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Presenting a short term of employment in a resume.


John Nerison Boise, ID

My mentee joined a small construction company upon leaving the service. The company did not secure new projects and as a new employee, the mentee was laid off. Since this is the first term of employment in the resume and it was rather short, I am looking for ideas/ways to eliminate the "red flag" effect that might scare away potential employers. The company will provide a reference. The mentee and the company are on good terms. Ideas please?

5 March 2019 7 replies General



Chad Eaves Lake Zurich, IL

Hi John,

If it's less than three months, I would not include it (especially it if was the mentee's first job after separation). One short period after getting out is unlikely to raise a red flag. If your mentee is still seeking work, I would recommend finding contract work to fill the gap (this would pay versus volunteer work). Or, get additional training. Is GI Bill funds available for the mentee - that can help with college or trade education, depending on what type of work your mentee is pursuing.



Gerald Mannikarote Houston, TX

Hi John,
You've received great information here. I would suggest volunteering to bridge the gap until you get a new job. That way you can have something to add into your resume.
Here's a link from LinkedIn that talks about filling in resume gaps.

I hope this helps.

Warm regards,


Milind Parikh Rockaway, NJ

I agree with the answers here. My suggestion would be to also see if possible include a succinct reason for the short employment along with the reference. As an employer that has in the past told me that it was not employee fault for a short employment. Ideally this should be 5-6 words in parentheses next to the start and end date.

Good luck!


GARY Sherman Havre De Grace, MD

You can't make up work experience you don't have, but you can augment what little work experience you do have with your military experience, and how you learned new skills or managed personnel or had any work experience that shows your initiative and hard work.
Showing your advancement in rank is helpful and if you don't have references from those you worked under in the military, ask for them, if you are able to contact your fellow veterans.
Good employers are aware of the work ethic of U. S. Military veterans, especially in the construction field, where you'll be the guy who show up on time, puts in a hard day and follows instructions. And believe in yourself and share that confidence. We've all been through what you're going through. Stand tall! Best wishes!


Susana Moraga Hayward, CA

The resume presents transferable skills, if it's important to include this employer also include the information about the layoff.
This should not be a big hurdle.


Tim Feemster Dallas, TX

I agree. You have a plausible explanation for the short duration of the employment but you must get a copy of a recommendation as soon as possible so you have it in case the management changes and and your mentee's champions are no longer there.


Rex Conger Gilbert, SC

I would suggest that you include the dates and information just like you shared it when asking the question.

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