Part 2: Job Seeking Tips for Job Hoppers
Finding Job Happiness Despite “Hoppy-ness”
A hiring manager will see that you’ve hopped around – and, most likely, they’ll ask about it a few questions into an initial interview.
The question is usually packaged like, “So, take me through your resume – I see you’ve had a lot of different jobs the past few years.”
Not sure of how to respond, your mouth dries up and your nervous chuckle confirms to the hiring manager that you are not quite comfortable with the topic.
At Goliath, we see hoppy resumes all the time – candidates that show a history of staying at a position for a short period of time before leaving for another opportunity elsewhere.
Hopping around is not necessary bad – having many employers could enhance the diversity of your skills. And, although we cannot be sure how a potential employers will react to your hoppy-ness, we can assure you that moving around is common. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us the average worker has 10 jobs before the age of 40.
No matter how normal job hopping has become, having many jobs on your resume will require more of you during the hiring process.
There is hope for your hoppy credentials after all – as long as you address the issue head on.
At a minimum, Goliath would recommend that a candidate with a hoppy resume do four things:
Tip 1: Walk in the shoes of the Hiring Manager
As you are applying for positions, put yourself in the shoes of the person looking to weed out candidates.
Most times, hiring managers are looking for the best skill fit. If your resume highlights the skills that align to their opportunity, no matter the quantity of jobs you’ve held in the past, you have a good shot at an interview.
In an article by Fast Company, candidates are encouraged to think of themselves as a brand. In this way, your resume should show a continuation of the skills that make you a job fit. Stated differently, “begin to paint a picture for hiring managers that explains why your job history actually has been a logical progression.”
Make sure that your resume clearly defines your brand to the hiring manager.
Tip 2: Boil Your Resume Down
For your short-stints that, in your view, won’t make a difference to the skills the job requires, keep your description brief and to the point. While it may be wise to provide a reason for leaving, don’t overelaborate – keep that knowledge in your back pocket to address at the interview.
Be careful about omitting experiences from your resume to avoid looking hoppy – gaps in employment may lead to even more uncomfortable questions or, even worse, the hiring manager feeling like your resume is trying to hide something.
The bottom line: be honest but, more importantly, focused on the skills you’ve developed during your career.
Tip 3: Interview with a chip on your shoulder
When you land the interview, be careful not to assume that your history of job-hopping is no big deal. We would advise the opposite – to prepare as though you’ve started from behind relative to the other candidates.
Be ready for the questions about the positions you’ve had – be the master of your resume’s chronology. Instead of sweating when you hear the inevitable “job hopping” question from the interviewer, act as though you’d invite it.
Respond to their questions about your past with, “I’m glad you brought this topic up, I was looking forward to addressing it with you first-hand.”
Your confidence will impress the hiring manager and, likely, ease their mind about your ability to make a commitment to their position and company.
Tip 4: Follow Up to Stand Out
As the interview ends, your work isn’t done.
Although hiring managers may leave your chat over the moon for your skills and excitement for their job posting, they will, no doubt, take one more look at your hoppy resume. They may wonder if their company will be the next one on your list.
Again, if you assume that you’re working from behind, stand out through a crisp, timely follow up message. This can be an email or call that restates the skills you bring to their specific position.
Like a sales person closing a deal, this is where you can separate yourself and, once and for all, put your perceived hoppy-ness to rest with the hiring manager.
Our experience tells us that hiring managers will categorize job-hopping resumes into two piles:
(1) Job seekers run who run from situations, or
(2) Those that are running to opportunities.
It is critical to show that you belong in category #2.
You can influence this diagnosis – with honesty, confidence and an emphasis on the skills that will allow you to hit the ground running.
Job happiness awaits, no matter how “hoppy” your track record might be.
Need help addressing the chronology of jobs on your resume? Contact the Goliath team today.