If You Quit a Job in the Probationary Period Should You Put It on Your Resume?

Listing brief employment periods on your resume may not be required.
i Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

In job hunting, a resume is a summary of your experiences and skills relevant to the field of work you're entering. A resume's purpose is to get you a job interview. According to the Boston College website on resumes, you should tailor them to fit each career field in which you are job searching. It may not be necessary to list on your resume any jobs you've quit, especially if they were of a short duration such as during a probationary period.

Quitting a Job

"The Undercover Recruiter" website recommends omitting anything irrelevant on your resume. For example, you may have taken a job and then quit during the probationary period. New York University notes that a job's probationary period is akin to a "trial period" for the employer who's assessing an employee, though employees should also assess their employers. Quitting a job during a probationary period isn't unusual – plus it's only brief employment, meaning it may be irrelevant to your resume and your job search.

Explaining Employment Gaps

If you've quit a job and it creates an employment gap on your resume, be open in explaining it. Discussing an employment gap on your resume is as simple as stating that you were exploring different jobs to determine what you were meant to do. Explanations of employment gaps should be very brief and done only on cover letters, though. Also, you can downplay employment gaps on your resume by mentioning only the years of employment, not the months and years.

Crafting Functional Resumes

There are steps you can take to craft a resume that de-emphasizes jobs you've quit while still highlighting your strongest attributes. The "U.S. News Money" website recommends using a functional resume that groups your work history by skills rather than in chronological order. Functional resumes highlight a job seeker's strengths more effectively and are especially useful when employment gaps may exist. If you've quit a job during a probationary period, a functional resume can honestly and ethically eliminate discussion of it.

Beware Social Media

You should also take time to consider your social media activities and their impact when crafting a resume. Job seekers are coming under pressure to give potential employers access to the lives they lead on social media sites such as Facebook. Employees complaining about employers is nothing new, but social media creates a lasting legacy of those complaints. If a potential employer searches through your social media life and finds complaints about past employers, including those not listed on your resume, trouble may arise.

the nest