Listing A Short-Term Job: Will It Help Or Hurt Your Career?

Have you ever been at a job for such a short period of time that you wondered if it was even worth it to list it on your resume or LinkedIn profile?

An individual recently asked us, "Should I list a job if I wasn't there for a very long time, and state whether or not I was laid off or fired?"

That's a great question. Here's what you need to do if you're in a similar situation.

Consider The Background Check

Man decides to include a short-term job on his resume

The first thing you have to ask yourself is what a short period of time is to you. Is it a week, month, or year?

This is going to vary from person to person. But I will tell you that any company that does a reference check on you, or a background check, is going to see every employer that ever paid you.

You have to understand that when you leave employers off the list, and they do a reference check and suddenly see that you worked at this company or that company, it's going to look like you're lying.

Utilize An "Additional Experience" Section On Your Resume

Woman adds short-term jobs on her resume under "additional experience"

I usually advise people to create a section in their resume called the "additional experience" section. This is where you're going to list unrelated work experience. Maybe you're working a retail job, or are in some kind of hobby career, or had some super-short assignments that you weren't at long enough for them to make an impact on your career.

This way, it's on paper. You can say, "No, I listed it. It's just that I was there for such a short period of time that I didn't put it in my main resume."

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I think that's the best way to handle these situations. More importantly, you need to know how to answer the question, "Why are there gaps in your resume?" or "Why were you at this company for such a short period of time?"

These days, it's hard enough to get an interview in the first place. You don't want to blow it by hiding anything.

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Teacher lectures students in a classroom

My grandparents owned a two-story walkup in Brooklyn, New York. When I was a child, my cousins and I would take turns asking each other questions, Trivial Pursuit style. If we got the question correct, we moved up one step on the staircase. If we got the question wrong, we moved down one step. The winner was the person who reached the top landing first. While we each enjoyed serving as the “master of ceremonies on 69th Street,” peppering each other with rapid-fire questions, I enjoyed the role of maestro the most of all my cousins. I suppose I was destined to be an educator.

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