I'm trying to avoid a gap on my resume. After leaving my previous employer I've been working on multiple businesses concepts over the course of two years. I researched each business individually before finding the one that worked and launching it.

I have only been working on the successfully launched business for less than a year, but I've been paying my own way (self employed?) for the entire two years while working on those other business concepts which didn't pan out.

What is the correct way to list this time span on a resume?

Do I attribute the entire two years to the current business?

  • 1
    Are they a similar industry? If they are essentially similar then I would wrap them up together.
    – Jane S
    Jun 16, 2015 at 11:50

2 Answers 2


Just because you weren't working on a viable product the whole time doesn't mean you weren't working the whole time. It's all part of being self-employed/entrepreneurial.

Presumably, your research included getting at least a little bit deeper than amateur level in the things you considered, and you should know a whole lot about why some things wouldn't be viable for you to build a business on.

On your resume, list the whole time as self-employment, and describe the experience, knowledge and skills you gained in the process of research and development. The only way this could raise a red flag for a potential employer is if they don't believe you were actually doing that the whole time (for example, if your 'research' consisted of surfing the Internet for a couple of hours a day, then 'testing' video games the rest of the time). As long as you can talk in detail about your work, and demonstrate that you understand it well, and can apply your skills to their business, and will fit in with their culture, you'll be fine.


You were self employed. The fact that small business X had an official start date that you registered with the government is irrelevant. Put the entire time you spent deciding what to do and assign it to the small business. Don't feel that you had a gap.

If you want to stress the business development process you could say you has three jobs that overlapped: business development, the small business and your freelancing work.

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