Short-Term Work Experience?


Times are changing. While previous generations stayed at the same job for their whole working life, that’s not the case today. According to HR expert John Sullivan, up to 70 percent of employees quit their jobs within two years (source: Harvard Business Review). So, if like most job seekers, you have a lot of short-term work experience, you may be wondering how this will impact future job opportunities. Savvy managers recognize that job hopping does not always signal a bad employee. However, there are still many HR professionals stuck in the mentality that short-term work experience is an automatic disqualifying factor. So, how can you ensure your short-term work experience doesn’t hinder your job search?

How to List Short-Term Jobs on a Resume

If your resume reads like a novel, thanks to job turnover, be proactive and make changes to avoid being red-flagged. There are a few ways you can do this:

  • Use a Functional Resume, rather than a chronological listing of jobs
  • Leave off jobs you held for less than six months (do not leave jobs off a formal application)
  • List only your last 10-15 years of work experience on your resume
  • Include a brief explanation for each short-term job (e.g., “laid off due to economic downturn”)

How to Discuss Work History in an Interview

If you’ve done a good job on your resume, hopefully you’ll land an interview. If so, you will need to complete a formal application, which means every job will be up for discussion. How can you overcome your short job history during an interview?

  • Be honest about why you left
  • Speak positively of all former employers
  • Focus on the positive qualities your job history gives you

Sullivan has written at length about how job hopping can be a positive thing. One of the best qualities a job hopper can have is adaptability. It’s similar to the experience of a temporary worker; when you are constantly in new situations or positions, you have to be a quick learner.

If you have a long history of short jobs, don’t stress. There’s no reason why your work history should keep you from landing your next position. Working with the job placement experts at Staffing Partners can make it even easier to find excellent Oregon job opportunities. Get started by uploading your resume today!

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