A reader writes:
My sister and I’ve a distinction of opinions on whether or not an MLM (multi-level advertising) marketing consultant may put “enterprise proprietor” as their title on a resume.
My sister’s opinion is, “You’re placing your personal cash into it, you’re paying to make use of the title, you’re hiring your individuals, and answerable for all gross sales, coaching, accounting, organizing. And also you’re counting on the success of your particular a part of the enterprise with a purpose to earn cash, not on [the company] as an entire.”
My view is that this isn’t the identical as proudly owning an impartial enterprise, as a result of the marketing consultant doesn’t really rent, hearth, or immediately pay their downline. My sister thinks it’s the identical as, for instance, the proprietor of a McDonald’s calling herself a enterprise proprietor, even when they don’t OWN McDonald’s company, however I believe it’s fairly totally different. Ideas?
This has come up as a result of we are attempting to assist our mother on her resume, and she or he has been a marketing consultant with an MLM for 20+ years and has led a big staff of over 200+ consultants. We’re attempting to assist my mother polish her resume, and that is her most related work expertise.
Individuals who promote merchandise for MLMs are salespeople, not enterprise house owners. (For readers who don’t know the time period: MLMs = multi-level advertising schemes, like Herbalife or Lularoe, in addition to older ones like Mary Kay.)
MLMs like to inform the individuals they’re attempting to recruit that they’ll be small enterprise house owners, in all probability as a result of it helps them disguise the truth that an enormous share of the individuals who promote their merchandise don’t make a revenue, and even lose cash. (Your mother appears to be an exception, thankfully.)
However MLM consultants aren’t enterprise house owners. The legislation considers them impartial contractors. And that is sensible: They don’t set their very own pricing, make branding selections, or management product growth, manufacturing, or distribution. They don’t qualify for small enterprise loans. They’re accountable to the MLM itself, which may kick them out at any time. They don’t have workers within the authorized sense, simply extra recruits to the MLM.
In contrast, somebody who buys a restaurant franchise is a franchisee, and is operating a much more complicated enterprise through which they rent and hearth workers, pay payroll taxes, pay their workers wages no matter their income, and train important management over their hours and work.
The correct title for an MLM on a resume is “gross sales rep.”
One other massive cause it’s in your mother’s finest curiosity to make use of that: If she lists “enterprise proprietor,” most individuals will discover that over-inflated and can assume she’s both naive about what goes into proudly owning a enterprise or selecting to inflate the work to a ridiculous diploma. “Enterprise proprietor” may even set off alarm bells for a ton of people that affiliate that with how scammy MLMs encourage their gross sales reps to consider themselves, and it’s prone to weaken her as a candidate somewhat than strengthening her.
Truthfully, usually I’d recommend individuals depart MLMs off their resumes solely due to the robust stigma in opposition to them (on account of their exploitative enterprise mannequin, which particularly preys on girls) and since it’s a tough promote to argue MLMs present their reps with present transferable expertise. More often than not, together with an MLM on a resume might be a detrimental, not a constructive. It’s more durable in your mother’s case if it’s been her major work for the final 20 years — but when she has different expertise, I’d put the main focus there as a substitute.