Professional Development Resumes & Cover Letters

What Would Mark Zuckerberg’s Resume Look Like if Facebook Failed

Written by Peter Jones

We all spend so much time fretting about what is and what is not on our resumes. We also spend a great deal of time idolizing tech billionaires and entrepreneurs who went an unorthodox route and really made career magic happen for themselves. But what does a carefree, “I made it on my own” resume really look like on paper?

It’s important to remember that the risk takers and innovators often have resumes that look a little out of balance. And hey, it worked out for them. No matter what your past looks like, there’s proof that a lot of hard work (and sure, a smidgen of luck) can combine to bring you great success.

Here are a few bullet points from Mark Zuckerberg’s would-be resume if his Facebook gamble had failed and he had found himself out on the post-grad job market with the rest of his Harvard class.

Mark Zuckerberg


Harvard University, Psychology and Computer Science   (Sept 2002 – ongoing)

Phillips Exeter Academy, Classical studies and Science   (May 1999-2001)   GPA 4.0

Software Development Experience

Facemash          (Oct 2003 – ongoing)

Internal social media website allowing visitors to rate their classmates at Harvard University as “hot” or “not.” Hugely popular and experienced such a spike in numbers as to overwhelm the Harvard servers.

CourseMatch   (2003 – ongoing)

Mini-social medial, the first of its kind, allowing university students to choose their courses based on the choices of their classmates, and to form study groups and meet-ups.

Synapse Media Player (2000 – 2001)

App using artificial intelligence to learn the listening preferences of the user, then recommending appropriate music. Featured on the SlashDot, rated 3/5 by PCMag, and reached more than 1000 downloads in the first month alone. Attracted significant interest from Microsoft and AOL.


  • Founded two of the most popular apps at Harvard
  • Won over 10 prizes in Math, Physics, Astronomy, and Classics
  • Proficient or advanced proficient in six languages (English, Mandarin Chinese, French, Hebrew, Latin, Ancient Greek)
  • Developed first software application at the age of 12
  • Captain of prep school fencing team

Tech Skills & Strengths

  • Product Development
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • HTML & CSS
  • PHP
  • Atari Basic

Software Applications

ZuckNet (1996 – 1997)

Dental practice software, designed at age 12 using Atari Basic, allowing family computers to communicate with those of family dental practice.

Computer versions of Monopoly & Risk (1995-1996)

Digitized versions of two popular board games for up to 6 players.


Alpha Epsilon Pi

Kirkland House 


The Odyssey & The Iliad, Tennis, Rowing, Fencing, and Programming


Verdict? Not really all that impressive. Keep this in mind as you build your own resume. Make sure to view your career goals and accomplishments with a healthy amount of perspective.


About the author

Peter Jones