It’s hard enough to work for a big company – especially when that big company lays you off and you find yourself undesirable to smaller organizations. Unfortunately, this scenario is true for too many veterans who have been let go from business giants, only to be thrown back by smaller companies who feel intimidated by their giant background.
While this may describe what you’re experiencing while searching for a job, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world for you. Instead, let’s take a look at some ways that you can make transitioning from a large company to a smaller one work for you.
Show That You Can Thrive in an Entrepreneurial Setting
One of the fears that smaller businesses have when considering big-business veterans is their ability to adapt to a smaller environment in a short period of time. Very often, larger businesses narrow down the list of responsibilities given to its employees because there are so many others to fill the roles. However, in a smaller company, the manager of a certain department may be responsible for implementing and overseeing major decisions, as well as brewing coffee in the morning.
A smaller company wants to know that a big-business vet can handle the ‘go-getter’ attitude – not much different than that of an entrepreneur – that is required in this setting. If you want to prove that you are capable in this area, try describing one or more projects at your previous employer that required you to wear multiple hats. Taking this route can help hiring managers appreciate your ability to thrive in a multifaceted role.
Showcase Troubleshooting Skills
Another requirement that you very often find in smaller businesses – but maybe not so much in large companies – is the need to troubleshoot in a variety of areas. Again, you may have come from a company where there were 13 sales reps, and now you will be the only one. You want to show the hiring manager that despite having a crutch of 13 separate minds for brainstorming and troubleshooting sessions at your previous employer, you can do this on your own.
To show that you have the ability to problem-solve, it’s good to bring up a scenario where you were relied upon to solve what seemed to be an unsolvable problem. You can mention the people you had to work with or the files you had to search. Basically, you want to show that no matter what obstacle stood in your way, you didn’t stop until you found the answer.
Try Title Omissions or Alterations
If you’re seeking a job at a smaller company and you have a title that sounds bigger than it is (e.g. VP of Human Resources may actually be a mid-level management position), it doesn’t hurt to omit the title altogether. When you get to the interview, you can tell the hiring manager your title and downplay your actual level of responsibility.
Transitioning from a large company to something smaller may not be easy, which is why it’s wise to consider ways to make yourself look like a good fit. If you can do so – and adjust your attitude and performance accordingly – you may find yourself in a great position in the small company of your choice.
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer now dedicated to providing jobseekers with resources and products that promote job-search success. For resume examples and tools, go to NothingButResumes.com.