Resume question



  • I'm in the process of revising my resume and I'm debating about leaving a job off my resume.

    There are a few reason as to why I'm wanting to leave this position off my resume:

    1. I didn't really accomplish anything there and it's probably my weakest link in my resume
    2. I was only there for 10 months.
    3. It was over 5 years ago. Every job since then has gone well and I've had gotten good references.
    4. When I interview and I talk about my work history and I come to this position, I have to explain why it didn't work out and why I left.

    Does anyone else have any tips or suggestions?     



  • Generally gaps in a resume raise questions - so you either put it in there and discuss why it was short, or you leave it out and discuss why there is a gap.

    At the very least, you just list it as the employee and your position title, and have to talk about why you were there for only 10 months.

    You probably don't want to say "I didn't really accomplish anything there."

    Now, given you say "every job since then" over a timeframe of only 5 years.... If these are not contracting positions, then you might seriously want to consider your career goals and personal interests so you can look for a position where you're more likely to stay and grow and meet your needs instead of having to move around after a year or two.  Of course, you may have extenuating circumstances, but perennial job-hopping raises is a flag-raiser.



  • I never say, "I didn't really accomplish anything there." while interviewing.  I usually just go with the work wasn't challenging and that it wasn't a good fit.  Looking back, I wish I wouldn't have taken the position or I should have jumped ship sooner.

    There are a few reasons for mulitple jobs in 5 years and I'm not going to get into them on here because I don't want to get into a flame war. 

      More than likely, I'll probably switch to contracting someday.



  • @brettdavis42 said:

     I don't want to get into a flame war. 

    Why?  Isn't that what this site is for?



  • @brettdavis42 said:

    I'm in the process of revising my resume and I'm debating about leaving a job off my resume.

    There are a few reason as to why I'm wanting to leave this position off my resume:

    1. I didn't really accomplish anything there and it's probably my weakest link in my resume
    2. I was only there for 10 months.
    3. It was over 5 years ago. Every job since then has gone well and I've had gotten good references.
    4. When I interview and I talk about my work history and I come to this position, I have to explain why it didn't work out and why I left.

    Does anyone else have any tips or suggestions?     

    if you think of lieing on your resume, make certan that you lie big. big lie tough to catch. small lie easy to catch.

    remeber a big lie can take you all the way, especally in politics and business. a small lie will take you to jail.



  • @serguey123 said:

    @brettdavis42 said:

     I don't want to get into a flame war. 

    Why?  Isn't that what this site is for?

     

    So, I wonder, which would win in a war: a red flame or a blue flame?

     



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    @serguey123 said:

    @brettdavis42 said:

     I don't want to get into a flame war. 

    Why?  Isn't that what this site is for?

     

    So, I wonder, which would win in a war: a red flame or a blue flame?

     

    A blue flame, the hotter the better



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    @serguey123 said:

    @brettdavis42 said:

     I don't want to get into a flame war. 

    Why?  Isn't that what this site is for?

     

    So, I wonder, which would win in a war: a red flame or a blue flame?

     

    Green flame.



  • @brettdavis42 said:

    Does anyone else have any tips or suggestions?

    If it doesn't reflect well on you, remove it. If you get asked about the gap, be honest. That's really all there is too it.

    If you have volunteer or hobby projects, you can use those to "fill the gap" also. I spent something like 7 years writing C++ code for a MUD, so I put that on my resume in lieu of "dropped out of college, bummed around, worked dead-end job at OfficeMax".



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @brettdavis42 said:
    Does anyone else have any tips or suggestions?

    If it doesn't reflect well on you, remove it. If you get asked about the gap, be honest. That's really all there is too it.

    If you have volunteer or hobby projects, you can use those to "fill the gap" also. I spent something like 7 years writing C++ code for a MUD, so I put that on my resume in lieu of "dropped out of college, bummed around, worked dead-end job at OfficeMax".

    Me on other hand, plaied in mud all day and get dirty and build real forts with them. Sory I am not puting that on my resume.



  • I have a hard time believing there is any mud in India.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @brettdavis42 said:

    It was over 5 years ago. Every job since then [...]
    More than 2 jobs in that period would stike me as 'strange' and would warrant questioning regardless of holes in employment prior. Assuming it even got to interview stage.



  • I do a lot of hiring and I don't see it as a big deal. 

    I do it myself, actually -- a small contracting job that doesn't really matter given everything else I've done, or something that doesn't fit into the 'narrative' I'm trying to sell the employer.   I'm not trying to hide anything, but you only have a brief time to get the attention of the recruiter or hiring manager, and if your last job is interesting, the second-to-last doesn't really add anything, and the third-to-last is killer... then if that second-to-last job is short, I personally wouldn't hesitate to drop it.   Hell, I cut my resume off at 5-6 years anyway, because a) it keeps my resume down to 2 pages, b) that's when I started my current career 'phase' and I don't need to sell people on a job I'm not applying for.

