For quite a while I've been working on a project which I always hoped to reach maturity of a startup project. I made several attempts at the idea and the project idea evolved over time, by creating a few projects with different approach.

Now I need to get a 9 to 5 job again, but I don't know how to include my startup experience in my resume. Because I don't want to disclose the project idea to others before it's actually launched. Fear of competitors taking over.

How would you approach this situation?

closed as off-topic by gnat, scaaahu, mandy, mag, espindolaa Oct 9 at 14:05

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  • 2
    What kind of jobs are you seeking to apply? In what industry and in what country? – DarkCygnus Oct 8 at 22:22
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    it's a software project. seeking to apply to software jobs in Belgium – zenlight Oct 8 at 22:25
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    how is an incomplete project you didn't get paid for and don't want to discuss 'experience'? Sounds like home hobby project rather than professional experience. – Kilisi Oct 8 at 22:34
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    I'm a bit confused here. Was this an actual start up? Or did you simple try build an application that would eventually become a startup. Its one thing to have a commercial product and company to push it. Its another thing to try develop your own software. – Shadowzee Oct 8 at 23:33
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    Will you quit again after your project does become a startup? Might be a reason not to mention it anyway – user180146 Oct 9 at 7:39

Ideas, in themselves, are worth usually nothing, as long as they are kept strictly in the mind of the person who generated the said ideas.

Therefore, it is totally inappropriate to mention these in your CV, since you are not willing to talk about it anyway.

For the best outcome, just mention in the CV the information you already have and that you can talk about, and which helps you sell yourself for the highest price.

Once you have the startup ready, you will plan new strategies on how to handle the 9-to-5 job in parallel with the startup, or how you should make changes graciously.

You might mention during the interview that you work on some personal projects at home, and that might interfere slightly with your employment, e.g. you might not be able to do overtime on a short time's notice. If they ask about details, you may limit yourself saying the generic stuff, e.g.:

"I develop a web-based platform for offering services to (albino panda bears). When it will reach a more mature stage, I will feel more comfortable to talk about it."

Just be careful not to hurt your chances of employment if you show too much involvement in your own personal projects.


The purpose of putting projects and previous work in your resume is not to give a detailed overview of the project's implementation. They don't care what your project is or what it does. They only care about the work you have done on it. Nobody cares about a would-be one-man startup or their product (something you'll figure out pretty quickly if you end up launching it someday). They are hiring you for your skills. If for example its a social media startup, its good enough to say you worked on a social media platform and go into the actual work you did on it.

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