Switching jobs is much more common these days than in decades past. The days of a person getting a job and staying there until retirement are basically over. Job seekers change jobs for a number of reasons- they want a shorter commute, they want a higher salary, or they hate their supervisor. The reasons for people changing jobs vary, but it is very common to see multiple companies in an individual’s job history.
A recruiter is obviously looking to hire an excellent employee who will be devoted to the company. The process of hiring, training, and acclimating a new employee is a costly undertaking, so the recruiter is looking to hire a person who will be loyal to the company. There is nothing worse for a company than to spend the time and resources training a new employee just to have them leave after a few short months.
Having this viewpoint in mind, it becomes clear why a “job hopper” might cause a bit of concern with recruiters. Recruiters will probably not throw your resume out immediately, but they will be a little worried about why you have changed jobs so frequently. They may worry that you will leave their company within six months of hiring you.
The following are some tools and tips that you can utilize on your resume to aid with the situation:
1. Make reference to the job changes in your cover letter
If you have held multiple jobs in the last couple of years, use the chance to explain your story in your cover letter. If you explain your circumstances, it may keep recruiters from thinking “no way, this person can’t commit to a job” when they look at your resume.
You need to be cautious when using this method. You want to mention your reasons very briefly, in only one or two sentences, then move forward. You don’t want to to dwell on the topic and draw more attention to your job hopping, and you also don’t want to bring up any old baggage or dirt. Recruiters don’t want to hear your sob stories about mean bosses, nightmare positions, etc. The following are a few sample first sentences for your cover letter:
Jobs have taken me across the U.S. from Washington to Pennsylvania, but now I am prepared to settle down here, in Denver, Colorado.
I had to try on a number of hats in order to find the perfect fit.
My career path has been a long winding road, and I never realized the number of skills I could gain by taking the scenic route.
2. Throw out any jobs that are not applicable to the job you are seeking
For instance, if you had four jobs in 2008, it is not necessary to mention the temporary job you took waiting tables for three months.
3. Concentrate on the positive
Changing environments and jobs often equips you with many abilities that employers are looking for: resourcefulness, versatility, experience, and flexibility. Highlight the wide array of experiences and skills that you have gained by working for a number of different companies.
If you are not happy in your current job, you don’t need to remain miserable for two or three years just because you don’t want to be viewed as a job hopper. Just use some of the tips listed above on your resume to make the best of your situation.