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I've recently ended with a company after my probation period with a company in the UK. However during the position I've learnt some valuable skills, including new techniques and coding languages, which otherwise I will have no demonstrable experience.

The probation period was ended by the former employer, and can, broadly be contributed to lack of project progress (on a new, spoeculative product) and disagreements with a 'type X' member of the management.

Generally in the UK, the practice is to provide the contact details for a referee, rather than a reference from them, so unfortunately I am unable to check what they have put, however they have offered to provide a reference.

For many that I'm going for, the experience is valuable and I would rule myself out of several positions if I were to omit it.

I'm wondering how I should address this matter in interviews for future positions?

Many Thanks, Yew

  • What is the reason you are concerned about mentioning this company? Is it only the part about leaving after probation, or something else? – Erik Jan 4 at 14:37
  • Yes, the main concern is how to deal with the end during probation in interviews. The skills I've learned are valuable, and represent my main experience in this exact field – Yew Jan 4 at 14:43
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    How long was the probation? A few months experience isn't worth a great deal, and it's of suspect quality if you didn't get past probation. – Kilisi Jan 4 at 15:07
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    Was the lack of project progress directly attributed to you, or a result of external factors (client pulled out and the company simply didn't have any work for you to do)? This is a pretty important detail, and has a huge impact on how you could spin your leaving the company. Also, how much experience do you have in the field as a whole? – AndreiROM Jan 4 at 15:47
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    You're worrying about nothing. Just state you were there for 9 months. – Fattie Jan 5 at 14:59
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If this is one of the only jobs you have held in your field then it is important to include it on your CV. But if you have many years of experience then you should exclude it.

Being made redundant is a valid reason

If a future employer asks why you were there for such a short time then you can simply tell them that it was due to "Lack of a speculative project progress and my position was made redundant due to a lack of need by the company." Most companies will understand, last hired employee is always the first to be let go when the work dries up.

Difficulty with team members is not

It is important that you do not say that you had difficulties with team members or with management, that shows a prospective employer that you are not a team player and that you won't fit in their work environment.

Experience Section on CV

I would also include a section on my CV called "Skills" or "Technologies" The basis of this section is to outline all of the technologies (i.e. coding languages you are familiar with) that could help you get a job. It is possible that you could have self taught a language that did not come from a specific position at a specific company. I have seen a CV that had a section entitled "Program Languages, Technologies, and Operating Systems" which seems relevant to your question. I would suggest that you include a time frame of how long you have worked with each, i.e. September 2017-Present, or 3 years 2 months.

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The probation period is unusually long.

If you list this experience simply omit mentioning the probation.

However, to give a nuanced, risk minimizing answer we need information regarding the professional and personal circumstances.

  • Were you in disagreement with the typeX manager?
  • Is the lack of progress due to you / your skills or external factors.
  • what did the employer give as reason for ending the contract?
  • how well did you get along with superiors and colleagues?
  • what is your impression they might think of you and your skills?
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It is fairly normal to work for X company for 9 months, so I wouldn't bother writing anything else unless asked about it. They definitely didn't think easy of the choice if they kept you for those nine months.

It often is that a person just doesn't fit with the general atmosphere and flow of the company, I wouldn't think this would cross you out at all. A new potential company may also give you an interview before seeking references, so you still have a chance to show yourself.

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