Your Job History: Separating Fact From Fiction

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What are employers looking for in your job history? Does your resume include any red flags? How long must you stay at a job to prove you are responsible?

There’s no right or wrong answer to these questions. Often, it depends on circumstances. Here, we provide general guidelines — separating fact from fiction as it relates to your job history.

If I’ve been at a job less than a year, prospective employers are going to be leery of hiring me.

FICTION: One or two instances of short-term employment are fine — as long as it’s the exception, not the rule. Employers may view a pattern of shorter stints as a problem. But, they are becoming less focused on how long you’ve been at a company — more interested in your career goals and experience.

Employers want to know your whole story.

FACT: Granted, they don’t need your Aunt Vivian’s carrot cake recipe or want to hear about your game-winning touchdown in junior high, but they do want to know all about your job-adjacent skills and talents. They also want to be sure you are a good fit for their work environment or team. That’s why QuickHire has incorporated a video submission feature: employers can see the big picture of your background, skills, goals, and more.

Work gaps are no-nos.

FICTION: The job market can be really tight, plus the 2008 recession and current pandemic have thrown a wrench into almost everyone’s employment. Employers are people and their lives likely have been affected by job instability, too. It’s ok to have gaps in your job history — as long as you can confidently explain them if asked.

No one really cares about resumes anymore.

FICTION: Resumes aren’t the be all, end all, but they still are important. They afford employers with a first glimpse of you and the likelihood you’d be a good fit for their company. As we mentioned before, the pandemic has thrown employment for a loop. Here’s information about how to tweak your resume in light of our new normal.

Savvy job hunters tailor their resume for every job to which they apply.

FACT: Job-seekers often take the one-size fits all approach to resume writing. It’s a huge mistake. Employers are looking for keywords in your resume that align with their job description — an at-a-glance way to see if you are a likely fit. That doesn’t mean flub experience and skills to match a potential job — it DOES mean taking a close look at your own history and what the company is looking for and then spotlighting those synergies.

Employers don’t have the time to do background checks.

FICTION: Yeah… they really do. And it’s critical that your work history checks out. Make sure it’s accurate.