We've touched on the many points about being on the owner side of a small business, but I wanted to flip it around a bit and focus on being an employee for a small business.
Now, I feel as though everyone has that friend who wants to work in a big office building with a lot of employees, office perks, and the works. What if you are the opposite and feel your best fit is in a more quaint business--a small business? There a few steps one may want to take before applying to every small business out there because less eyes will be on you--which can be as much a detriment as an asset.
-Evaluate what industry you want to work in
There is never a shortage of corporations and large businesses out there for you to walk in the door and do your job--but small businesses are a little harder to just hand and resume in and jump into. The first step is to really focus on what you want to do with a job. Do you love to write? Love animals? Love to crunch numbers? These little things you want to do can help you figure out a specific industry or two to focus in on and then you can start your search with a little more direction to find specific small businesses within your industry and geographic location.
- Check out job boards for small business jobs
While Monster and Indeed tend to host many of the large companies (and yes, some small), Craigslist always seems to be the best all around job board for small businesses. Usually the title implies if a company is a corporation or smaller business so it may be easier to find jobs there. There are many industry specific job boards as well which may help if you want to get into a small business of a specific industry--i.e Ed2010.com for writing and communication-based jobs.
-Absolutely, 100%, do your research of the companies you DO find interest in
Unlike a larger company where you may not be able to find a HR administrators actual name on a website or the company has a lot of information regarding it, normally small businesses are very simplistic in their approach and have very few employees to sift through. Please, make sure to understand the company, its mission and its employees (if any) before reaching out about potential positions. You can do this research by visiting their website and social media pages--if they have them.
-Don't be afraid to make inquiries for a specific company you'd love to work for
The opposite approach to finding jobs on job boards is to make a list of small businesses you'd like to work for and reach out to them. Maybe they aren't hiring now, but being a small business means they are most likely receiving less resumes--and may remember you when the time comes to hire. The worst that will happen is they will say "no" or "not at the moment" and the best they can say is "when can you start."
Treat a small business with as much caliber as a large company
A small business does not equal a less professional workplace. A major mistake could be not being as professional when inquiring, applying and possibly interviewing for a position. Speak professionally, create a very impressive resume and dress the part. Even if the small business operates out of a small office space or the people dress business casual, still interview as if you are meeting the CEO of a large company.
Follow up on occasion
Unlike a large corporation where you may not speak or email the same person twice, you may have an easier time staying in contact with a small business as it grows. You may have been told "not now" but an occasional email to show you are still interested can do wonders and even if you don't get hired, you may get a mentor or reference out of your contact with this company.
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Socially Dedicated, a Philadelphia-based firm, provides marketing, content creation, public relations, business management consulting and social media management to small businesses. Check out our website or locate us on social media using the icons below.