I'm applying for industrial positions for data scientist and related. I've a lot of relevant academic experience (e.g. PhD in math and postdocs), but very little industry experience. For the later, I worked for 2 months in a startup (in France, if necessary) as a data scientist, but they discontinued my trial period. Despite, I feel that I've learnt couple of things from that short period, e.g. gaining more proficiency and confidence in Python programming, having some familiarity with computer vision, and the satisfaction of completing a significant part of my project. With this in mind, I don't want to completely leave it off, like someone asked here-Is it OK to leave very short-term employment off my resume?

Because I'm applying for similar industrial positions, I'm thinking of mentioning that brief experience in my CV to prove that I've some industry experience. On the other hand, the fact that it's too short may imply negatively of me in my CV. So, given these positive and negative points, is there a way I can prove in my CV that I've some relevant industry experience that made me grow my skill set, without being a victim of the fact that it's too short? Is there a way to prove my industry knowledge without the precise duration of it? if yes, what's the best way to mention it in my CV? Should I mention the startup's name?

I'm thinking of mentioning just the year of work (2018) for this industry experience, as well as for other experiences as well, instead of mentioning the months of start and finish. Will that work?

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    "but they discontinued my trial period" - did this end badly or smoothly? What were the reasons for ending your trial period? – DarkCygnus Jun 1 '18 at 23:03
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    Possible duplicate of Is it OK to leave very short-term employment off my resume? – Rory Alsop Jun 1 '18 at 23:03
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    @DarkCygnus: it wasn't bad, just that I didn't meet all the objectives expected of me. No disrespect meant or shown to each other. Is that smooth? – Anon_math Jun 1 '18 at 23:07
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    @RoryAlsop: I've just checked out the question you pointed to. But looks like the OP there and me have quite opposite goals: (s) he wants to leave the short employments off, I want to mention them, without being too precise about them, and in a way that's not self-sabotaging. – Anon_math Jun 1 '18 at 23:09
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    The answers are the same though :-) – Rory Alsop Jun 1 '18 at 23:10

I fear that including a 2-month work experience in your resume may bring more harm than good.

Usually, the minimum time for one to consider including a work experience is 6 months, and that still falls a bit short. Furthermore, you say that your trial period was "discontinued", which seems to suggest that they were not exactly very happy or satisfied with your performance.

I suggest that in this case you leave that brief experience out of your resume, and instead focus on the assets you got that are a good fit for the industry you are applying. However, if you feel you learned something useful from that past experience don't hesitate to include it as part of your assets.

Also, remember to be honest if they ask you about former experiences, as denying you had that job could jeopardize your application.

  • Why the downvote (to a well respected contributor) ? – Mawg says reinstate Monica Jun 2 '18 at 6:01
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    @Mawg sometimes people just pass by giving away free DVs... anyways I am positive the answer can be of help for OP, and that is what matters (at least to me :)). Thanks for your support though, I am sure the voter had valid reasons, as serial/malicious downvoting is frowned and punished by the Community. – DarkCygnus Jun 2 '18 at 6:07
  • What a coincidence. That's my term - driveby downvotinng. It can start with one, possibly correct, possibly wrong, downvote, but can easily turn into people glancing quickly at the questionand thinking "oh, some dowwnvotes. - must be a bad question. I won't waste my time reading it; I'll just downvote too" – Mawg says reinstate Monica Jun 2 '18 at 6:34
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    @Mawg ohh, the voting mechanics and gamification... thats a real thing, as it is the case for not-so-nice comments or one in a million scenario derailing a good answer :/ if you want ping me on chat so we can continue discussing this tomorrow (and for the sake of keeping comments clean :) ), there are some meta posts regarding these phenomena – DarkCygnus Jun 2 '18 at 6:39

Resumes don't just have to be a listing of past employment engagements. Typically, there's some sort of "summary" section near the top, where you can give your sort of personal executive summary and call out industries/skills/etc that you're experienced with. It's a really great way to highlight what might not otherwise stand out when you're trying to apply for jobs in a specific industry.

If you're worried that your two-month engagement might get lost in the "work history" section of your resume, then it may be worth pointing out your industry-specific experience right at the top. Of course, you don't want to blow it out of proportion or mention it in a way you can't back up, but it can be a good way to put the right keyword in the right place to help people notice the things that you want to stand out.

How you do this will vary according to the structure and other content on your resume, but to give you some specific examples, it's typical to have sentences like this:

Senior level data scientist with Python development experience in the manufacturing and distribution industries with relevant academic experience in Math and XYZ

Then, when you write the work experience section, you can include relevant positions and re-use the same language in a way that helps interviewers connect the dots between your one-sentence summary and the various positions you've held. Besides tying the pieces together, this gives the resume a sense of cohesiveness - it's surprising how many resumes read more like a list of semi-related job descriptions - instead, you want yours to tell a cohesive story (even if one of the chapters was very brief).

This approach applies regardless of how long your work experience has been, although as is obvious (and covered in other questions/answers) you will need to be ready to address questions about why that specific position only lasted two months.

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