resume is so light on experience – and that they may be eligible for junior rates.

Example below:

Professional Profile:

High School Student with barista experience. Highly motivated and outcome driven with a strong track record in solution-based selling to consumers. Able to exceed expectations through strong customer relationships and a solution-based approach to problem solving with a track record in building strong customer relationships. Strong sales expertise – a persuasive, results-oriented self-starter who will exceed expectations.

Selected Achievements:

Ø Completed at multiple State and National Swimmer Championships.

Ø Selected to attend the talent identification clinic in Brisbane (all expenses paid for by Swimming QLD).

Ø Gold Academic Award in schooling for academic performance.

Ø 24 individual FNQ records and 1 state record broken in Swimming.

Key Capabilities:

General Administration: skilled in data entry with the ability to draft formal correspondence such as emails, templates and letters and a strong understanding of effective filing solutions and report writing.

Cash Handling: able to handle high volume cash transactions including those made with Credit and EFT; strong understanding of financial administration tasks with the ability to handle financial administration tasks.

Personal Qualities: offers a passion for customer service and has high levels of integrity and reliability; fast learner with the motivation to thrive and strong attention to detail and exceptional planning abilities.

Customer Service: able to build strong stakeholder relationships that create new business opportunities; experienced in troubleshooting any issues that occur during the customer process to maintain the relationship.

Sales: able to convert prospects in accordance with targets while ensuring premium customer service and providing advice on pricing and availability of products and services.

Retail Functions: able to support a culture of quality customer service and demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the services provided and identify and respond quickly to customer needs.


2020 - Current The Anglican School Student

Subjects: Maths, English, Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Geography

Career Summary:

2020 – 2021 Smurtle Coffee Barista Assistant

  • Follow procedures that govern quality control and legislative health standards and assist with catering while completing ‘Hands on’ food preparation – ensuring full compliance with all food safety practices and procedures.

  • Complete stock-take; ensure best practice for stock control and rotation and perform ad-hoc administration functions as required and assist with serving customers.

  • Provide barista support to make and serve coffee products according to customer requirements including providing advice on any allergen information on request.

  • Provide high levels of customer service in a fast paced, high-pressure environment to create a culture of repeat business and referral while meeting food safety legislative standards.

  • Process payments using the Point-of-Sale system including cash, EFT and Credit Card transactions while following all company procedure and policy.

  • Manage the upsell of items through a strong understanding of customer requirements to improve profitability and performance under the direction of management.

Work Experience:

Sep 2022 Nambia Medical Centre School Work Experience Placement

And finally - if the school grades are good - list them. If not - just recap the subjects and skip listing the grades. It's all about highlighting the strengths and avoiding the weaknesses.

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