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I’m Seen As a Job Hopper. What Do I Do ?


Sometimes, job hunters can be seen as job hoppers– changing jobs with too much frequency for the taste of the potential employer. What do you do? How do you explain why you change jobs with such frequency? It depends on your circumstances and here I talk about three possibilities.

Summary

Sometimes, people are seen as job hoppers. They’ve changed jobs every year or two; sometimes, it looks like they’ve jumped into completely different fields; sometimes, economic circumstances of cause them to need to change from job to job. Let me address the job hopping question and try to put a lid on the list of your worries and fears.

If you are someone who has changed jobs every year or two and you are at the interview phase, it would have been better had you dealt with it in your cover email. The notion that I have is that you want to take on things head on and proactively because you know it can be seen as an issue, right? In your cover email, you might write something to the effect of, “I have changed jobs with some frequency but part of the reason I have is with an eye toward finding the field or career or the type of work that makes the most sense for me. I haven’t quite found it yet, but no one of these organizations will complain about my work ethic or my effort. I just didn’t find the job satisfying. As I understand this position, it’s far more appealing than anything I have done before. This is something that really excites me.”

In writing this in your cover letter what you’re doing is being proactive. Then, at the interview, you can again take it on because you know firms are going to raise it is an issue. If you are early in your career (like 30 years of age or less) and have had to deal with these  circumstances, you can deal with this in this way and it is creditable.

The next scenario is for someone who has been a consultant and, as a consultant, you are changing assignments with some regularity. What can you do? Sometimes the issue is your resume because you are listing these assignments in a way that suggests to employers that these are individual jobs and not consulting assignments. It’s best if you have an aggregated category on top of your consulting work such as, “CONSULTANT”  October 2013 to present. Even if it appears in your past, do the same thing. By doing it this way, you are demonstrating to firms that these were not full-time jobs, but consulting assignments.

Lastly, he if you are victimized by economic circumstances and forced to job hop like many people were there in the last economic slowdown when people took temp assignments and/or full-time positions from which they were cut back on because of economic circumstances, I don’t believe in lying but I do believe in telling the story in useful ways that an organization can understand.

Whatever the circumstances were in your life, you can say something like,” at that time, I went from organization to organization, not because I wanted to but because economic circumstances kept causing firms to restructure themselves, Lay off thousands of individuals, and, as a relative newcomer who hadn’t had a chance to prove myself with them, I was an easy target for layoffs. After all, I had only been there for eight or nine months; it was easy for them to chop me up.”

“I’ve since found places where I have been able to stay longer,” or, “I’m looking for a place where I can stay longer.”

Do you really think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com is there to change that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

Connect with me on LinkedIn http://bit.ly/thebiggamehunter

4 thoughts on “I’m Seen As a Job Hopper. What Do I Do ?

  1. Great insights, Jeff. As much as it pays to be proactive about these
    potential traps, I find it’s equally important to keep such explanations
    factual and succinct in a cover letter – it otherwise may detract from the
    value of work experience one describes.

  2. Great insights, Jeff. As much as it pays to be proactive about these potential traps, I find it’s equally important to keep such explanations factual and succinct in a cover letter – it otherwise may detract from the value of work experience one describes.

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