Should I Put a Short Term Job on a Resume?

It used to be that you could get away with not putting a short term job on a resume. After all, they are technically frowned upon. However, in this digital age with extensive job search 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? You don’t want to come off as irresponsible but you also don’t want to lie. 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.

Additionally, you can use the experience to your advantage. For example, if you left or were fired from the other position because you could not work copious amounts of overtime, but you were flexible to work five to ten hours of occasional overtime, and the prospective employer only needed periodic overtime that could be a good reason to bring up the conflict that led to the termination.

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.

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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, MARKETING CONSULTING ASSIGNMENTS (OVERALL DATE RANGE) and list each client, 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. Simply put, just because you don’t put your short term job on the application doesn’t mean they won’t find it.

Whereas on a resume you may be able to get away without mentioning it, an employment application is a totally different ball game. A resume is seen more as a marketing tool by employers whereas an application is official documentation of your work history. It’s the application employers use to run your background check, not your resume.

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