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Wall Street Journal blogger Amsale Aberra recently authored “Why Now Is the Time to Start a Business.” where she discusses today’s entrepreneurial market. Her post got me thinking about the challenges entrepreneurs face when presenting their experience in a resume.

Many of my clients come to me because their startup endeavors didn’t pan out, and they are hoping a return to Corporate America will provide stability and a steady paycheck.

With the right wording, a failed startup can easily translate into a positive experience for your resume sure to impress hiring managers, recruiters and decision makers.


When it comes to staffing no company is leaner than a startup. As a result, most entrepreneurs wind up wearing many hats. From payroll to HR, PR to sales, operations to administration – employees at startups do it all.

Position yourself as a jack-of-all-trades integral to running all aspects of a company, and you suddenly have showcased your skill diversity.

Order from Chaos

Those first hired (or who establish) a startup often face a “Wild West” atmosphere lacking continuity. When you transform chaos into order, you have created an infrastructure.

Highlight your talent for establishing controls and processes by noting your efforts at creating a sales, marketing, communications or finance foundation from the ground up.

By the Seat of Your Pants Flexibility

Many entrepreneurs tell me startup work is exciting because you never know what to expect. Survival in a “fly by the seat of your pants” environment means a talent for remaining flexible in an ambiguous work environment – a highly desirable job trait!

Influencing, Buy-in and Funding

Obtaining funding is often a critical component to getting a company off the ground. The skills vital to obtaining financial support are often the same needed to succeed in sales and even project management.

If your compelling presentations and persuasive cases succeeded in getting some much-needed cash, be sure to note this success.

Failures Become Success

Entrepreneurial endeavors often don’t work out. With some self-reflection and introspection, however, it is easy to see how the experiences learned can position you for a variety of roles.

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