    Then when someone like me comes and reads it, I get an uninterrupted flow of the good stuff.   Also, it's important to note that 'someone like me' isn't looking at dates all that closely.  If your resume lists "2008-09: Something awesome; 2010-present: something awesome", then I'm not spending any cycles at all thinking "Wait a second...what came in between those!?"   I am only spending a few minutes per resume, looking for interesting experience, a good match for technologies, and that ineffible 'something' that great devs have.  I'm looking at your LinkedIn profile and reading your blog...I'm not reconstructing your timeline in my head.

    Once in a while I get someone with a 2+ year gap in their history...that makes me curious.  But it's 'curious', not 'accusing'.  I'll ask them what they were doing.  "Oh, I was going to culinary school", or "I made enough money in the previous job to take a year and be a stay-at-home-dad, spent spare time learning technology X" or "I wanted to try being a professional musician a try, but it just didn't work out" are all things I've heard, and they were all fine answers. I've also heard "Yeah, I did some contracts, but they were pretty undistinguished and just took up space on my resume" and that was fine too, though I'd expect someone to get their career back on track in less than a couple years.   "I was a meth-head, robbing gas stations" is a bad answer. :)

    Also, for what it's worth, I don't really see multiple jobs in 5 years as a necessarily bad thing.  5 jobs in 5 years would make me wonder for sure, but where you are and what the tech industry is like can have a big effect on expectations -- 1-2 years is pretty much average in silicon valley these days.  Seattle/Redmond has a little longer average, but someone with 2-3 jobs over 5 years is not a big deal.   I'd ask why they left, but there are a lot of good answers to that question.

     Finally, a caveat: This is just me.   It's possible that you get someone who really does care very much and ymmv.  But from my point of view, it's not a big deal.

    -cw



  •  @CodeWhisperer said:

    If your resume lists "2008-09: Something awesome; 2010-present: something awesome", then I'm not spending any cycles at all thinking "Wait a second...what came in between those!?"

     Because, hey, maybe the first job ended on December 31st 2009 when the awesome project shipped and the official period of your contract closed right on schedule, you took New Year's Day off, and started your current awesome job on January 2nd 2010.  That doesn't even count as a gap.

    @CodeWhisperer said:

    I do a lot of hiring and I don't see it as a big deal. 
     

    Side question given your background: what's your reaction to a resume that includes Mensa under the heading of "memberships"?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @da Doctah said:

    @CodeWhisperer said:

    I do a lot of hiring and I don't see it as a big deal. 
     

    Side question given your background: what's your reaction to a resume that includes Mensa under the heading of "memberships"?

    Oh dear... can of worms there. (Well for those that care enough about it - either way - anyway.)



  •  <font class="naranja">1. </font> Tell me about yourself

    The most often asked question in interviews. You need to have a short statement prepared
    in your mind. Be careful that it does not sound rehearsed. Limit it to work-related items
    unless instructed otherwise. Talk about things you have done and jobs you have held that
    relate to the position you are interviewing for. Start with the item farthest back and work up
    to the present.


    <font class="naranja">2. </font> Why did you leave your last job?
    Stay positive regardless of the circumstances. Never refer to a major problem with management and never speak ill of supervisors, co-workers or the organization. If you do, you will be the one looking bad. Keep smiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason such as an opportunity, a chance to do something special or other forward-looking reasons.

    <font class="naranja">3. </font> What experience do you have in this field?
    Speak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying for. If you do not have specific experience, get as close as you can.

    <font class="naranja">4. </font> Do you consider yourself successful?
    You should always answer yes and briefly explain why. A good explanation is that you have set goals, and you have met some and are on track to achieve the others.

    <font class="naranja">5. </font> What do co-workers say about you?
    Be prepared with a quote or two from co-workers. Either a specific statement or a paraphrase will work.

    <font class="naranja">6. </font> What do you know about this organization?
    This question is one reason to do some research on the organization before the interview. Find out where they have been and where they are going. What are the current issues and who are the major players?



  • @frits said:

    I have a hard time believing there is any mud in India.

    you look at fotos of cities. come to farming comunities and you will see lot of mud.



  • @da Doctah said:

    Side question given your background: what's your reaction to a resume that includes Mensa under the heading of "memberships"?

    It doesn't mean anything to me. There are plenty of people who are super-smart by whatever way of measuring it you want to use (Mensa membership, degree from MIT or Stanford, one guy actually listed his supposed IQ...) who end up being completely unable to do the job. It's fine to put it there, but it doesn't add anything to the resume from my point of view.

    -cw



  • @CodeWhisperer said:

    @da Doctah said:

    Side question given your background: what's your reaction to a resume that includes Mensa under the heading of "memberships"?

