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I graduated from college with a Bachelor's recently. I had already lined up a job at a small-ish web developer, which I started at shortly after graduation. However, the week before I started, the CEO was fired for excessive spending. Turns out, this excessive spending included excessive hiring and I—along with a sizable chunk of the rest of the company—was laid off 3 months later.

I've noticed that since then, the rate at which I get call-backs on my applications has dropped off massively, and I'm worried my short time at my last position is at fault. When I've had the opportunity to discuss this with recruiters and hiring managers, they have generally been sympathetic, but that opportunity doesn't exist when dropping an application into the HR hole.

How, on my application/resume, should I present my experience at the company I was laid off from to minimize any negative impact due to my short time there?

  • Essentially the same thing happened to me. I'm just honest with them about it. It took a little while to get my second job but now it's glossed over at worse. Just say it was a "RIF" or "downsizing." For me it was a merger/acquisition. I don't include this on my resume but it often gets asked. I treat the resume the same as any other job. – Raystafarian Oct 6 '14 at 12:10
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I'd say the crucial thing here is to make it clear that your being laid off wasn't personal - something like

June 2014 - September 2014: Junior Web Developer, Acme Corporation
Began to apply the knowledge from my college degree in a commercial environment. Laid off as part of a corporate restructuring that affected 40% of the company.

In the IT industry, people do get laid off through no fault of their own and I wouldn't regard it as a black mark if it's happened once or twice - if you've got a string of five jobs where you were always the first to go when the cuts come, then that's something which does start raising flags, but as a one-off it's not something to worry about. If I saw something like the above when searching for a candidate, I'd put you down as "just another entry-level candidate" with no significant positives or negatives above an absolutely fresh graduate.

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So is the time spent, at this 'short lived' job is worth mentioning on your resume?

I agree with Philip. It was not your fault that you had to leave this job in the first place.

Still, a resume should reflect on what your experiences are, and also should be customized and tweaked for the upcoming job.

If you're able to submit just a bit more information about the experiences you absorbed in this 'short lived' job, and are of use for the next, you could and even should mention these also!

Consider if there are any tasks you had to do - e.g., did you touch a keyboard? These could be experiences worthy on your application.

If not, then you're doing a fine job with your resume.

Think also about the experiences you have built up in your own free spare time - maybe these could be on your resume

Regards

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