Mandy Fard
Sep 3, 2019 · 4 min read

Should I Include This Job on My Résumé?

A picture of a question asked by most clients: Should I include this job on my resume?
A picture of a question asked by most clients: Should I include this job on my resume?
A question asked by most clients

This is actually a fairly common question — but there’s no simple answer. As with many job search-related issues, the answer is: it depends.

The first thing to consider when deciding whether or not to include a short-term position on your résumé is whether it was planned as a short-term position, or if it simply ended up that way.

If the job was a contract (or a contract-to-hire role that didn’t get picked up), the usual answer is: Yes, include the job on your résumé. Make sure to describe it as such: “Hired for temporary, three-month role during maternity leave of key staffer” or “Contract-to-hire position ended prematurely due to termination of company relationship with client.”

Hiring managers are often sympathetic to short-term engagements when the circumstances are explained.

If the position wasn’t meant to be short-term, it may be wise to find a way to make it seem like it wasn’t as short. You could include it on the résumé but list your experience by year, instead of month/year to month/year.

For example, list the experience as Bumblebee Incorporated (2019) vs. Bumblebee Incorporated (March 2019 — August 2019).

Also consider whether you can “group” the role with other positions. For example, if you had several short-term roles — even if they were not technically temporary jobs — think about whether you can combine them into a single description.

For example, if you had a sales role with company ABC for eight months but left for a better opportunity with company XYZ — but only worked there for a year — consider listing the positions jointly as “Sales Representative, ABC/XYZ” with the inclusive dates. This only works, however, if the titles and work responsibilities are very similar.

If the job wasn’t intended to be short-term — but ended up that way because you were fired, or you quit because you didn’t like the job/company/people, consider leaving it off. But even in this situation, there are exceptions.

For example, did you learn any new skills in this role, or use any skills that aren’t described elsewhere on your résumé? If so, you may want to include the position so that you have the opportunity to showcase those skills.

Did you work for a name-brand company (for example, a well-known startup or Fortune 500 company) or did you work with a name-brand client in the scope of your work in that role? You may want to include the position on the résumé to increase the search engine optimization (SEO) of the résumé for applicant tracking systems — or simply to impress a hiring manager.

Will having this position on your résumé help position you for a career change? Even if your time in the position wasn’t long, if having that experience on there it helps you bridge the transition from one career to the next, consider including it.

Finally, is this role your only work experience relevant to your job target? For example, if you are a recent graduate but were “first in and first out” at your first job, consider including it if you were on the job more than 90 days. (Often the most recent person hired is the first person let go, because you missed two consecutive quarters of sales quotas, you might include the role on your résumé (especially if you were selling a desirable product or working with high-profile clients) but be ready to explain that you didn’t have the depth of product knowledge that you should have had in order to be successful in that position. This is a particularly effective strategy to explain why you left your last job, if you have been successful in previous sales roles, but just not in this one.

One important thing to note: If you are asked to complete a job application that requires you to list all positions you’ve held (read the application directions carefully!), you should include each and every role — no matter how short — particularly if you’re required to sign the application (and, therefore, attest to the truthfulness of the information included).

But on the résumé, you can decide which positions to include and exclude, and even how they are arranged.

Determining what to include — and what to exclude — on your résumé to maximize your chances of getting an interview is one of the important functions a professional résumé writer can assist you with. Having the guidance and experience of a professional to help you navigate your job search can save you time and money, landing you that dream job faster, and potentially even at a higher salary than you were expecting.

Checklist of Whether or Not to Include a Position on Your Résumé

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Mandy Fard

Written by

I am a recruiter & resume writer at https://www.market-connections.net. Aside from my lifelong passion to help jobseekers, I enjoy gardening, & French music!

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +733K people. Follow to join our community.

Mandy Fard

Written by

I am a recruiter & resume writer at https://www.market-connections.net. Aside from my lifelong passion to help jobseekers, I enjoy gardening, & French music!

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +733K people. Follow to join our community.

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