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

Woman on laptop thinks about whether she should add a short-term job to her resume

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?

A job seeker 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 that a lot of people have when writing their resumes. Here's what you need to do if you're in a similar situation:

Consider The Background Check

Man gives the hiring manager his resume that lists a short-term job


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 it's important to know 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

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.

In a job interview, if a hiring manager asks you about the short-term job, you can say, "No, I listed it. I was there for such a short period of time that I didn't put it in my main resume."

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. So, make sure to include a short-term job in the "Additional Experience" section of your resume. It's an easy and effective solution.

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This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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