Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Two-Month Job on Resume

I attended college last year to become a medical assistant. I am currently employed in a job (Job #1) that is not medical related. I work at second job (Job #2) as a part-time medical assistant.

A few months ago, I worked at a third company as a medical assistant (Job #3) almost full-time, and quit because it involved a lot of travel. I left Employer #3 on the best of terms; I know they would hire me back.

All three jobs overlap each other with no time lapses on my resumes. None of the jobs are full time. Why so many jobs? Because nobody would offer full-time work to someone with such little experience. I need to build experience and I'm 40 years old.

Here’s my question: I got hired about 2 months ago as a medical assistant (Job #4). I worked for the company for about 2 months and made under $1,000. I received education but only about 1 day of hands-on training. I believe they over hired! Before the 90-days probation period was up, they let me go, stating my performance was the issue. They said I could give my 2-week notice, which I did.

Job #4 was not the right match. I needed more training in a new facility. Imagine working at a new job with nobody showing you where to find equipment or supplies, and using a new computer system for the first time. That would slow anybody down!

Question, should I bother to list Job #4 on my resume and applications? If I don't list them, what if an employer runs a verification check? I have discussed this with my Employer #4 and they said if someone calls they will only give employment dates.

Joyce Lain Kennedy, Syndicated Columnist, Tribune Media Services

Hi Medical Assistant on Her Way to Job #5,

What you really want to know is whether or not you'll be found out if you omit the two-month job on your resume. Probably not. Even if a potential employer runs a background check, which may include a credit report, unless you opened a new charge account during that time connecting yourself with job #4 data, your short term in your last job is unlikely to be reported.

(But note that one of the newer ways employers are finding out stuff you'd rather they not know opens up when individuals blab way too much on such social networking sites as MySpace and Facebook.)

You say you parted on good terms and that employer #4 will disclose only the dates of your employment. Taking the company at its manager's word, there's a better way to handle your dilemma: Go ahead and put down the dates of job #4 and mark that stint as a "Temporary job." As things turned out, that's what it was. If pressed, briefly reply that #4 was a good learning experience but you are moving on to fill a better fit in a full-time permanent position.

Do yourself a favor: Find out exactly what performance issues precipitated your early departure from Job #4. Go back and ask your former manager; people like to give advice to appreciative individuals. Once informed, make sure that you don't repeat those early mistakes, even if it means seeking additional formal training before you look for a job that you hope will be a keeper.

If you have further questions about preparing your best resume, I recommend you pick up a copy of Susan Ireland's outstanding book, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Perfect Resumes," 4th Edition.

Susan Ireland’s Two Cents
In her post, Job Surfing’s a Risk, Susan Strayer says:
Job hopping is common--and it's not always bad. But the problem really is twofold. First, people job hop to overcompensate for a bad factor at their old job. They correct that in the new role. but are in such a hurry to hop, they don't assess that new job thoroughly. And before you know it, it's job search time again.

Susan’s post has good advice for how to know when you’re a perpetual job hopper and how you can look at the pattern to turn it around.

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