Does staying at a job a short time look bad on your resume?

I’m looking for opinions from people who work as department managers, preferably in government agencies, and who have interviewed and hired people as a part of their job.

I’m an urban planner working at my second job. I was at my first job for two years and three months, and have been at my current job for around six months. Both jobs have been for municipal planning departments, and that’s likely the kind of jobs I’ll do most of my career. Now I’m considering taking a new job somewhere near where my fiancé lives and works, with the plan of getting married not too long after that (we don’t want to get married while we live a long distance apart). Among my hesitations is that when I apply for jobs in the future, the fact that I only stayed at my second job six months will hurt my resume, and hurt my chances at getting an interview.

Is that something that employers/managers look at when deciding whom to interview and hire? If someone’s qualified for the job, does the fact that they left a previous job after only six month make you less likely to be interested in them? Obviously if I were to get an interview, I could explain that I left the job to get married, but that doesn’t seem like something that’s appropriate to put on a resume. From a future employment point of view, could this potentially be a bad idea?
Thanks for your help

It’s definitely something that I consider when hiring. However, if it’s not a pattern, then I ignore it. Four jobs of six months’ duration looks suspicious. One job where it just didn’t work out is a non-starter.

Don’t bring it up in the interview, but have a good answer prepared in case the interviewer asks why you left.

I don’t think it’ll matter since you were with your other job for more than two years. Also, I would consider marriage a pretty viable reason for relocating and leaving your job. It’s not like you’re getting fired for being an awful employee. Although you shouldn’t bring it up, either on you resume or at the interview, the person you are interviewing with will probably ask anyway. If I were you, I’d just be honest. You’re moving to be closer to your future husband. Surely any HR person would understand that.

By the way, while I’m not in HR, I have been responsible for hiring before, and when I was, I’d look at the whole picture, not just has this person ever quit a job after just a few months. Sometimes jobs don’t work out, and sometimes people have major life changes that require them to change jobs. Plus, this economy really sucks, so that’s one more reason why I would listen to why a person left their job.

If they said something like, “Well, our company laid off about 250 people,” or “I decided to be home with my children,” or “I wanted to live near my fiance,” if they were able to fill the requirements for the job, and I felt they’d be a good fit with the company, they’d definitely remain in the running. But if someone said, “My manager was a bitch,” or “Uh, yeah, well, I didn’t really like the people there,” that’d be another thing. The first three quotes tell me that the person I’m interviewing either got laid off or circumstances conspired against them to make them leave a job after a short time. The second two tell me that this person is not very nice, not easy to get along with, and whether or not they have all the skills I need, they may well turn out to be argumentative and difficult employees that could negatively affect my company’s morale. If someone didn’t like where they were working or the people they were working with, their best bet is to be diplomatic and say something neutral like, “I didn’t feel I was a good fit with the company,” or “I really appreciated the experience I gained from working there, but the company wasn’t able to offer me the opportunities for growth that I am seeking, and I feel that your company does.”

In this case, I don’t think it is a problem. If you had several short-term jobs, I would be concerned, but one would not prevent me from hiring or interviewing you. If you are asked about it, tell them honestly that you wanted to be closer to your fiance.

Thanks, that makes me feel better.
By the way, verbose, I’m moving closer to my future wife, not husband. But you were close :slight_smile:

Sorry 'bout that. I got married in April, and even though I was engaged in a year, I still kept calling my husband my fiancee. That probably explains why a lot of people on this board thought I was a man for a long time. :wink: