How Long Do You Have to Stay At a Job To Include It On Your Resume? (Asking For a Friend)

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017 - Resume

Sure, being the White House Communications Director may sound impressive (depending, ahem, on who’s in the White House at the time), but Anthony Scaramucci didn’t exactly stay in the position long enough to make it count in his career. In fact, just 10 days after he was appointed, he was removed from the position and the world marked his exit in one brilliant viral movie mashup.

Kate Hudson, would you do the honors?

While Scaramucci’s historically short stint won’t likely impact his net worth—he’s got an estimated $64 million to fall back on—most folks who’ve departed a job within two weeks still have to hustle up future employment.

Which leads us to an important question: Just how long are you supposed to stay at a company if you hope to put it on your resume?

Of course, nobody wants to be fired 10 days after starting a job, but if you’re in a position you despise or if you feel like you’re working inside a ticking time bomb, how long do you really have to stick it out in order to count it in your career history?

For an answer, we turned to Dr. Tracey Wilen, author of Employed For Life: 21st Century Career Trends. According to Wilen, who researches workforce trends for a living, the acceptable departure deadline isn’t what it used to be. There was a time when four years at the same job was “the protocol,” she says.

That’s right, four whole years of slogging through a job you can’t take but can’t afford to lose either.

But, notes Wilen, times have changed. “Today, younger people tend to move every two years, but I advise to note quantifiable accomplishments so it is not perceived as job-hopping,” she says.

If you can’t imagine yourself lasting literal years, have no fear. If you can stick it out for three months, you can tack that title on your CV, according to David Arnold, who runs the executive search firm Arnold Partner, LLC.

“If you stay in a place three months or more, it would warrant at least a footnote if is current or recent,” he says. “But, if the three-month stint was three years ago, it probably does not belong on your resume.”

Arnold calls it “a balancing act of tenure and time past.”

But what if you’re recently employed in a job you despise and already sending out resumes? Should you include the one you just started while you’re still there? Arnold thinks so.

“It’s better to have that out in the open and show your proactively taking charge to get into a better situation,” he says.

However, if your job tenure only lasts less than two months (we now call that “pulling a Scaramucci”), both Arnold and Wilen advise leaving it off your resume—unless, says Wilen, “you can weave it as a positive statement in the intro section to help set you apart in a positive manner from other candidates.”

More than likely, you’ll want to bury that brief career hiccup to avoid answering any probing interview questions about why it didn’t work out.

Of course, if you’re Scaramucci, you’re going to have a tough time sweeping it under the rug. Kate, play us out…

(Image via Getty)

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