Should I include my current position on my resume?

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Should I include my current position on my resume?I've been at my current company for just over 4 weeks and am actively looking for something new.  I left my last position for greener pastures (more responsibility, more money, shorter commute).  Without going into details, everyone (including my previous supervisor) have suggested I get out.  I'm not sure if it looks better on my resume that I am working (although for such a short period) or if I should leave my position off and appear involuntarily unemployed or like I quit a job without something to fall into.  What's your take?  I have no plans to leave before finding something else.  And yes, the job is that bad.  Is it better to have a resume with a month long position on it or leave it out?

Answers

Topic Expert
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Honesty is always the best policy. A quick background check will uncover the truth anyway.

Proformative Advisor
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I agree with Cindy. Show everything and be upfront. If your search does not yield results immediately, a one month hole today may be a seven month gap when you are ready to land the new position. The future employer will ask about the lapse and you will need to discuss it any way. They may be unhappy that the info was omitted, thereby jeopardizing the desired position.

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100% agree with Cindy and Regis. The one thing I would add is that you should think about why you came to the new position, why that did not work out, and then how to spin that as a positive. Mistakes and misfires happen, and you should meet them head on.

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You made a bad decision this time apparently. Are you sure the next move you make will be any better? Unless all the people you now work with are 3 headed monsters (which is unlikely), or they completely misrepresented the position you were hired for, I suggest you seriously think about why you want to move again.

You could also give yourself more time to consider. If you start interviewing again immediately and put your current job on your resume do you know what you are going to say about your current employer ? It is generally unwise to slander previous employers.

Another thing to consider is how many jobs you already have on your resume - do you have others that lasted less than 3 months ? If so think hard before moving on

Topic Expert
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You make some great points, Philip.

A good thing to remember is that it is not so much our mistakes that company's ONLY focus on ... but the lessons we've learned and how we will use those in future decision-making.

Start by contemplating some of the questions Philip has raised, Anon.

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I think you're attributing too much importance to this. In the fast-changing dynamic business world of today this happens all the time. You're approaching this defensively which will make you weak in the eyes of a prospective employer. Be positive in that you, like Edison, found something that didn't work, discard it, and find something that does work. You have successfully discovered what doesn't work.

Two questions an interviewer will immediately ask you if not obvious on your resume: 1) what are you doing now? and 2) why do you want to work for us (almost flip side of why do you want to leave your current employer, which if only for four weeks will probably be asked?).

I suggest you just have good truthful answers to these. There are hundreds of good reasons for this situation, e.g., the management changed after starting, the job was misrepresented, the job content changed, the company direction has changed, etc., etc. Mistakes happen. Experienced people understand this. If not they're intellectually living in a time warp.

Perhaps you could renegotiate the job as a contract job so you can honestly tell a prospective employer that your position is a contract one and will end which is why you're looking for a new job.

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I absolutely agree that you should disclose your current job. At one point in my career I had two outstanding job offers, one a great job but 40% foreign travel and the other not as interesting but no foreign travel (my kids were quite young at the time). I took the local job and it was obvious after about two months that it was not the right job for me. It was neither interesting nor challenging and the ethics of the ownership were suspect. My response was to begin looking for a new job; it took almost eight months to find the right fit. During the time I was upfront about my short tenure at my current position and honest with potential employers that I had made a mistake. The response from the potential employers was respect for my honesty and I am certain that had I left that job off of my resume it would have called my ethics into question.

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I agree that listing it is more upfront and preferable. More importantly than to list or no is your answers to yourself and to a prospective new employer why you are leaving.

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In today's world of information accessibility, if the person doing the hiring of a potential new position doesn't already know where you are employed he/she is not doing their job. Not being upfront will created a huge integrity issue it will take you too long to overcome.

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How would a background check reveal the 4 weeks position?

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Lots of good advice from others to avoid hiding even a few weeks/months of employment. Not mentioned, but worth restating, is that your resume should not show the month of beginning/ending employment for any job, only the year. It may be necessary, of course, to add the months when filling out a job application.

