How do I discuss a short-term job on my resume?

There are many reasons why a job seeker may have changed jobs multiple times in the past, including jobs of short duration.  The short-term job may be as a result of layoffs, not being the “right fit”, personal or family issues or simply lack of interest.  Although it is always preferable to remain in a job for a minimum of two years to demonstrate stability and continuity in the workplace, sometimes an employee leaves a job after a few months (or weeks) and thus has a short-term position that requires explanation on the resume.

Many people have had internships, summer jobs, or contract employment.  If you are in the early stages of your career, part-time jobs at college, summer jobs or short-term internships may actually add value to the resume, and should be included. Otherwise, your resume should only list experience and skills that makes sense for the job you are applying for. You do not need to include every single past job, part-time or short-term, on the resume if the skills required are not relevant.  

Reorganizing your resume, focusing on your appropriate experience and skills, and less chronologically, may get better reception.  The ideal arrangement would be to write an impactful Job Objective at the top of the document, and then create lists or bullets showcasing your proficiencies and expertise. You don’t want to confuse or negatively influence the recruiter by reading about briefly-held positions, especially if they don’t contribute to the position you are seeking.  If you want to include some short-term jobs on the resume try eliminating the months of your tenure at the job, and just include the years, such as:

  • Hostess at 5-Star Restaurant                               2021
A discussion regarding any short-term positions, or frequent job changes, should be reserved for the interview, when you can clearly explain your reasons.