Does it Look Bad to Switch Jobs After 6 Months?

Switching jobs after six months may be perceived differently based on the context. On the surface, it could raise questions for employers considering your candidacy for a job. Those questions could cover your commitment to taking their job—would it be more difficult to retain you for the long term? Any time you have a short tenure on your resume, here are some things to do to be sure this track record doesn’t have negative implications for your job search.

How Can I Explain a Short Job Tenure on My Resume?

You can explain a short job tenure by being honest and transparent about the reasons for leaving. You can also turn the conversation more positive by highlighting the achievements, experiences, and skills you gained even during a short stint at an employer.

It’s not a terrible idea to put a statement on your resume to explain the short tenure, such as,
“Due to corporate downsizing, was laid-off at six months but gained valuable experiences in this role.” You can elaborate on this further during the job interview. Focus on your positive attributes and future goals to illustrate your dedication and commitment to a new opportunity.

Why Would Employers Worry About a Short-Term Position?

When you consider that the average tenure for men is 4.3 years and 3.8 years for women, you can understand the employer’s concern. Having a six-month job raises concerns that you are hard to work with or that you have trouble adapting to new work environments. Either way, you are otherwise a flight risk potentially in the eyes of an employer.

Short job tenures can be perceived as a lack of loyalty or commitment, and it can even indicate poor performance. Employers may see this as a red flag and believe you may not be worth the investment of training and acclimating you for a job you might not be in for the long term.

What Can You Do if You Have to Leave a Job After Six Months?

If you must leave a job (or want to leave) after only a few months, you can:

  • Be candid with yourself about why you’re leaving. Is this a behavior pattern limiting your career—and that you need to address?
  • Be transparent with your current employer about why you are leaving (but be respectful and helpful in aiding the transition process).
  • Document your achievements for use during your job hunt.
  • Be prepared with a clear explanation for why you left (without beating up the prior employer).
  • Keep growing your skills professionally.

Every situation and person is unique, so there may be a very valid reason for a short job tenure. It’s important to be honest and candid in providing a clear explanation to your recruiter or hiring manager during the interview process.

Blackstone Talent Group keeps an open mind when working with job candidates in the tech field. Talk to one of our experienced recruiters today. We can help you find the right fit.

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