Not every job works out like you had hoped. Perhaps once you started, you found out that the role wasn’t exactly what it was presented to be. Maybe you didn’t get along with your coworkers. Maybe things unfolded in a way you had no control over and affected your position. Or maybe you just realized that the job wasn’t a good fit.
Whatever the reason, it can be tough to figure out how to present job experience when your perception of it was negative. You certainly do not want to speak poorly about your employer no matter what happened. So how can you turn things around and make it look more positive?
Focus on Results
You may not have been there long (or perhaps you stuck it out anyway) but highlight the things you achieved during that time. What are you most proud of? What processes did you put in place or projects did you work on that made a difference? Look for the silver lining – it may not seem significant in the grand scheme of things but find the positives.
Try to take your emotions out of things and focus on the work you did. You may not have liked the team you were working with, and maybe your manager was disorganized, but what contributions did you make? How did you apply your skills or support business objectives?
There are lessons to learn from every job. What was your takeaway from the position? Maybe it made you a stronger or more decisive leader. Or you learned how to combine differing ideas to come up with a mutually agreeable solution. Even if it was something as simple as learning a new software program, it’s another skill to add to your toolbox.
If you’re having trouble finding the positives, get feedback from others. Write down everything you can about your role and ask them to help you find key points you can highlight. Because they weren’t in your position, they can ask questions to help you look at things from a different perspective. When in doubt, keep it short and concise. Emphasize accomplishments and move on.
Depending on how long you held the role and the impact it would make on your resume, you may even be able to leave it off completely. If it really didn’t add anything to your career experience or candidacy for another role, consider skipping it. Remember – you’re not obligated to list every job you’ve ever held on your resume. It is an overview of your career and a chance to let employers see what you have to offer, not an autobiography. (Of course, if there is a section of the online application where it wants you to list all jobs, list all jobs.)
If you’re struggling with how to present your work experience in the most effective manner, contact the professionals at Grammar Chic. We’ll work with you to determine what should be included in your resume and how to position yourself for the type of role you’re seeking. Contact us at (803) 831-7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.