4

I find my self in a situation where I need to start a job search just 5 weeks after I started my current position. I am nervous that have only a 1-month tenure one my resume is going to make me look bad when seeking new jobs. How can I present the situation so that I don't damage my chances to find a job but that it is also clear that the circumstances of my new job are not something I am able or willing to endure.

  • "Nothing turns people down worse than bad-mouthing a previous employer..." (an answer in a possible duplicate question) – gnat Apr 21 '14 at 16:48
  • 4
    Is telling the truth (tactfully) an option? ~"The actual job duties and environment are very different than they were described when I took the position, so I am continuing my job search." – HopelessN00b Apr 21 '14 at 18:11
  • I was in a similar situation a while ago, only I lasted 10 days, not 6 weeks. Just be honest, it goes a long way. – Joe Apr 22 '14 at 12:08
  • In many ways, 1month is less of a problem than 4.... – keshlam Aug 20 '16 at 18:59
14

I am nervous that have only a 1-month tenure one my resume is going to make me look bad when seeking new jobs. How can I present the situation so that I don't damage my chances to find a job but that it is also clear that the circumstances of my new job are not something I am able or willing to endure.

People seeing your resume are going to note the short duration between starting your job, and seeking the next one. Just saying "I found the company intolerable" probably isn't sufficient. So best to be prepared to tackle that question more fully during an interview.

  • Be clear in your own mind why your current company is intolerable
  • Practice conveying that in an interview
  • Try not to bad-mouth your current company
  • Examine in your own mind why you didn't see this before you chose to sign on with your current company
  • Be prepared to tell your prospective employers why this won't happen with them
  • 1
    This is good advice. On items 4 and 5, it makes me nervous. I spent 8 months in my last job search and asked dozens of questions throughout multiple rounds of interviews with many firms. This position "felt right" in my gut, and I felt very assured that these exact problems I am facing would not happen. I do not know how it could have been possible to be more thorough or straight-forward during my interview process. I very much believe that in each of my last two jobs, the hiring manager knew I was talented and in some ways over-qualified for the intended work, and chose to hide that from me – ely Apr 21 '14 at 16:46
  • Yes, very much. I spoke directly to two colleagues who I work with each day. One of them actually feels really badly about how I currently feel and has expressed that, when he is asked to interview people, he often feels conflicted knowing that they may not like the reality of the job but also feeling pressure about how he has been told to present the position. – ely Apr 21 '14 at 16:49
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    Personally I would never say anything directly negative or that could be taken as a complaint about employer. I would rather be non committal about the reasons for leaving. Most HR are understanding about this. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 22 '14 at 13:42
  • The last bullet is the most important. Why should it be different this time? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Aug 20 '16 at 18:08
7

People leave jobs for all sorts of reasons. The situation you described -- which is essentially "The position ended up not being a match. If I had known I was going to do X, when I was told explicitly that I would only do Y and not X, I wouldn't have taken the job" -- is a reasonable thing to say when your new interviewers ask you "why were you at your last position for such a short period of time" (which they absolutely will).

If I was sitting on the other side of the table, and you said the job wasn't a match and here's why (insert short and impersonal description here), it wouldn't necessarily raise a red flag. I might press you on some examples, such as the ways in which you expressed your dissatisfaction with a perceived bait-and-switch, how you and the company attempted (or didn't) to fix the situation, etc. The answers would help me learn about you as a person and whether or not this is something about you or really just wasn't a good fit overall (which is common, and why there are typically 90-day "probation" periods).

When you are interviewing again, just be as clear as possible about your job/environment requirements and duties, and perhaps ask more questions than you did previously (for everything is a learning experience) to try to uncover the "truth" of the situation. In this case, you might ask how often employees are asked to deviate from their written job descriptions--is it common, occasional, etc--and what communication paths are available in the company to settle differences (e.g. is there an active and useful HR department or not).

2

You have essentially two thing to consider here:

What is intolerable and how you explain it?

You clearly are not happy with your current employer. This would imply they did not meet the expectations you had prior to employment. Perhaps they are working you more than originally expected, asking you to do things you hadn't expected to do, or maybe their project management style is not up to your acceptable standard.

It's perfectly fair on your resume to say "The working hours was not what was originally described." or similar. If a company says 40 hour weeks and they are working you 60 hour weeks this is a completely valid reason to move on without a future employer being bothered much (unless this occurs multiple times)

Should you list this on your resume?

Remember when you're looking for a job effectively you are selling yourself. Think of it like this. You are the product, the potential employer is your potential customer.

Your Resume is you marketing yourself. It should contain only things that better sell you as a product, while remaining honest. Your resume needs to contain only the most relevant things to the customer. That being said a one month stint with someone else should not appear on your resume. You should list the jobs that best demonstrate what you're capable of.

I've never seen a gap in time as short as a month prevent an interview (there are thousands of perfectly acceptable reasons for a short gap in employment). Of coarse this will be asked about in the interview.

Interview

As the above says you should be honest and simply say what you expected of the company that hired you was not what was described. After that make sure you ask questions and clarify what both sides expect out of being hired. This both formalizes expectations which works two fold. This helps prevent getting yourself into another job you wouldn't like and helps the employer feel comfortable that you'll stick around.

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