How to Explain a Short Span of Time on Your Resume

When a new job just doesn’t work, you may be concerned about what getting laid off might mean for your resume and career. You will feel that your short six-month stay with the company can overshadow all your other professional achievements and lead to an identity crisis.

On my resume, I have two jobs that I have worked for less than six months (one was a layoff, so it is usually easier to explain). And while I mostly interviewed without answering questions about my short-term stay, it’s almost always embarrassing to explain that I just didn’t like the role I took on. Is there a correct way to explain short times on your resume?

Well, that depends on your specific situation (and industry as well). According to Laura Mazzullo, recruiter and owner of East Side Staffing , honesty goes a long way if you’re just not happy in your job. “Most employers want authenticity,” she said via email. “They want to understand the motives of the candidate, and their main concern is whether we can keep this person? Will we offer them what they couldn’t find anywhere else? “It is useful to understand what has not previously worked for the candidate.”

After all, if you left because you were unhappy, she advises you to tell the truth about it. If you are not entirely honest, you can immediately move on to another job that you want to give up. Explain why you left and what you want in your next role (without scolding your old job).

Perhaps the responsibilities in your role have changed unexpectedly and are no longer aligned with your interests or goals, and you are looking for something that more closely matches what you want to do next – the more personal / detailed the better, so it sounds less like it. to a formulaic answer. Above on Sliced , Allison Greene ask the manager for an example of a similar response you can provide.

“Unfortunately, the work was not what I expected. I was hired to create written content, but it turned out that they really needed someone specializing in graphic design. In the end, it was a very different role than the one I originally signed up for. “

Of course, there are other explanations for why you might have quit early — for example, for personal reasons — in which case you don’t need to tell the whole story; just explain what you are looking for in a promising new job. (Your interviewer will hopefully read between the lines.)

If you got fired for some reason, yes, it’s harder. “To be honest, there is no right or wrong answer here,” Mazzullo said. “The problem here is employer bias. Will they automatically make the assumption that this is a “bad” employee? This is a serious problem because many will think so. Again, I would encourage transparency and think about the outcome of the actions. Has the candidate learned anything from this experience? Most employers want to hear the whole lesson learned, not just “I got fired.”

Regardless of why you quit your job, interviewing is best to reassure them that you are not specifically looking for another short-term job. “Regardless of what you say, it’s important to let them know that your next move will be long term,” said u / moonpuncher , the author of the resume, on a Reddit thread. “Let them know that you are interested in a company where you can truly grow, that you have decided that your next move will be long term, and that you want to be very selective.”

And of course, if you have a resume with multiple short periods, consider editing your resume, especially in situations where you may have only lasted a few weeks.


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