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I took a big risk on a new career, we weren't a good fit, how do I add that to my resume?

I recently took a big risk and "crossed the aisle" from a construction accounting software user, for 19+ years, to a software consultant for a construction accounting software company. From long time user/manager to brand new implementer overnight. Although similar, the software was new to me, as were some of the skills needed to consult for multiple companies. During training I struggled to achieve proficiency at implantation. I also began to realize how many of the day-to-day business processes I would miss by being only a consultant for my clients. I came to the conclusion that the job was not right for me, including the almost constant travel required. I also realized that I wasn't right for the duties I was training for. Amongst other failings, I was too detailed oriented, great for accounting or data analysis, not helpful when you've got four days to expose the entire system to key client personnel. In the end I resigned my position. Once I realized I didn't want continue, I didn't want to waste any more of my company's time and money training me to take on clients, nor did I believe I would do a good job for the company or the client. Regrettably, I never left trainee status, but I learned a tremendous amount about their software and other training/implementation skills. My problem now is I prefer to be open and forthright about my job experience, however, now that I'm at the point of updating my resume, how do I add an entry for a failed attempt at a job? I came away with a lot of new skills and perspectives, but I still never made it past trainee, and ultimately I wasn't good at the job. How to I present that in a positive light? And reflect the positive feelings I have about it? Thank you.

Answers

Mark Richards
Title: VP of Finance & Operations
Company: RBA Consulting
(VP of Finance & Operations, RBA Consulting) |

First, you've shown great stability in prior jobs - so that should not be an issue when talking to employers

Second, I would categorize your current role as "Consultant" and you can list both independent/W-2. The positioning of consultant was to expand your skill experience and business knowledge (new perspective), while still interested in consulting, the culture and role of the W-2 firm was not a fit so working independently.

The real question will be why you left your last role if you intend to get a position that is similar. The potential firm will wonder why you would take a role again and if you would stay and if they can invest in you. Assuming you want to go back, then I would position it as the role of consultant can confirm where you're interest truly lies - but sometimes you need to try new activities to expand your skills or to help confirm where your true strength and interests.

I've explained my venture into the start-up world in a similar way, for people who have taken a risk in their career - they will understand it. For those who have not, less so. Just to set your expectations accordingly.

Lastly, when your resume has a potential issue - then best to use networking to get into a new firm versus straight applications. The more you can explain the promise of what you bring, the less your resume becomes a stumbling block. Also, ask your past colleagues to post references/recommendations on your LinkedIn profile - to show you left on good terms and with well respected work.

Hope this helps and good luck.

Mark

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