Job application, not sure what to do.
December 30, 2013 1:17 PM   Subscribe

For job applications, what should I do about a few months long job where I was terminated after being moved between projects?

Hi all, not sure what I should do about this on job applications, if anyone could give input:

Basically a year or so ago, I signed a job offer with a company for Project A. Project A was cancelled while I was moving cities for that project. Since I had already moved and signed a lease, the company offered to put me on Project B and offered to let me switch over "if another project came up". After a few months (2 or 3) it became clear to me that no new project was going to materialize and Project B wasn't a good fit at all. After discussing my concerns with my supervisor, the company ended up terminating me the next week.

I've been in graduate coursework since then, but am now applying for new jobs. I'm not really sure what I should do with this on job applications. I'm planning on leaving it off my resume section since the work experience isn't really relavent, but I am not sure what to do about the "list all jobs you've had" section at the end of some applications or if there's a "have you ever been fired?" check box (although I haven't seen that box much on applications or if it's there it's qualified with "for cause" or "for criminal activity" or something like that). Would leaving it off those come back to bite me later? I do know that the name of the company shows up on my credit report from Experian, which has me a little nervous.

If it helps neither Project A nor Project B are relevant to the jobs I'm currently applying for.
I also have great references who will vouch for me from past jobs and relavent work experience for the jobs I'm applying to from previous jobs. The jobs I'm applying to are professional level engineering/programming type jobs if that helps at all.

Any input you could give me would be great, especially from HR people.

posted by anonymous to Work & Money (7 answers total)
Honestly, since it was only a few months, leave it off if the work is not all that relevant to the job you're trying to get now. If they ask about the time gap between listed positions, you can always explain the situation in an in-person interview, which is a better place to explain the nuances of what happened anyway.
posted by pdb at 1:25 PM on December 30, 2013

A months-long gap in employment means nothing right now. If the job isn't a plus on your resume, and lasted a few months, leave it off, and pretend it didn't occur.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:47 PM on December 30, 2013

I've NEVER been asked about gaps in my resume.
posted by entropone at 1:48 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

I am as vague as possible when putting dates on my resume. Now I just put years, but I used to put seasons when I wanted to emphasize that I had been at one job for almost two years but another for less than one. Summer 2003 -- Spring 2004 sounds better than August 2003 -- March 2004. If you do it like that, your missing job might not even be apparent.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:23 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

and from what you said, you were not fired - you were laid off, or made redundant, or whatever you want to call it - there was no (suitable) work for you to do.
posted by mr vino at 2:33 PM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

Leave it off. Resumes are like SportsCenter, not play-by-play. Keep the highlights and leave out the 3 and outs.

If asked about the minor gap, say you lost your job in a restructuring of the company. Happens all the time. Not your fault.
posted by inturnaround at 3:05 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Agree with the above unless it was a really awesome company with name recognition. Then you could put Contractor or Project Manager something that indicates it was temporary but meaningful.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:22 AM on December 31, 2013

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