    It doesn't mean anything to me. There are plenty of people who are super-smart by whatever way of measuring it you want to use (Mensa membership, degree from MIT or Stanford, one guy actually listed his supposed IQ...) who end up being completely unable to do the job. It's fine to put it there, but it doesn't add anything to the resume from my point of view.

    My point of view: Mensa members aren't smart, they just like bragging about being smart. (And during the interview, I'd probably ask about the crazy uncalibrated Mensa IQ tests where everybody gets 140+. Make them sweat a little.)

    I don't think it would hurt that much, though... but I'd be more negatively influenced than positively.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @CodeWhisperer said:

    It doesn't mean anything to me. There are plenty of people who are super-smart by whatever way of measuring it you want to use (Mensa membership, degree from MIT or Stanford, one guy actually listed his supposed IQ...)
    The unwritten assumption, I think, is that some people view membership of Mensa as a negative measure of the intelligence/personality of the person proclaiming membership of that organisation, purely by (still) being a member of that organisation.



  • @CodeWhisperer said:

    I do a lot of hiring and I don't see it as a big deal. 

    I do it myself, actually -- a small contracting job that doesn't really matter given everything else I've done, or something that doesn't fit into the 'narrative' I'm trying to sell the employer.   I'm not trying to hide anything, but you only have a brief time to get the attention of the recruiter or hiring manager, and if your last job is interesting, the second-to-last doesn't really add anything, and the third-to-last is killer... then if that second-to-last job is short, I personally wouldn't hesitate to drop it.   Hell, I cut my resume off at 5-6 years anyway, because a) it keeps my resume down to 2 pages, b) that's when I started my current career 'phase' and I don't need to sell people on a job I'm not applying for.

    Then when someone like me comes and reads it, I get an uninterrupted flow of the good stuff.   Also, it's important to note that 'someone like me' isn't looking at dates all that closely.  If your resume lists "2008-09: Something awesome; 2010-present: something awesome", then I'm not spending any cycles at all thinking "Wait a second...what came in between those!?"   I am only spending a few minutes per resume, looking for interesting experience, a good match for technologies, and that ineffible 'something' that great devs have.  I'm looking at your LinkedIn profile and reading your blog...I'm not reconstructing your timeline in my head.

    Once in a while I get someone with a 2+ year gap in their history...that makes me curious.  But it's 'curious', not 'accusing'.  I'll ask them what they were doing.  "Oh, I was going to culinary school", or "I made enough money in the previous job to take a year and be a stay-at-home-dad, spent spare time learning technology X" or "I wanted to try being a professional musician a try, but it just didn't work out" are all things I've heard, and they were all fine answers. I've also heard "Yeah, I did some contracts, but they were pretty undistinguished and just took up space on my resume" and that was fine too, though I'd expect someone to get their career back on track in less than a couple years.   "I was a meth-head, robbing gas stations" is a bad answer. :)

    Also, for what it's worth, I don't really see multiple jobs in 5 years as a necessarily bad thing.  5 jobs in 5 years would make me wonder for sure, but where you are and what the tech industry is like can have a big effect on expectations -- 1-2 years is pretty much average in silicon valley these days.  Seattle/Redmond has a little longer average, but someone with 2-3 jobs over 5 years is not a big deal.   I'd ask why they left, but there are a lot of good answers to that question.

    I fully agree with this interviewer's point of view.

    Moreover, it's important to see, on the interviewee's side, that an interview is two-way : you also must choose this enterprise... or not.

    I had a couple of interview experiences where I did stand up during the interview, thank the recruiter for his time, and say something along the lines of "sorry but I don't think your organization matches my professionnal standards/projects/expectations" (the style might be inappropriate, sorry, I'm of course a lot more fluent and at ease in my mothertongue... but i guess you got the picture). I'm clearly no precious-genius that entreprises struggle to have, just the everyday worker with rather easy to find skills, but though, many interviewers were stunned/saddened/embarassed at this attitude, and often asked why just like a pupil getting a bad grade...

    If in an interview the recruiter acts with me like CodeWhisperer describes, seems intelligent and shows humanity/common sense, then I know the place is worth to work in. The technical part comes after that only.

    And I work for years, in rather different type of activities, so it didn't represent an obstacle to my employability. Makes me think : does the word "exploitability" exist ? If so, let's say employability doesn't imply exploitability...



  • I've been a card-carrying member of Menses since the mid-nineties.



  • @brettdavis42 said:

    I'm in the process of revising my resume and I'm debating about leaving a job off my resume.

    Funny. I read the headline as something related to VB :-)

    Anyway, I have done something similar. As a contractor I have been on several smaller jobs (less than a year), and some of those were not always something to be proud of. So leave it out if you want, but if an interviewer digs out that you were in fact hiding this, have a good answer ready as to why you didn't mention this job. Be prepared.

    On error resume next

     


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