What if You Failed as an Entrepreneur? Where Does that Go on Your Resume?
What if you were part of a failed start-up, and there is nothing that is clearly representative of your accomplishments to report on your resume? This can be an extraordinarily difficult situation for former entrepreneurs to negotiate. The trick to creating a successful entrepreneur resume is to focus on the key contributions that you made, even if they did not ultimately result in a profitable conclusion. In other words, the accomplishment is in initiating and succeeding through the process, not its result.
We all know that resumes are designed to publicize the incredible accomplishments that you have produced for your company. For example, you might choose to mention:
- You generated sales growth of 12% YOY 2010–2013.
- You promoted 8 people on your team to management positions.
- You closed six new high-profile clients.
- And so on.
But what if you can’t lay claim to any of them, because your entrepreneurial venture did not succeed? To include this span of experience in which you do not have traditional accomplishments to report, start with what you did do well. Instead of taking the traditional approach to resume writing, which focuses on end results, focus on the processes you began and continued with throughout your experience in the entrepreneurial environment.
For example, you might choose to mention the innovative ways you:
- Started a company, either on your own or with others.
- Achieved financial backing.
- Set up operations, and you began a production process.
- Initiated sales.
- Consulted with clients.
Your overall goals is to focus not on the company’s successes as a measure of your own but rather the initiative and programs that were unique to your effort and vision. Reflect on the good that you did as a result of your entrepreneurship, and craft the resume around your ability to establish and fulfill processes whose end might be more profitable in another, perhaps more stable, growth-oriented organization that requires your brand of innovation.
If you are struggling with reporting your experiences as an entrepreneur on your resume, call Five Strengths.
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