Job Hopping and Your Resume

What is Job Hopping and How Can I Avoid it Impacting my Chances for Employment?

To begin, let’s break down why job hopping can negatively impact you in your job search.  Employers sometimes spend months reviewing resumes, interviewing applicants, and carefully deciding who the best fit for an open position may be.  Some firms pay recruiters thousands of dollars to help fill these positions.  This is a heavy financial investment and time commitment to ensure that the individual they select will be an asset to their organization for years to come.  This doesn’t even include the time and energy that goes into training a new hire, filing tax and insurance forms, or paying for relocation costs if necessary.

So as you can see, to go through the hiring lifecycle and ultimately have the new employee leave shortly thereafter would be an immense burden on the organization.  This is why a major red flag for employers reviewing applicants is seeing them as a “flight risk” if they have a history of leaving jobs after a short tenure.  So how do you avoid this perception and address this on your resume?  Below are a few tips you can use when making updates on your own:

  1. Your career path should be presented as a series of roles with increasing duties and responsibilities.  Show that you consistently went above and beyond what was expected of you at each job.  Highlight a project you worked on or an area where you illustrated your value to the company.
  2. Remember, you don’t need to include every job that you held.  Only list the jobs that you feel will shine a positive light on your professional development and accomplishments.  Also, you should focus more attention on the past roles that are relevant to the current position that you are applying to.
  3. Demonstrate how each job impacted your professional development in a positive way unique from other positions you held.  Employers are looking for candidates with a diverse set of skills and experiences that will positively impact their organization. 
  4. Shy away from putting down anything negative about the companies you left.  You may have horror stories to share, but bad mouthing a previous employer on your resume or in an interview will be the kiss of death for your chances.
  5. Use your cover letter to share that you are looking for a permanent fit with a company that challenges you and gives you room to grow into new roles.  The job market is a two-way street and even though hiring managers hold most of the power, you want to make sure you choose the best fit for your career as well!

In most cases, there is usually a good reason for holding many jobs within a short period of time.  The goal is to shy away from any negative connotations with job hopping and get your foot in the door for the interview.  Applying these tips to your resume will showcase your work history as a strength rather than a red flag and give you a great opportunity to speak further in an interview setting.  Good luck!

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