Dear J.T. & DALE: I left my job five months ago, moving from the corporate world to a local company. I thought it was the perfect job, but, unfortunately, it didn’t work out. After a month, I had to travel back home because of a death in the family, and I left the new job. Recruiters have advised me to not include this one-month job on my resume. In interviews, when asked what happened at my last job, should I just not mention the short-term job? – J.R.
J.T.: I see why recruiters are suggesting that you not list the job: It could raise questions and cause some companies to pass on you.
DALE: Yes, but this isn’t a case of “no one will ever know.” When a prospective new employer contacts references, your old employer may mention that you left to take a new job.
J.T.: So, when you get to that point in interviews, tell them that you accepted a new job only to depart after a month due to an unexpected family matter. If they ask why you didn’t put it on your resume, simply say that you weren’t there long enough to have any major accomplishments to list, and therefore felt it should be left off. The honesty and sincerity will put their minds to rest.
DALE: I’d suggest one small change: Don’t wait to be asked why it wasn’t on your resume. Say that you left it off on the advice of recruiters and a pair of beloved newspaper columnists. You even might say: “I felt funny about leaving it off, but that was the advice I got. Do you think I should have put it on there?” That way, you are demonstrating respect for the opinions of interviewers while letting them know that you wrestled with the decision. That’s impressive candor and openness.
© 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
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