Is it okay to mention my failed startup on my resume?
My startup failed for a number of reasons; some of those reasons being my fault and some of those reasons not. Should I still highlight this on my resume as my main experience and where I gained most, if not all, of my credentials?
I want to turn your question around. In your place, I would not be interested in working for any company that wasn't delighted in my entrepreneurial efforts. The question they will ask is, "How long will you stay until you're off to do your next start up?" You need to answer this for yourself and be truthful with them.
I have a client who recently hired as his operations manager a man who was itching to start his own company. My client asked, "What would keep you with me?" His answer, "You are interested in growth. I want to help you grow, and I want a piece of the action. If you don't grow, I'll probably leave." Best hire he ever made.
Failures are some of peoples biggest learning opportunities. Absolutely put it on your resume. (Unless it failed for unethical or legal reasons)
I'm not sure I agree with the others. I would mention it for sure, but you are asking if you should highlight it as your main experience. I think I would downplay it somewhat, particularly if you are applying at a big company.
Some very good responses already based on different perspectives. So my perspective is that your résumé should be tailored depending upon the job you are applying. The goal of the résumé is to get you in the door for an interview, so you can shine in person/phone/video. Therefore, it is a bit like going on a first date. You would have to anticipate and decide what would work best (ie topics, language, style, etc.) in which particular situation. Highlight things that you think would generate an interest with your prospective employer, and get you to the second level of questions.
Ka \\ Creative Director \\ VolumeSquared
Providing it is relevant and doesn't devalue your overall position why not mention it. Equally previous jobs can be perceived as failures if you wanted to continue but your boss / company didn't. It's not the failure, but how you dealt with it and what you constructively learned in the end that matters.
Yes, you should mention your startup and als mention what you learned from this experience.
Absolutely - it will reinforce you have experience, honesty and integrity as core values. Be positive in how you present facts and ensure you show growth and development from any experiences. Express what you have learnt, what you would do differently and perhaps any self discovery key insights of what to avoid in future. From adversity comes greatness. How can you ever really succeed if you haven't fallen and done the hard yards to get there?
It's OK to fail, as most people said, you learn more from failures rather than successes. On your resume I personally wouldn't mention that it was a failure. It should be one of your work places where you worked. In the interview if it comes up, turn it into a positive and talk about your learnings from it.
Hi Alexandra ~
I agree with the others that it's definitely worth mentioning, especially as you say you gained most of your experience there. I'd highlight (perhaps bullet point) your takeaways, and how these traits/skills/awareness make you a more valuable resource now.
For sure. Positive, Yes. You've learned a ton and learned a lot. I am reminded of two famous quotes by inventor Thomas Edison. He had a few accomplishments but thousands of failures.
“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” ― Thomas A. Edison
Keep trying and learning. Good luck. All the best.
Alexandra, Have you considered how much you learned from your start-up? This experience is gold. I have been involved with many ventires that did not acieve what we set out to do but that experience sure made me a lot better than I was.
I suggest don't just mention your startup but highlight it and all the things you learned that makes you a better person for the next go around.
All the best to you.
Agree with all said and would add that it could be highlighted or otherwise depending upon its relevance for the next intended role. The questions should be does it add to the profile of the candidate? and/or does it add the the skills/experience/et al of the individual in relation to this role? If yes to either it really needs to have some prominence.
Another reason to include it..."What were you doing for these three years?" If I see a big chronological gap on a resume, I want to know what the person was doing. Travel? Education? Family? Were they learning new things and moving forward or spinning their wheels?
I would not. I would verbally talk about some of your challenges but not put it to print.
Why would you? What type of position are you applying for? Some hiring managers might see your failure quite differently from the way you see it. Although it was a learning experience for you, a hiring manager might see it as a failure and who wants to hire a failure. In the proper context, the startup might be beneficial -- like in the face to face interview. You should review different resume formats and choose one that highlights job-related experiences, without indicating the startup if possible. Talk to a career coach about this.
Yes definitely, it serves as a fantastic conversation topic during an interview.
No doubt a lot of helpful responses to help your mind up. From personal experience, it definitely helped my resume. As @Daniël A.D. Berckenkamp mentioned, it made good discussion during the interview. However, I must also agree with @Wayne Rowe that it can go either way. Circa all responses point to this fact - you must be able to demonstrate any lessons learnt and what you would do different if you encounter that situation again. In any case, tailor your resume for individual job roles and as @Amara Rose points out - "it's definitely worth mentioning, especially as you say you gained most of your experience there".
I had a failed startup which I heavily invested time and money in. I really believed in it and as a result I mention it in my social networks - and the great thing is that I harvested some of the tech knowhow generated from myToday.asia which became a seed to grow a new thing from!
Yes, I believe it shows courage to do so. But my question would be why you're applying for a job again, instead of start up again and show how you've learned from earlier mistakes.