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I will start applying for jobs soon, but my experience will have a recent 3 month long work in a single company (which from what I have learned, is a general bad impression).

Should I preemptively explain in my cover letter the reason for having such a record? Or should I wait for them to ask? Or is it better to straight up include it in the resume that it is a contractual job?

If I don't, would it hurt my chances? In other words, would some employers immediately not consider a resume which has a history of short employment times?

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Is the only reason that it was 3 months because it was a contract for that long? Or was it a permanent job that you left? –  Fiona Taylor Gorringe Jul 15 at 12:53
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Very related question - workplace.stackexchange.com/q/9965/2322 –  enderland Jul 15 at 13:08
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Err, I was thinking of this question which is nearly identical. –  enderland Jul 15 at 13:24

5 Answers 5

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Should I preemptively explain in my cover letter the reason for having such a record? Or should I wait for them to ask? Or is it better to straight up include it in the resume that it is a contractual job?

If I don't, would it hurt my chances? In other words, would some employers immediately not consider a resume which has a history of short employment times?

No.

Your resume and cover letter are for selling yourself, highlighting your strengths, indicating your eagerness and capability to do a great job with the role you are seeking.

Don't include or try to explain away negative information in your cover letter or resume. Save that for the interview - just be prepared with a good response if asked "Why was your last position only 3 months?"

It may never even come up as an issue.

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Working a 3 month contract then leaving is very very different from hiring on full time then quitting or being fired after 3 months.

The former is "just business", while the latter can raise questions about your personality, fit for the position, etc.

As others have noted, don't make an issue of it. Eventually you'll consider 3 months to be a 'rounding error' and may elect to leave it off your resume entirely.

If asked during an interview, you have nothing to hide - you were brought in for 3 months to work on a project. You did so, & the project's finished. No big deal.

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I would leave this for the interview, and only bring it up if you are asked. Try and concentrate on the positives (e.g. what you achieved and the skills you developed) during the experience, instead of drawing attention to the negatives.

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Leave it off the cover letter. It should be about why you're a great fit for the company and the position. Being defensive in the cover letter wouldn't help you and would be off-topic anyway.

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I agree with what others have stated. I would leave it off the cover letter and instead focus on the positives. If you have the right skill set they are looking for it will not prevent them from responding to your application. Just make sure you are ready to speak to it when asked. If it was contracting it shouldn't be a problem, perm jobs are a little harder to get away with but not impossible. Make sure you bold and valid keywords in your resume as well to help bring out those areas to catch the interviewers eyes, this will make it easier for them to overlook your 3mo of employment :).

The recruiters will normally hit you up and let you know if they have questions about your employment time and if you speak with them a head of time they can also proactively counter concerns if they are brought up so make sure if you are using one they know the situation.

Good luck!

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