How to handle a job loss on your work record.
A good friend of ours recently got let go from his new job due to ‘restructuring’ and “re-budgeting”. Being the newest guy on the block and within the 3 month window of employment, he was offered no compensation, no counseling services, and no real explanations for why he was let go. The management at said employer suggested that he tell a future employer that the company decided to “take a different path” or “changed their corporate vision”. But such explanations did nothing to pacify his concern that future employers would see this as a blemish on his previously stellar record, and further reduce his desirability with other employers and HR managers. So what is he to do? This is an all too familiar story these days, and not the first we’ve heard about. Does he deny the two months he spent working at this new employer and eliminate it altogether from his employment record, resumé and on-line profile (this was a great job with one of the largest broadcasters in the country) or should he still list this position, focusing on his responsibilities and skills, and offer an explanation?
Jeanne Albert-Cheng, Owner and Chief People Person at FluidHR suggests that it may be best, depending on the circumstances and your work tenure, to eliminate that short-term job from your work record and focus instead on your other work history and advancing skill set. “We all have instances where we’ve taken a job or a position and suddenly realized it was a mistake or not the right fit. Sometimes things happen and maybe that corporate environment wasn’t the best fit for us after all” says the seasoned Corporate HR Consultant, “I like to call it ‘Lunch-Bag let-down’. It happens. We get there and find that after the first week it’s just not right for us, on either side of the table, but it doesn’t have to define our career or employment history.”
Yousuf Khatib, our Global Director of Marketing at loosemonkies.com suggest that you always focus on the positive – your Education, valuable Skills, Language (we are in the era of Global Commerce and Talent Pools after all), and Experience or work history. Here are our Top 5 Tips for managing a job loss on your on-line profile or resume:
1. Don’t mention it – really, don’t mention it. It’s not worth it. Under 3 months of experience, depending on your age and employment history, is not worth the trouble and can be easily explained away as a transition period.
2. Focus on the positive – most employers are looking at 4 main areas - experience, skills, achievements and attitude. Make sure you carefully note specific skills and training and list your achievements and awards.
3. Let them know what you know – use proper terminology for technologies, programs, practices or trades you know. Most recruiters are looking for specific skills or aptitudes so don’t waste time trying to figure out keywords, just let them know what you know.
4. Don’t exaggerate your education or experience – as we’ve seen recently, credentials, degrees and credits can be easily verified, especially when they are on-line and publicly available.
5. Don’t make a habit of it! – if this seems to be a recurring problem for you then maybe there are some larger issues afloat. You may need to examine your own workplaces practices and behaviors and see if there are areas you need to work on or some coaching that could benefit you. A good career counselor can be very beneficial to your future employability and opportunities.
Lastly, it usually comes down to your network and referrals. Try to maintain contact with your past colleagues’ and former managers who can not only speak for you as a character reference but also as keep a keen ear open for other opportunities you’d be well suited for.
While unpleasant to experience, such situations don’t have to be career-defining. Just be sure that while you are at your current employer you are noting or updating your profile with awards, achievements, training certificates or special projects. You never know how much those little things can add to your profile when you really need them.
The loosemonkies.com team
What would you do - Would you include that short experience on your job profile? We’d love to have you share your thoughts and experience with us…
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