46

I was let go from my last position after two weeks. They said I wasn't picking up the job quick enough but I was working as hard and fast as I possibly could. It was the first time in my life that I've been fired from any job. I was blindsided and absolutely devastated.

Should I list this job on a resume? I feel like my resume is being passed over because of this. I get mixed opinions about listing this position.

I was also laid off from another previous job because a customer had pulled out. I think these jobs might be seen as red flags by potential employers.

This wasn't a great company. The people that worked there looked overworked and frustrated. You were tracked all day by this Orwellian computer program and if you went to grab a cup of coffee or go to the restroom without using your break, you get yelled at

  • Were you laid off or fired? Those are two very different things. – Dan Jun 4 '18 at 16:27
  • Getting fired from Amazon is nothing to be ashamed of. – Adonalsium Jun 4 '18 at 19:52
77

No. It's barely 'experience'. It wouldn't help you in any way shape or form and would only subtract.

"I see you have only two weeks lasted in this last one..."

"Oh boy, I sure dodged a bullet!"

into the trash it goes

  • 2
    I agree with this for two reasons, it raises awkward questions about you in the mind of a potential employer. Additionally, if this was your previous job it seems unfair for them to supply a reference about you when they can barely have spent enough time to form an accurate opinion of you. – Dustybin80 Jul 22 '15 at 21:09
  • 20
    Totally agree. You should only ever list relevant experience on your resume. I don't feel that a resume has to be a full employment history. On the other hand, if you have large gaps of relevant experience, you might have to explain them. But a two week job? Just pretend it never happened. – Mohair Jul 22 '15 at 23:50
  • 3
    @Mohair: in Germany they require a full gapless timeline in a CV. OP, however, is in USA it seems. – Juha Untinen Jul 23 '15 at 7:19
  • 1
    @STTLCU Gapless meaning you can explain every gap. If you lie about the time (and you probably will be asked about every unexplained gap in your CV) that is enough reason to fire you (which otherwise is pretty hard). – neo Jul 23 '15 at 11:44
  • 2
    I work in Germany. I made a few interviews before I got my jobs, I had a friend, (HR) look over my CV, some other friends, and even a book about German CV. And none, were more precise than months. The only time where the actual days were asked was on websites of larger companies. So no, you can hide a 2 weeks gap without much problem. – clem steredenn Jul 23 '15 at 13:15
21

I think it really depends on your overall work history. If you've been steadily employed for the last 5-10 years; leaving off a two week job wouldn't hurt you in my opinion. If you are early in your career; then I would include it (as it shows you're hirable). Just be able to explain why it didn't work out without putting yourself down or disparaging your former employer.

I also wouldn't worry about the job you were laid off from. These things happen; and wouldn't be a black mark in my book either.

  • My biggest fear would be leaving it off, getting a job, company finds out, and axes me. – Joe Jul 22 '15 at 20:35
  • If you're that concerned; then keep it on there. This is different than outright lying or embellishing credentials on your resume that would most definitely be cause for termination. You barely even started your probationary period at your last job. Any employer that would axe you over that is probably not worth working for anyway. – Jim B Jul 22 '15 at 20:38
  • 1
    @Joe What is the chance they are going to find out about a job you held two weeks? Companies go out of their way NOT to disclose information. You have to get a job to lose one. – paparazzo Jul 22 '15 at 21:31
  • 15
    (Different Joe here) @Joe You don't need to post every job on your resume. That's different from the occasional background check form where they may ask you to list every past employer - in those cases don't lie and include them. That's usually later in the process, though, and probably won't even go to anyone responsible for hiring you. – Joe Jul 22 '15 at 22:53
  • 1
    I disagree with leaving this on a resume for people early in their career. For low-experience profiles especially there are usually plenty of hirable candidates and none of them will have the black mark associated with being let go within weeks of starting a job. Many employers will consider that an automatic rejection as there is just no reason for them to risk assuming that it was the employer's fault rather than the employee's. – Lilienthal Jul 23 '15 at 9:04
16

Firstly, being laid off because of the company losing a customer is very different to being let go for performance reasons. I would not take that personally in any way. You don't need to give reasons for why you left in your CV, but if asked in an interview situation just tell them what happened. It wasn't about you, but rather a business decision.

Now, the position you were let go from. If it were only a couple of weeks and you have a lot of other work history, then I would just omit it. Of course then you need to be ready to answer questions as to why you resigned your previous position. Be honest about the reasons you left, be it salary, culture, workload, type of work. As @SeanDuggan says in his answer, do not hide the fact you had a job but left soon afterwards. Just say it didn't work out and because it was only for a couple of weeks you felt it wasn't worth including on your CV.

9

I am a former employer who has founded 3 businesses and hired hundreds of people. I agree that both of those negative experiences don't reflect on your suitability as an employee, but strongly suggest you provide that information to your prospective employer. Here is why.

Background check, criminal records check, financial records check, social media review...

Smart employers do every background check you can imagine, including a hiring specialist to mine social media. A huge red flag to any employer is deceit on the resume'. That includes errors of omission as well as commission. It is more than certain that both of those short term employments will show up somehwere, and then you'll be ruled out in the finals, where the serious money is spent on background checks.

