Weighing Job Gap on Resume vs. Listing Job He Was Fired From


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Randle writes: My question for you is how heavily do prospective employers consider the fact that you have been fired? I have asked others whether I should I remove this place of employment from my resume, and most have said no because it will leave an unexplainable gap in my employment. I was only employed there for 6 months and was terminated because I didn’t fit in. I was told there was no room there for me anymore and they were going to hire someone else.
The Career Doctor responds: Your letter just goes to show how callous some employers can be. So sorry, we don’t really like you and you don’t fit, so see you later. Of course, in some ways, that employer did you a favor because it’s certainly better to find out sooner rather than later. My opinion is that as long as this was not a dead-end job, that you should include it on your resume. There are several ways to judge whether you should put this job on your resume. You need to decide how important it is to your career advancement. If this was your first job in your field, then you need to use it to show you have experience… If you gained valuable skills from this job, you need to include it. And if you have solid accomplishments, you need to include the job. On the other hand, if you were taking classes or volunteering at the same time as this job — and you have something to fill the gap, then you might consider omitting it. Most importantly, do not call attention to it. Don’t say you were fired. Simply list it as you do any other employment on your resume. Remember: no negative information on your resume. Once you get to the next level of your job search — the job interview — you will need to have an explanation about the short stint. And what employers are looking for is not any kind of excuse; what employers want to hear is what you learned from it, so always look for a positive lesson. Being fired can certainly be traumatic, and job-seekers sometimes feel as though they have been branded with a big “F” on their foreheads, but you need to clear your head and move on, otherwise your lack of confidence will come through in your job search. Read more in my article, Getting Fired: An Opportunity for Change and Growth, published on Quintessential Careers.