5

I am currently in a job I started four months ago, and it has not been going well for me. The work environment is very toxic where my co-workers don't have any respect for the management or each other among a whole host of other unprofessional behavior. In addition to this, I was hired to be a Business Intelligence Programmer for this company, and all I do for the majority of my day is manually fix errors for insurance claims that get stuck in a database. There is nothing fancy or anything to do with my skill set with fixing the errors since it is web based. From my understanding, it is something that is not going to be changing anytime soon.

So with these things in mind, I have decided that I need to find a new job before this stint hurts my career. I am still fairly early in my career, so I think I can get away with one job hop since my previous jobs were 5 years and 1 year and 8 months respectfully. The job I had for five years was before I finished college and the other position is in my new career after college just to give a little bit of my professional history.

What I am wondering is what do I put on my cover letter about why I'm jumping ship from this job after a short while? I know I can't put something like," THESE PEOPLE ARE CRAZY! GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!"

I did recently apply for a job, and I put on the cover letter that I was looking for a more challenging and dynamic position, but I am not sure if this is the right thing to put on there or even if I should mention why I'm leaving. Should I just leave that information for the interview?

If anyone has any input, that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!!

Perdue

*******Additional Question*******

Should I put on my cover letter that I am currently employed and could they keep my job search confidential?

Thanks everyone for all of your feedback!!

11

Short answer: I wouldn't raise the reason why you left unless asked.

What you said seems reasonable, however I'd probably not even mention it. Instead focus on the skills you have that apply to the role you are applying for (selection criteria) and if you are asked, you can simply say something like:

The role didn't really seem to fit where I want to be in my career at this point, so I felt it was better to look for other opportunities.

Otherwise, unless someone queries the shorter time frame, then you don't need to volunteer anything.

[Edit after your update]

To address your additional question - most hiring managers know not to make your job search public, and they can see you are employed by looking at your CV. If your current role is relevant to the role you are applying for, you could start your cover letter with something like:

My name is x, I am applying for your advertised postion y. I am currently employed as z with Company 123.

That way you can indicate that you are employed and that your current job is worth nothing in relation to the role you are applying for.

  • 2
    Agreed 100%. Be ready to answer a question about why you wish to leave your current job, but don't bring the topic up in an application cover letter. – Carson63000 Jun 25 '15 at 3:27
  • 4
    Also if asked I would focus on the mismatch at your present position and your skill set rather than on the negative environment. – Eric Jun 25 '15 at 11:52
7

What I am wondering is what do I put on my cover letter about why I'm jumping ship from this job after a short while?

I did recently apply for a job, and I put on the cover letter that I was looking for a more challenging and dynamic position, but I am not sure if this is the right thing to put on there or even if I should mention why I'm leaving.

You should not put your reasons for leaving your current job on your CV/resume or cover letter.

Those are vehicles for presenting your credentials, and the positive reasons for why you would be perfect in this new job, not for discussing why your current job isn't working out.

Be ready to answer the question "Why are you leaving your current job after such a short duration?", since it will almost certainly come up during an interview. Try hard not to bash the company (hiring managers don't like to hear any company-bashing). Instead, focus on the fact that the job ended up not being what you had hoped.

@WesleyLong has this great suggestion: "I was hired to do programming, but as time went on, it became clear the role they needed was in operations, not development, and I realized I was not going to be a good long-term fit for the position.". As you can see - no bashing there, just an acknowledgement that the fit wasn't right.

And also be ready to convey why you are sure your next job will be a keeper for the long run.

Prepare for your job search and interviews by thinking hard about your current company. Was there something you could have done to understand the real situation before you accepted the offer? Were there questions you could have asked? Was there someone else you could have talked with during the interview process that would have given you better insight? (I always try to talk with my future boss, at least one future peer, and all the people who would work for me, whenever possible)

Try to apply what you learn to your next interviews. You don't want to end up in another bad job. Have several very short jobs in your career is something you'd probably like to avoid if possible.

  • 4
    Right on the money again, Joe. Suggested verbiage for the answer if/when asked: "I was hired to do programming, but as time went on, it became clear the role they needed was in operations, not development, and I realized I was not going to be a good long-term fit for the position." – Wesley Long Jun 25 '15 at 12:53
  • Wow, Joe, what you said was absolutely brilliant! I like that! – Perdue Jun 25 '15 at 13:24
  • 1
    I also want to say thanks to Wesley for another brilliant answer. – Perdue Jun 25 '15 at 15:18
  • Joe is dead on, especially in that last paragraph. What do you wish you'd asked in your interviews that would have helped you know this wasn't the job you thought it would be? Ask that from now on. – Jim Meyer Jan 12 '18 at 22:06
3

No. As a recruiter I'm really not interested in why someone left a job at the cover letter/resume stage of the process. At that point I'm more focused on if they have the right background/skills for the role I'm recruiting for. Once I engage the candidate in a conversation then yes, I always ask why a person has decided to move from one role to another. Saying a role simply wasn't a good fit for your skills/career aspirations is an absolutely acceptable answer so long as you're diplomatic about it. Most managers and recruiters are mature enough to recognize that sometimes despite the best of intentions a role simply isn't a fit for a person. So long as you don't trash talk your former employer and keep the reason for your departure focused on your skills/responsibilities it should be a non-issue. If anything, I'm usually more impressed by a candidate in these situations. It shows they have a strong vision of where they want to be in their career and also that they know how to diplomatically deal with differences of opinion.

  • Thanks Chris!! That's awesome to hear from a recruiter as to what they think at the cover letter stage. I really appreciate your input on this! – Perdue Jun 26 '15 at 1:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.