According to several articles including this one from Forbes and even answers to this question, the general advice I'm seeing is to put EVERYTHING on your LinkedIn profile.

Yet for a resume, it's best to leave off anything irrelevant to your goals, as it is a marketing tool, and this includes short term jobs. Unless it's contract work (which might be best left consolidated), it should be left off. This is the rule I follow for a resume.

I don't get the reasoning to put everything on your LinkedIn profile; it is also a marketing tool. Shouldn't the same rules apply. I do not see how it could ever help me further my career to add the grocery store I worked at fetching carts or putting short term jobs which could hurt me for the same reasons for putting them on a resume.

Should short term jobs be left off in your LinkedIn profile?

  • It's hard to put everything to LinkedIn, because the Skills section only allows 50 skills... Sep 5, 2013 at 13:04

4 Answers 4


Executive Summary

LinkedIn is a massive gold mine for headhunters. They can search millions of people by keyword. The more you have in your profile, the more headhunters will find you. If you are looking for a job, it may be in your best interest to get more people to look at your profile.

"There is no such thing as bad publicity"

The concept behind throwing everything on there is that while someone looking for an expert in sprockets may be disappointed that you were only at Spacely Sprockets for two years, if you excluded that from your profile they wouldn't have noticed that you are actually an expert in cogs they are looking for in another position.

Paper or 0101 0000 0110 1100 0110 0001 0111 0011 0111 0100 0110 1001 0110 0011?

Paper resumes are different because they are restricted by the format, the purpose, and silly HR quirks. They follow separate rules (and you leave out things not relevant to the position). If the company is doing their homework, excluding a job from your resume and your LinkedIn profile doesn't mean the company wouldn't find out about it during a background check. Chances are there is little harm from putting it on your LinkedIn -- anything deal-breaking they would likely find out anyway.

Focus on the Goal

Figure out what you want to do with your LinkedIn profile. Do you want to get headhunters to notice you? Then toss all your jobs in there so you'll match more keywords and get more eyes on your experience. Would you rather focus on getting headhunted only for jobs related to X, Y, and Z? Then only list skills related to X, Y, and Z.

At any rate, don't misrepresent yourself, your experience, or your abilities. While an employer may intentionally ignore your days spent working in an IT call center for money in college, they probably would be a lot less tolerant if you added a dozen skills you don't actually have just to get more hits.

  • The fact they can find out in a background check isn't important to me. It's about marketing and getting the interview. The same reasons why you'd leave it off on a resume. You don't want HR/recruiters looking at it and getting funny ideas about a 6 week gig, thinking the worst case scenario, and skipping you over.
    – Dean Or
    Sep 5, 2013 at 7:13
  • 1
    @DeanOr If you have enough short-term jobs that weren't during your education (where you may be in different places during the summers, etc.), then there will be gaps in your resume that would cause the same concerns. Headhunters using linked in to trawl for potential candidates are generally not the pickiest of recruiters out there...
    – jmac
    Sep 5, 2013 at 7:17
  • And I do understand the possibility that some recruiter who happens to be looking for cart pushers happened to also be looking for a web developer and I might get noticed. But I haven't had any trouble at all attracting recruiters for the field I'm interested in by keeping my profile focused and concise with as many keywords as necessary. And the aforementioned scenario seems like a long shot.
    – Dean Or
    Sep 5, 2013 at 7:19
  • @DeanOr If your question is "should I put short-term manual labor jobs during school on LinkedIn?" that is a very different question entirely -- short-term could include work related to your field (just over a short term), not just cart-pushing.
    – jmac
    Sep 5, 2013 at 23:50

Paper resumes should be two pages long if you've been around for awhile, and a single page if you have less than five years of experience. On-line resumes, however, aren't 'brief'. The point here is to 'be seen' by people searching for as many different things as possible. If the only Oracle database project you did was over and out the door in six weeks, you're invisible to the Oracle camp if they can't see this. If you did a quickie in Crystal Reports it's the same story. What comes out of this is that you can 'turn on a dime' - take on a short term requisition, learn the skills necessary, and get it done. Of course, if these are flubs, that might not be as good an idea. The emphasis in this information should be on versatility - you can walk in on an unexpected situation and thrive.

  • I keep my on-line resume to 2 pages as well, but Linked-in is a whole different thing as the data there feeds recruitment consultant feeds, data mining for matching you to jobs, recommending connections and all manner of useful/annoying features. It does no harm to cram everything in there unless you have an objection to getting endless recruitment consultants contacting you because you have 3 months of Crystal Reports experience 15 years back.
    – Cyclical
    Nov 29, 2019 at 20:23

When you apply for a job they check your background in every aspect that you have already provided for them which means it does not have much of an impact if you left out including a job or jobs. But for almost every other job, no one cares that much. A company will check references based on the names and companies that you gave them. Perhaps they might even call some HR departments for companies you listed that you didn't provide a reference for, run your Social Security number through a database to make sure you didn't steal it and run a criminal background check. But out of all of this would they really have the time to be searching for information that might not exist?

The reality is that a prospective employer is very unlikely to find out about a short-term job that isn't listed on your resume. Dont forget that resumes are marketing documents and not historical records. Everything on your resume must be true, but you don't have to list everything that is true on your resume.

The real problem with leaving a job off your resume is that you have to come up with something to say about the time period where you were working this missing job. If you were working while travelling or just moved house and had something for the transitional stage then its an easy out where you have something to fill the gap. For other people however, it's generally better to put short-term jobs on your resume so you don't have to explain missing time.


Why do people make linked in profiles? So recruiters can find them and so that old colleagues can find them.

The more words you have that recruiters use to search, the more likely you will be found. If your profile is a false positive, just ignore their request. If you aren't interested ignore their request. If your profile is a false negative they will not be contacting you.

Because you don't know what keywords are required or desired for a position, leaving off a job because it was a long time ago, or for a position you are no longer interested in minimizes your chances of being found in the search.

A long resume suffers from the fact that they might never notice the key phrase that can get you an interview. But that long profile is what is found by the search engine, so that they can read the resume.

A skimpy profile also makes it harder for former colleagues to know if you are the right person. This can artificially reduce the size of your network.

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