There are many understandable and acceptable reasons to stay at jobs for shorter durations. However, hiring managers often are concerned about taking chances on what they consider “job hoppers” because they may be afraid of performance or commitment issues. To combat issues about job hopping, it’s important to pay special attention to crafting your resume.
Here’s how to structure your resume if you are a chronic job hopper:
Determine What Roles to Include
Your resume is intended to be a document that summarizes your professional experience, not a comprehensive history of each and every role you’ve ever had. If your job hopping has included stints that have lasted fewer than a couple of months, you don’t have to include it since it’s unlikely you were there long enough to contribute significantly, learn new skills, or achieve anything noteworthy.
Downplay Time Frames
Some resume content can simply look worse than it actually is, especially employment dates at a first glance when you’ve had a history of chronic job hopping. Don’t try to cover up your previous job durations (lacking integrity will be considered much bigger of a red flag than the job hopping itself), but instead, downplay the time frames. Your resume is essentially a tool to market your qualifications, so highlight the names and titles first, followed by the time frames. The hiring manager’s eyes will be drawn to the more important details, so they may put less weight on the duration.
Highlight the Right Skills
An issue that arises with resumes with lots of jobs with limited time frames is the difficulty in establishing your core skills within multiple opportunities – especially if the positions don’t all seem to have a common thread. For hiring managers to take your resume under serious consideration, you need to make your fit for the role crystal clear. Put your previous jobs into context with the job for which you’re applying: highlight the right skills for the job in question, and eliminate the extraneous ones that don’t apply.
Focus on Accomplishments
Even hiring managers who don’t normally like to consider job hoppers may make an exception for candidates who show they can get results. Show that your job history timeline doesn’t mean that you’re not a top performer by focusing on your accomplishments. Include any objective, quantifiable accomplishments from your past roles to make it known that your work ethic and skill sets are strong enough for them to feel confident in giving you a chance.
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