Reason for Leaving?

When it comes time to write a CV a question that always comes up is should I put my reasons for leaving on my CV? It is a very personal decision and very much depends on your reason and how many jobs you have on your CV. Everybody who writes or reads a CV ends up using the same few tired clichÌ©s for their reason for leaving but how many of them are accurate and tell the whole story?

Reason for Leaving: Company was not a cultural fit

Does this mean that you just didn’t have anything in common with your colleagues, or had something happened to mean that people had regressed to childhood and stop talking to you in a sulk? It could just mean that the way you work on a daily basis was not the way that your company liked things done.

Reason for Leaving: Seeking career progression

This can be a stock answer for some people when they don’t want to provide the real reason for leaving a role. This can become tricky as a number of hiring managers now recognize this and can be very sceptical about it. If they have really left for career progression the first thing that springs to mind is obviously why? Was the individual not skilled enough to get promotion at their current employer or it could simple be that the company employs a dead man’s shoes policy and they would have to wait around for someone else to leave to free up that promotional spot. Rather than putting seeking career progression as a reason for leaving try and make it more specific to avoid that skepticism.

Reason for Leaving: Temp/contract role

One of the few reasons that when put on a CV are readily accepted and clear to all who read the CV the situation. It might be more beneficial to include this information in with the job title or the dates you worked in this role to provide instant clarification rather than wait until the end of the job description.

Reason for Leaving: Ill health

Unfortunately this is a reason that opens up a whole can of worms. A hiring manager who reads these lines will instantly think about how much time that individual might have taken work of sick and can they really afford for this to happen to them. Regardless of the validity of this reason and the serious health issues you might have encountered but have now put behind them it is very difficult to sell this on paper and is something best left for a telephone or face-to-face discussion.

Reason for Leaving: Travelling

Another reason that can cover up a less than satisfactory real reason for having left the role in question. Whilst it is readily accepted that people will choose to take time out of the working environment to go travelling, hiring managers, recruiters and others who spend their time reading CV and speaking to candidates are instantly wary about this reason. It is more accepted if you returned from travelling and went straight into a new role or have just arrived back in the UK and are seeking work. If the individual had returned several months ago but was still seeking a new opportunity this is likely to raise warning flags despite the current employment situation in the UK.

If you have a large number of jobs on your CV you either have to put reasons for leaving on all of them or none. Putting reasons on selected jobs automatically makes the person reading your CV suspicious about your time in the roles you haven’t provided reason for leaving for.

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