Leveraging Skills and Diminishing Shortcomings

Arlene writes:
I’ve read and enjoyed the information you provide on job-hunting for students; but I have what may be a unique set of circumstances for which I would greatly appreciate your advice.
I am married fit and 50; I have been a stay-at-home mom of one; I am educated and currently a non-degree-seeking student of Web design. I have an MBA in electronic business B.S. in communications. My GPA is 3.9. Here’s the good part — my recent job history as a small-business owner is undocumented. I owned a start-up online relocation service. My company taxes for the 3+ yrs. in business showed losses and no income. Although the company was successful in terms of surviving more than three years in a volatile .com environment and in providing a service that was well used I cannot prove it and it does not show up on background checks.
Further the small jobs I’ve held were low-paying.
You may have guessed that my job search has been unsuccessful. I don’t know how to make my skills attractive to employers and how to diminish my shortcomings. Can you provide any insight in terms of marketing myself downplaying my age low wages and little-to-no job history?
I would truly appreciate any feedback or advice.

The Career Doctor responds:
Probably my best advice to you would be to read our article on positioning yourself when you are underqualified.
As far as documenting your entrepreneurial experience try focusing on the “well-used” aspect of the business and talk about satisfied customers. Perhaps you could even get testimonials from some of them.
I would also recommend informational interviewing a networking technique that enables you to get your foot in the door with employers sometimes resulting in job offers and certainly resulting in more contacts for your network and knowledge about employer needs. Read more here.
You probably also need a professional resume writer to position you.
I can recommend our partner About Jobs.
You’ll find that many resume-writing services offer no-cost critiques.

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