How to Get a Job After a Failed Startup

by Nathan McGinty

If you're bemoaning your fate after the failure of a startup business, don't feel bad -- you're not alone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 47 percent of businesses founded in 2005 were still alive five years later. Instead of looking at a failed startup as a black mark on your resume, you can turn the lessons you learned during your time into accomplishments that can help you land a new position.

Make a list of your accomplishments while you were at your startup. Look over the list and think of actionable bullet points you can add to your resume. For example, suppose your startup was a consulting firm and you project-managed a proprietary piece of software designed to help manage consultant bids and contracts. In this instance, you could add a bullet point under the heading of "Project management."

Craft your resume with an eye toward your list of accomplishments. Don't try to hide the fact that you ran a startup that didn't make it. Instead, highlight your strengths and use concrete examples of some of your accomplishments with the startup, such as large accounts you landed or successful projects you oversaw.

Create a personalized website that highlights your professional achievements. This is especially important if you were working in a creative capacity at your startup. On your website, put up any videos, illustrations or graphics that you created for your former company.

Take additional classes or training while looking for a new position. This will not only help you learn new skills, it will also put you in touch with other people in your industry who might know companies that are hiring.

Contact a professional recruiter to help with your job search. Find one who recruits specifically for your industry to help get the inside track on any new job openings. It is important to seek work in your field of expertise to improve your chances of landing the right job.

Network with your former colleagues, customers and clients. Let them know that you are back in the marketplace for a job.

Join a professional organization or a local users group to help meet people outside your network.

About the Author

Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.