Some jobs end with a promotion, others with a career move, and some end in termination. What if you didn’t get to leave a job on your terms? Should you leave a job you were fired from off of your resume as you are trying to advance or even switch careers?
Your resume is a marketing document, not a legal one. You don’t have to list every job you’ve ever held. You can include the jobs you want to include on your resume, and leave other jobs out of the picture. Resumes must be truthful and should not mislead the prospective employer in any way.
Your reasons for leaving will most likely come up in the interview and you should instead turn your attention to explaining what happened. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare to face any awkward questions.
You should never leave off relevant jobs from a resume that will cause an employer to be misled. Even though some job experiences may place you in an unfavorable light, you should still include them on your resume. However, there are some legitimate reasons to leave a job off of your resume.
The job is dated: Some people include every job they have held since entering the workforce. If you are more advanced in your career, a new employer will only be interested in what you have done over, say, the past ten or fifteen years.
Less than six months: If you worked at a job for less than six months and it is not directly related to the job you are applying for, you might leave it off your resume.
Part-time or short-term: A number of people do term work while seeking full-time employment. It is not necessary that you list all these roles. However, you may want to consider a section on your resume dedicated to “contract work” if you wish to show experience in a particular field. The world is changing, and thoughtful hiring managers don’t obsess the way they used to about the thought of a working person taking some time away from work. Go ahead and leave a job or two off your resume if you feel the urge to. It’s a new day, and job-seekers are leading the way.
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