Here's Why You Should Make a 'Failure Resumé'

Usually with a résumé, you're trying to highlight all your best skills and accomplishments to make yourself attractive to prospective employers. But some experts say you should also trying making a résumé that highlights all of your failures.

Many experts are suggesting people make a "failure résumé" as part of their career plans. The idea is that thinking about your past failures and missteps will help you learn from them, which will then make you more likely to succeed later. If you simply ignore your mistakes or failures, you won't learn anything form those experiences, and will be doomed to repeat them again and again.

The process is simple. All you do is make a list of failures or missteps from your life. This can include colleges that rejected you, projects you messed up, goals you didn't complete and other similar things. You shouldn't obsesses over them for hours and hours, but take a little time to write out the list and think about what went wrong. 

"It will be six times as long as your normal CV. It will probably be utterly depressing at first sight," says Melanie Stefan, a lecturer at Edinburgh Medical School who's written extensively on the subject. "But it will remind you of the missing truths, some of the essential parts of what it means to be a scientist—and it might inspire a colleague to shake off a rejection and start again."

This can be a private thing that you share only with yourself. But you can also make it part of your regular résumé. Employers may be impressed to see a prospective worker who acknowledges their mistakes and how they'll learn from them.

(h/t Mental Floss)


After a battery of tests and misdiagnoses, I was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease twelve years ago, and thus began a long battle with trial-and-error medical treatments. I changed my diet several times, even though my doctors didn’t seem confident it would change much (it didn’t), went to physical therapy for pain-related issues, and took so many different pharmaceuticals I can’t even begin to recall each and every one. My days were foggy due to side effects from pharmaceuticals, such as steroids, that made me feel worse than I did before I even took them.

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