The 4 self-employment skills that will land that job

Jobsearch, Jobseekers / 25 May 2022

Whether you’ve decided to close down your business and work for someone else or you want to land a job to work alongside self-employment, the skills that you’ve developed while working for yourself can prove invaluable when applying for jobs. You may have operated as a sole trader on a freelance or contractor basis, have employed a workforce, or been part of a business partnership. Whichever of these apply, running your own business is sure to have shaped you into a stand-out candidate with skills that companies are keen to see in their own workforce. Here are four self-employment skills that can help you to land that job.

The 4 self-employment skills that will land that job



When you work for yourself, you’ll often ‘change hats’ as you manage different aspects of the business, for instance:

  • marketing on social media
  • selling to customers
  • updating IT equipment and software
  • dealing with the HMRC
  • organising your workload

Switching from one job to another requires the ability to adapt and often at speed. Most employers provide an induction period for job starters to familiarise themselves with the company and their new role. However, a candidate who can hit the floor running and adapt to their new job quickly may have the upper hand over other applicants who need a greater level of hand-holding.

There’s a second reason that adaptability is a desired skill in the eyes of employers. A worker who can not only work well in one role but also progress through the company and demonstrate their worth in more senior roles will be seen as a valuable asset that the employer wants to keep.


Industry expertise

As a business owner, you are an expert in whichever sector or industry you operate in, for instance, running a charity, event organising, or the financial sector. If your job search is in the same arena, you can bring that wealth of knowledge with you. Whereas an employee might concentrate only on the portion of industry know-how that they need to do their job, you will have a much wider, overall viewpoint of that sector.


Customer communication

Whatever size of business you run, there will be some level of contact with your customers. This might be:

  • face to face
  • via email, phone, or video call
  • through your marketing

As a business owner, you learn how to answer customer questions, solve their problems, and communicate in a way that your customers understand and relate to.



One of the key factors involved in running a business is the ability to self-motivate. Whether you’re a lone freelancer or have a team, you are the leading force and responsible for the business. This generally means that there’s no one to motivate you but yourself.

From an employer’s perspective, self-motivation indicates an employee who doesn’t need a high degree of supervision. Self-motivating workers also tend to:

  • be enthusiastic about their role and resultingly more engaged as an employee
  • look for ways to improve company processes
  • be open to learning new things


How do you demonstrate your self-employment skills?

There are two main areas where you can flag up your self-employment skills and prove your value as a candidate.


CV and cover letter

This is your first chance to catch an employer’s eye. Make sure that you give a well-rounded impression of who you are as a candidate and how your skills are perfect for the job and the company.

Purple CV provide plenty of advice on how to shape your CV to suit a move from working for yourself to landing a job.



In your interview, concentrate on the relevant elements of your self-employment that make you an ideal candidate. This will undoubtedly be the skills you have developed but there may also be a wealth of work experience too.


Final Thoughts

Seeking a move from self-employment to employment can often cause a level of discomfort for a number of reasons, for instance:

  • your business failed or couldn’t provide a full-time income
  • you worry that you’ll be seen as a competitor
  • imposter syndrome raises its ugly head

However, if you look at the move as the next step on your career path and recognise the value that self-employment has brought to both your work experience and skillset, you can approach your job search with confidence.

If you’d like to start that job search today, JobLookup is here to help.

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