At Work

By Lindsey Novak

May 1, 2009 5 min read

AT WORK

Include a short-term job with great experience on your resume

Lindsey Novak

Creators News Service

Q: I was laid off from my past two jobs -- the first because of an acquisition and the second because of a downsizing. I was at the second job for a little more than three months. Should I include it on my resume? I learned so much in that job. I worked on an NFL licensing agreement and loved the project. My boss said the employer would be happy to give me a good reference. If I include it, should I refer to it as a temporary job?

A: Absolutely include it on your resume, but not as a temporary job. You were hired as a full-time permanent employee; unfortunately, the company misjudged its financial position and had no choice but to cut back, and you were a new employee. You may benefit by creating a chronological resume and then turning it into a functional resume. A functional resume focuses on a person's accomplishments. After you list a summary of what you would bring to a job and how you categorize yourself, create a heading titled "Selected Achievements." Describe the projects you've completed in all of your jobs. Emphasize all successful projects and such things as the money or time you saved each company by streamlining procedures and processes, anything that you worked on with positive results for the company. Then under the "Employment" category, list your job titles, the companies you've worked for, and the dates you worked for each one. Keep both resume styles updated as you advance in your career, and you will be able to choose the one you think is most appropriate for future positions.

Your cover letter should emphasize the highlights of your work and inform the potential employer of the reasons you are looking for a new job. Don't be embarrassed by financial layoffs in your work experience. Such things are not new, even though the economy has slowed down. You've had good jobs, which have offered great opportunities that always will serve you.

Never Accept Cruel or Unethical Treatment at Work

Q: There are three of us in our department, and we all were hired within two weeks of one another. The job requires a certain level of education and licensure, but the supervisor hired her best friend, who does not meet the requirements, as one of the three. Within a few months of being hired, I was promoted to department lead, which angered her best friend. Since then, her friend has made my life a living hell. She calls me names, sabotages my reports, destroys my personal belongings, leaves work to have her nails done or to go to Starbucks and runs to the boss if I make even one mistake. She also sent me a racially offensive text message. She spends hours every day talking in the boss's office while I do twice the work to make sure we keep within our legal contractual agreements. When I spoke to the boss, she replied, "Oh, that's just (friend's name)." Then she asked whether I thought her friend did these things "just to get under (my) skin." Our company has a federal government contract. Would it be wrong to notify the government that this person does not meet the requirements for the job?

A: First, you are working for an unethical and unprofessional boss. Do not tolerate the sick, immature and offensive behavior of this unqualified employee. Because your boss has violated the government contract by hiring her unqualified best friend, meet with your boss's boss. Present a formal memo listing this woman's behavior since the beginning. The company president will see that your boss and her best friend must be fired.

Please send your questions to: Lindsey Novak, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. E-mail her at [email protected], or visit her Web site at www.LindseyNovak.com. She answers all e-mails. To find out more about Lindsey Novak and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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