This question's hopefully less close-able cousin.

What steps can I take to avoid having future potential employers take a position of high responsibility less seriously because I reached it quickly? Quickly meaning in less than a year, and high responsibility meaning beyond the scope of the job at many similar organizations.

I work in the legal industry. My situation (without going into too many specifics) is that I have been given a lot of responsibility at my current workplace and perform many tasks that would ordinarily fall to someone with a specialized degree. I am expecting to stay here for a year or two in total before moving to a different city. This kind of turnover is not unusual in my organization, and is even encouraged, but I know that's very much not the case at most other similar institutions.

I'm concerned that the short amount of time I'll have worked this job will end up devaluing the experience I have gained and that my successes here will appear less legitimate to potential employers going forward. How can I avoid this (either by language I can use in my resume/cover letter or things I can say in an interview)?


3 Answers 3


My advice for any area that you're not comfortable in and/or you think may be perceived as a potential weakness is to be very honest about it and address it up front.

If you think it may be an issue, some employers may too. Or it may be a topic you will seem to feel 'sensitive' about in an interview. So in your resume and/or your interview I would indicate that, although this was a rapid climb 'in position', you proved your work in it by doing a, b and c and was able to work well with the other folks at that level and make major contributions at that level (again, specify the 'senior level' contributions.
That's what folks are really interested in and by addressing a potential or perceived weakness up front you can neutralize it or even turn it to your advantage.
You can also say why you had the rapid climb. Did you seek it or were you sought out based on the work you had already done...
It's also a great chance to see in an interview "wow, it was a big challenge for me and I was pretty nervous about it, but once I got into it, I really enjoyed it" which pretty much covers; enthusiasm, ability to change, honesty, humbleness, openness... Boom You're hired! ;) Well anyway it helps.


If legitimacy is the only thing you are worried about, go get some referrals from clients that can back it up.

As for time spent, as long as you aren't seen as being a chronic job hopper it really shouldn't be an issue. If it's 2 or 3 in a row where you haven't put in at least a couple of years it might look bad but then that depends on the industry as well.


As I see it, you got assigned to do work for which you are not qualified (because you don't have that specialized degree) and you want to make sure that people understand this wasn't because you were having an affair with the boss or because you were the owner's nephew or something?

OK first why did you get that position if you didn't have the normal qualifications? You might want to explain that in the cover letter. Are you expecting to continue in this field, if so are you pursuing the specialized degree? Why not, if you aren't?

Having worked for someone who did get her job because she was sleeping with the CEO, I personally would be suspicious if I saw a resume like yours where you not only weren't qualified but left after a short period of time (looks like the affair ended or you genuinely couldn't do the work). You had better have a good up front explanation before I would be interested in hiring you. However, luckily for you, many people have not had the "joyful" experience I described above and mostly they would want to know if you plan to get the degree (which they may see as a hard and fast requirement) and how well you did the work.

  • 1
    You are the one who said you didn't have the normal qualification, how else would anyone interpret that except as you aren't qualified? And you wanted to know how that would be interpreted. I wasn't being offensive, I was telling you what you wanted to know. Hiring officials all have their own prejudices. I told you to explain up front if you don't want people to make unwarranted assumptions.
    – HLGEM
    Apr 25, 2012 at 16:56

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