Dear all,

I was hoping to get some help in answering a question on an application form I am filling in.


I have just started working for a Contract Sales company, and the position and company hasn't met my expectations. I don't see a realistic future in the company and am looking to move on. I have been with them under 3 months.

I come from an education background, having just completed an MBA programme - during the MBA, I became interested in leadership, HR, OB and many people related business dimensions.

I have seen a job for a large company, that I believe will offer the stimulation, career path and opportunities that are alligned to my interests and passion. This job looks GREAT!!

If you worked for a company for 1-2 months - would you put this on an application form? Would this omission be in my favour (as technically, I am still completing my dissertation).

If I do put this employment down, I have been asked give a reason why I am leaving - this is the hard bit...

I don't want to disparage my current employer (as some of the companies processes and policies are not particularly great), yet, at the same time, I don't want to come across as indecisive, or be considered in that light - where recruiters don't know what I want to do.

Interestingly, one of the reasons I went for this role was to gain some base level experiences that could then propel me into the type of role and function later in my career.

How would you put this?

Indicate current job?

Explain reasons? (this is the hard bit)...

I look forward to your feedback.


mkirk's picture

Hi Jovis,

I think you've answered your own question, really. You're quite entitled to downplay the job but you did sign up for something that, very quickly, has gone sour.

So it shows you can be decisive (when something doesn't work, you take a decision and act on it) and it shows you're not afraid to take some risks (and ALL hiring involves risks). But it also shows you maybe need to do more homework/ask different questions/be more demanding at job interviews (delete as appropriate). So, two positives and one area of learning - not a disaster. Add in your genuine enthusiasm and ambition for this new opportunity (which wasn't available when you were considering the current position) and focus on expressing that, it's far more important and effective.

I'd include the role, briefly, and prepare a short answer about it not working out. I would avoid any sort of blame, or bad mouthing, and let the recruiter draw their own conclusions about you, your energy, your enthusiasm and the preparation you've done for this application. If that's all good, then you won't have anything to worry about.

Good luck


buhlerar's picture

You haven't left, correct?  So if you're just sending in an application, isn't there an option to say you are still there?

You also might want to think about whether you're starting a full-blown job search or whether you just saw a job listing and have "buyer's remorse."  If you're not starting a full search, your explanation might ring hollow (all the attributes Matt explained would be consistent with a full search).  I can't say for sure whether you can get what you need at your current employer.  Almost every company has HR/OB/leadership/people roles, but I don't know exactly why you've concluded you can't get what you need.  As an outsider -- with just the information you've provided -- it kind of sounds like you just wish you were working for a larger and more prestigious company.  Make sure your explanation is specific, but of course not disparaging to your current employer.  Any vague answer will sound evasive and fishy, and possibly sound like the company is pushing you out.

If you're sure you can't get what you want in your current position, then think about the other 200 people also applying for this job and realize your search may involve more than just this one application before the process is through.  In the meantime, continue to produce results in your current role.  You might have reasonably not done much in 1-2 months, but if this process takes 6-12 months then recruiters will be looking for more substantial accomplishments.

To specifically address your question, you should include your current job (on both resume and application).  Goal #1 is to get an interview.  That is the resume's purpose, but obviously you can't put anything on your resume about why you're leaving.  You could possibly put something carefully worded on your cover letter, but the main purpose of the cover letter is to get the recruiter to read your resume, not to draw attention to a potential weakness.  So think about them reading the cover letter first -- and possibly never reading your resume if there isn't something compelling them along.  I'm afraid I can't claim to be the right wordsmith for that -- really depends on your specific background and how it matches the job description -- but my 2 cents on the strategy.


jovis's picture

Your comments and feedback is very valuable.

I was leaning towards leaving out my current employment, as it doesn't add anything to my application (particularly in this period when I am finalising my dissertation and I can get away with stating a student status).

While my organisation would certainly have these more desirable functions, I am not looking to relocate - which would be necessary...

Some of the push reasons are fairly compelling - a distinct lack of training and development (which breaks with my high standards of integrity and professionalism) as well as a generally very poor remuneration package.

If the job hunting continues beyond the immediate future (which it may well do) then, I will have to consider how to explain a change in direction... some of your ideas above are really helpful.

Many thanks,