Proformative Advisor
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I agree with all those who confirm the need to tell the truth. It will come out anyway. You will need to address what you have learned from your arrival. If you can explain the what you learned in a positive way and address what you hope to accomplish in another company, you will be successful in your interviews.

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Agree with all the advice on disclosure that you are currently employed. Be sure to position your desire to find a new opportunity in the kindest way possible reflecting on your current employer i.e They are great guys and didn't really understand what they wanted in a CFO and I plan to leave but will help them find the right person. Take the high road.

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I know what sick feelings you are having. I had a similar experience and I had vetted the company and its principals where I was taking a new position. I knew within the first week that things were very wrong based on the financial information I was looking at every day in my job and how things were being handled. We sometimes make mistakes no matter how hard we try.

I agree with Rex Jackson. Spin your experience in the best light possible without trashing your current employer. Go over and over your answers to the possible questions that will arise during interviews.

You will get past this. Good luck!

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Thank you for your advice. I planned to include the position if my search lasted more than 6 weeks. As to why I am leaving, the position changed when I got here and it's standard to work 50-60 hours per week (not what I signed up for). Management also has a habit of setting everyone up to fail. I've tried making positive suggestions only to be told I "don't know what I'm talking about". I've only had 3 positions in the last 10 years and this would be my fourth. I did have one position lasting fewer than 2 months, but my ethics didn't align with the company owners (I wouldn't submit fraudulent loan docs to a bank). I will going forward include this hopefully brief lesson on my resume. As I said before, I don't plan to jump ship without a life raft.

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In addition to good advices from others, it would be wise to remember to ask on your future interviews how the position became available and how long did the previous employee stay with the organization. These questions might reveal something about the organization's culture that you might want to consider before deciding to join them. You will hear how comfortable the hiring person answers this question. Interview is a good time not only tell what you have to bring to the organization but also to find out how the organization's culture and values align with yours. Good luck.

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"how the position became available and how long did the previous employee stay with the organization"

That has been SOP with me when job hunting. However, most companies have refused to answer this question either by changing the subject or flat out telling me that it is wasn't open for discussion, often feigning indignation that I would ask such a question. Most employers seem to think they are perfect and, that any issues that arise are solely the blame of "bad" employees.

Too bad. Life just isn't like that. The frequency of "bad" employers is at least as large as the frequency of "bad" employees in my experience.

I can't tell you how appreciative I've been of the few interviewers who understood exactly why I might ask that question and answered in a measured way that assured me that there would be no surprises and, the position did not involve a revolving door. They knew and accepted that I was sizing them up as much as they were doing the same to me. I'd call that mutual respect.

I've said it before here and I'll say it again: It is just as difficult to screen potential employers as it is to screen potential candidates. One never knows exactly what they are getting into until they actually get into it. There is no exact approach in either case that will result in perfect matches. Much of the advice presented is well founded. But, it is still oft repeated platitudes that may or may not work in your own situation.

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Listing your current job on your resume is the way to go. I sympathize I'm in exactly the same position; the great team I met during the interview have completely redefined the word dysfunctional for me. I'm also looking for something new but I am determined to make the most of my time here as what I'm experiencing could prove useful in my next job. I encourage you to do the same.

Proformative Advisor
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Nat and Rex's advice is spot on. You have to disclose the position and put a positive spin on it. The position wasn't as "billed." Make sure your next position is what you want and as importantly, make sure your boss is someone you can learn from and will treat you professionally.

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It is now three months since your post. Interested in how everything turned out. Are you still at the same place or did you find a better job?

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UPDATE: I did leave the position without something to fall into. Found another position within a month and I was upfront about my short tenure at the previous employer. One of the managers with my new company actually researched the company I was coming from and said my previous boss had a really bad reputation. Best of luck to those looking. Life is too short to spend it working in a toxic environment.