How does one show a failed startup on one's resume and applications? I spent the better of the past six months on setting up an outsourcing firm that finally couldn't go into business. I learnt a substantial bit about running a business over the last six months but sadly it all didn't materialize into a running concern.
I am planning to apply for admission to a course in Fall 2005. How should I present this experience on my applications? And would a failed startup be taken against me?
If you were employed by Failed Startup LLC for six months, then simply list it on your resume as you would any other employer. Describe your achievements, if any, or responsibillities, for example "Led three-member team in attempting to arrange $20 million in funding." Focus on what you did accomplish and do, not what you failed to do.
The failed startup could have been an incredible learning experience. You need to convey the educational value of this experience. It will not be held against you. Obviously you also need to have other experience that is impressive. It will be looked at in the context of your overall application. It also could make a great topic for a failure essay.
To sum up: Make the best of it. Don't focus on the failed part of the experience; focus on the learning part of the experience. And don't fail to put it on your resume. A six-month gap would be more damaging and falsifying the dates of your previous and later employments to that you would show yourself fully employed throughout could (and has when others tried it) lead to the withdrawal of an offer or an expulsion.
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