Bringing a bad candidate into a business is detrimental and expensive. Every savvy employer has learned that the hard way. Money invested in investigation before the hire is money well spent and many candidates are ruled out and never know why because it does not help the employer to tell you. We regularly ruled out people for bad credit etc, because employees bring all those messy personal problems to work, like it or not.

Sadly, all these other answers are suggesting that you intentionally hide something and that's called lying...

Living with deceit is not comfortable for you and that shows in your question. Besides, you can be let go on the spot if it is later learned that you lied on your resume'

Be up front. You'll find a match and you won't be looking over your shoulder wondering when your "secret" will be found out. Good luck! You'll find a good job.

  • 11
    Well, who said you have to list every job in your resume? Most guides on how to write them will tell you to only list relevant experience. Nobody cares if you flipped burgers ten years ago right? Similarly, you could claim that two weeks in any place are not relevant work experience. If asked explicitly about it (e.g. "was that one your last job?") you will then have to say the truth, as @Sean Duggan suggests. – UncleZeiv Jul 23 '15 at 11:39
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    +1 For Background check, criminal records check, financial records check, social media review .... I'll add more: if you ever apply for a security/defense related job that requires even more serious background checks, you'll have a big problem if you lie on your resume. Finally, I am seeing a true good answer here. – scaaahu Jul 23 '15 at 11:46
  • 1
    Even not working in security or defense, my last two employers listed incomplete or incorrect information in background information under "immediate dismissal" offences. List it and be prepared to explain the situation. – Bill Jul 23 '15 at 14:16
  • 4
    Leaving something out is far from being synonymous with lying. There is no resume in the world that lists every possible relevant aspect of everything. – Matthew Read Jul 23 '15 at 16:25
  • 5
    Agreeing with @MatthewRead, leaving something out of your resume is not lying. Unless, of course, your experience section is titled "Complete listing of every position I've held or other for-profit activity I've done done, ever". But usually, we just put "Experience" or "Work History" there. – Dan Henderson Jul 23 '15 at 17:15
8

If it were for a longer amount of time, say a few months, I'd include it. As it is, I'd leave it off, and then explain it at the interview ("Actually, no, Foocorp was not my most recent job. I did a two week stint with BazInc after that. It ended so quickly that I felt it would be misleading to list them.") Past that, you try to be as honest as possible while emphasizing any positive aspects, the same as anything else in your job history.

6

Concur with all who say leave it off the resume--it is not relevant experience.

I add a potential pitfall that you may encounter: if at some point you may have to fill out a Job Application form, those forms usually direct List All Employment.

If you do not list the two week job on that type of application, some employers in some jurisdictions could use that as ground for terminating employment.

You'll have to carefully weigh the risk of not putting employment on a job application.

  • Good point. But, if they only provide space for 4 jobs, and don't instruct you to use the back or attach extra pages as needed, and you do have 4 other jobs to list, you're probably ok. To be sure, you could ask "Do I need to include a job I only had for 2 weeks?" of the person handing you the form - no need to say it's your most recent job (if they don't ask). Then, if the omission is discovered and questioned, explain how you asked and were informed it was ok to omit. Then offer to supply the information now, so they know you're not trying to hide it, but focusing on the more relevant jobs. – Dan Henderson Jul 23 '15 at 17:32
  • You definitely have to make sure you're within moral, honest limits though. – Panzercrisis Jul 23 '15 at 18:16
3

Expectations for the content of a resume/CV vary depending on culture and the type of employment. In the white-collar job market in the US, a resume is a sales pitch. The purpose of that sales pitch is to convince the employer to buy your product--your labor at a particular position. It's only because experience at prior, similar positions is generally regarded as a good indicator of future success that the chronological job history has been the traditional way to format a resume.

In other words, a resume consists of a list of work you've done, because that's an effective way to show you can do the job. Thinking that the job history comes first and the presentation of it comes second is a common misconception, but it's also a good way to write a bland, undistinguished resume that will go straight from the reviewer's inbox to the trash. In fact, nobody says you have to list every job you've had, let alone account for every day of your adult life. (Job-hunting books even suggest "skills-based" resumes where the chronology takes a back seat as an effective alternative format.)

The best kind of sales pitch is a carefully edited version of the truth. Leave off the two week job, put it behind you, and don't worry about it. Focus on the work you're proud of, that shows you to your best advantage, and your resume will be much more likely to get you an interview--and then will provide a much more effective foundation for the pitch you make face-to-face in that interview to show your prospective employer why they should hire you.

2

The purpose of a resume is to convey what you can bring to a potential employer. As such, you should only list positions that provided some meaningful experience that makes you a better candidate than you would be if you didn't have that experience. Since you only held the job for two weeks, it's unlikely that it made any such contribution, in which case you should leave it off.

If you had held the job longer, you would want to include it so as to not have large gaps in your history. Another situation in which you might still list it is if doing so, somehow, makes you look good. For instance, a 2 week job as a vocal coach to Adam Levine.

protected by Community Jul 23 '15 at 11:14

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