Should You Put That Short-term Job on Your Resume?

short termIt used to be that you could get away with not putting a short term job on a resume. After all, many recruiters see them as a filler, or a job hop.

However, in the Social Age, it is not uncommon to work short term, and  you may actually hurt yourself more if you don’t put the job on the resume.

This begs the question, how do you approach it? How do you list that shorter-than-expected gig without coming off as a job hopper, or unemployable?

Use our tips below to help you address a short term job on your resume.

Own the Reason for Leaving the Job

Whether you left the job for a good reason or a bad reason, you need to own it. Of course, depending on the situation there will be a couple of different ways to handle it.

If you had a positive experience at the job but it ended unexpectedly you can use it as an example of how you deal with adversity. Recruiters know that sometimes these things happen so this is a perfect opportunity to show your great attitude.

If your reason for departing is a bad one then it’s important that you be as diplomatic as possible. There’s no worse red flag than someone throwing a former employer under the bus, even if they did have a horrific experience and kind of deserve it.

Indicate the Nature of Your Short Term Role

If the position in question was contract or short term in nature then it’s in your best interest to mention that on the resume.

If you did contract roles back-to-back, then consider putting the client names and titles as bullets under one employment. For instance you can have a resume section titled, “SHORT TERM ASSIGNMENTS” and list each position, date, achievement and function title as a bullet under the employer heading. This can be much more visually appealing than having a separate heading for each one.

Include Everything on the Employment Application

In the age of Google its imperative that you list everything on the employment application. Why? Because today, even if you don’t put your short term job on the application doesn’t mean they won’t find it online.

Besides, an employment application is a totally different ball game than a resume. A resume is seen more as a marketing tool by employers, whereas an application is official documentation of your work history. Since it’s the application employers use to run your background check, not your resume, an omission often comes across as dishonest.

Own your past work experience, short term and long term. Make each experience count. And get the job interview!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Chameleon Resumes!


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Lisa RangelAbout the Author: Lisa Rangel, founder and managing director of Chameleon Resumes, a Forbes Top 100 Career Website, has helped hundreds land the exact job they wanted. A former recruiter, she is a 7-time certified resume writer, job search consultant, and one of the few resume writers performing resume and job search-related work for LinkedIn. Lisa has been featured on Forbes, LinkedIn, Investors Business Daily, and many more publications. Follow Lisa on Twitter!



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