I’VE MOVED JOBS FREQUENTLY, HOW DO I PREVENT MYSELF FROM LOOKING LIKE A JOB HOPPER?
The way you present your CV can make a big difference to first impressions, and one of the first things any hiring manager will do when they look through your resume is clock where you’ve been working and for how long.
Ideally you will have worked for three years or more in most of your roles – though in today’s market the reality is that some people move on much quicker.
MANAGE FIRST IMPRESSIONS
If you have moved on in less than a year from one role, or you have a series of roles that you only covered for 18 months, how do you manage those first impressions to avoid looking like a job hopper?
First ask yourself, why did you move on from each role? If there are some practical and none emotive reasons (it was a fixed term contract; the company closed down its office; your role was retrenched) you might want to consider adding this detail at the end of each job on your CV. Take all the assumptions out of the hiring manager’s mind and let them know that you didn’t curtail an opportunity deliberately. If there are some more complex reasons that require some explanation, best to leave this to the interview stage.
Your CV presentation in this case should start with some solid detail on your skills and experience so that the hiring manager finds out who you are, before they even dip into your chronological work history. Use a profile to set your pitch. Use some key words in column format that will jump out of the page and define you (eg, Business Developer, Team Manager, Proven Creative, Budget Controller). Aim to keep these factual rather than emotional traits.
Once into your work history choose an achievement based format. You may have only been with a company for one year, but what did you achieve? Did you grow the team, re-organise the CRM system, re-brand the website, get nominated as sales person of the quarter? Make these milestones stand out to help focus on the contribution you made whilst you were there.
At interview stage, prepare yourself to explain why you moved on from each role. Keep it simple, non-emotional (no bad mouthing previous employers) and talk about the opportunity you were pursuing at that point.
The final question you should ask yourself is why you have moved on so frequently in your career. Use our advice on career planning and making wise decisions in the job hunt process to find a role you can stay in for three years or more – it will actually fly by very quickly anyway when you’re in a job that’s really right for you.