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Resume Help/Putting Business Planning (for a business that didn't launch) on a Resume


Hello Lisa,

I spent roughly a year doing business planning for a pageant production company that would be responsible for producing a state beauty pageant for a national pageant system. I competed in the national pageant, took a business planning course, filed for an LLC and did some initial marketing/recruitment (website, business cards, talking to potential contestants).

I later came to the conclusion that it was not the best timing to launch this company and I halted the planning and marketing process. What's a good way of presenting business planning that did not end in a business being fully launched? What job title should I include - the title I would have had (Executive Director) or something that reflects business planning? How do I frame it nicely in the description that the business didn't launch...or should I not even touch on that and describe what it is that I did do?

Thank you

Hi Tikvah,
That sounds like an exciting adventure! So much work is involved in planning large productions, to include the networking, the coordination of vendors and specialized service providers, event sites, sponsors; the list is quite lengthy.

When reading the description of your accomplishment, I wondered if you pursued this endeavor full time, or was this initiative concurrent with other employment?  If this was your primary occupation during this period of time, the best strategy may be to list it as a period of employment.  If concurrent with other employment, list the subject as a point of interest. This project will provide the perfect opportunity to include key concepts that you may not be able to work in under other employment descriptions.    

Job titles can vary and can be designed to convey a particular message, depending upon your future goals and the target occupation.  Consider Business Planner, Project Manager, Program Director, Event Director-Coordinator, Pageant Development Professional, etc.

Your accomplishments are valid, with or without mentioning that economy delayed or prevented the fruition of the endeavor. Be sure to include key concepts that you portrayed in this message (pageant production, business plan, resource analysis, territory development (state), marketing, advertising, website development, marketing materials, networking, scouting, targeting, potential contestants, financial planning, budgeting, goals and objectives, mission statement). Describe the contributions based on the situation, the challenge, and actions taken.

“Developed the foundation of a comprehensive business plan, designed to support the direction and launch of a Beauty Pageant geared towards promoting state wide participation and national recognition among participants.”          

Hope this helps!  The goal is to include as many key words as possible to portray your knowledge of concepts in these areas. Would love to see how you decide to incorporate this situation into your final resume!


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Lisa Parker, CPRW


As a Certified Executive Résumé Master (CERM), Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP), Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialist, Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Facilitator, and retired service member; I can answer your questions on a variety of subjects. Ask me about résumé and cover letter preparation, military transition, federal or government résumé resources and other career development topics.


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