Due to a combination of unfortunate events I am currently stuck in a small town with no opportunities in my field nor any way to move to a more promising location. As a last resort, I took on a low-wage job at a restaurant to keep me afloat and I believe it'll be another few months before I can finally move and look for another job in my field.

Now, the issue is that my previous job ended in April, so it will make an extremely large gap in my employment by the time I'll be looking for a new opportunity by the end of this year if I do not mention this job. On the other hand, I'm afraid mentioning a totally irrelevant and low-wage job might raise some red flags from recruiters, and they won't even bother looking for the true reason I was forced to take on this job.

Also, my work history isn't that bulletproof either which makes me worry even more. With a year of freelancing and only one "real" job at a major company I feel like my chances are quite limited already, and I would be mostly looking for entry-level positions.

Any advice on how to properly present this current job so that it doesn't put off recruiters?


  • Almost any restaurant job requires showing up on time. If you job is like that, frame it in terms of being a reliable employee. In any case, doing something constructive beats doing nothing. Sep 12, 2016 at 2:55
  • 2
    Just did a quick straw poll of the dozen people I work with - all currently at least mid-level developers or project managers. Every single one, at some stage, has had a stop-gap job. It's a very normal thing to do - we all have bills to pay, and any future employer will understand that
    – Jon Story
    Sep 12, 2016 at 12:45

2 Answers 2


A recruiter once told me to include all of my past work experience on my CV. It shows a potential employer a number of things:

  • You're (probably) not lazy
  • You're able to hold down a job (i.e. able to be reasonably punctual and appropriately dressed/groomed)
  • It makes your gaps less noticable

My advice would be to include it, with a note that you were looking for work as a developer.


Many people have taken temporary low paying and unskilled jobs, there's nothing wrong with them. A job is a job and shows you can get out of bed in the morning and work with others without hurting anyone.

It's not as good as 'relevant' work, but it's better than nothing.

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