Ask A Recruiter: How to Document Short-Term Jobs on Your Resume

ask_a_recruiterWhen it comes to preparing for a job search, acing interviews, and creating resumes, we know you have a lot of questions. To help answer your job search questions, our very own industry experts at Express Employment Professionals are posting their answers here on the Movin’ On Up blog.

Question
In the first installment of our new series, “Ask a Recruiter,” we’re excited to feature a question from Movin’ On Up reader Amanda.

Amanda asks, “When filling out job applications, should you include short-term jobs and ones that resulted in termination? I would think it looks bad, but isn’t lying on an application frowned upon?”

Answer
It’s important to note that a resume and an application for employment are two very different things. Let’s start with the resume. A resume is your career billboard and should highlight your most significant experiences in regard to the position you’re applying for. In fact, it’s a good practice to tailor your resume for each role you’d like to pursue. The most common resume form in the job market today is the chronological resume, which lists in order the roles you’ve held during your career. If you feel you may have employment gaps on your resume, consider using a functional resume.

Functional resumes focus on your skill sets and experiences, rather than the jobs you’ve held. The functional resume is also a great choice if you’re looking to change fields. And here’s some good news – if you search the internet for functional resumes, you’ll find hundreds of examples at the click of a mouse! Express Employment Professionals has a great example of a functional resume that can help in your job search.

Now, when it comes to the application, it’s very important that you don’t lie! In many organizations, falsifying an application can be grounds for immediate dismissal. So, let’s discuss how to document gaps in employment and short assignments. Before you do anything, consider calling the office and speaking with the recruiter personally. Ask them what they need on the application and what’s necessary for the position. Many times, the recruiter can clarify how they’d like you to proceed. Usually, they will look to see what experience you have that would qualify you for the available position. Of course, no recruiter likes to be surprised by additional information you provide later in the process, so don’t hide your work history.

If a position resulted in termination, it does need to be discussed. You gained vital skills and experiences in the position that could qualify you for the role you’re seeking. To falsify or omit such experience could lead to consequences down the road. The fact is – you’re not the only person out there who has been terminated, and you won’t be the last. Being honest and open about the situation will most likely yield a better outcome than pretending it didn’t happen. Just make sure you’re ready to discuss the termination if you land an interview. Never bad mouth your previous employer, don’t place blame on others, and be ready to share what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown from the experience. Do some homework and try to get letters of recommendation or references from people you worked with at the previous job who can vouch for your character. Remember, honesty is always the best policy.

Thanks for asking, Amanda! And thank you to Joe Paquette from Express for providing the answer!

Do you have a question about the job search, hiring, or recruiting process? Now’s your chance to have your question answered by industry professionals who find, interview, and hire people every day. Ask your question in the comments section below and check back soon to read what our experts have to say!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Comments

  1. Pingback: Ask A Recruiter: How to Document Short-Term Jobs on Your Resume | Express Pros Manchester

  2. cynthia

    So if someone only has a job for a few weeks, it did not go well and they did not learn any new skills on that job, you would still say that they should include that job on the application even if they could have a valid reason for not being employed during that time frame other than being let go?

  3. Anthony S

    Hi,
    What do you do if you were terminated from a job and when you ask for a reference, the Manager say that they can’t give you a reference , but only give you a phone number to call for verification of employment? Thanks in advance.

    Sincerely,
    Anthony S.

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