Sometimes people will hold several jobs in a relatively short period. There might be legitimate reasons for it, but a hiring manager will likely brand you as a “job hopper.” And while this isn’t the kiss of death it once was, there is still plenty of negativity associated with it.
If you hope to be invited for a job interview, you’ll need to assure interviewers and hiring managers that they won’t be wasting their company’s time and money developing a short-term employee. Here are a few tips on downplaying your over-active work history:
Use a summary statement to calm their fears
Create a customized summary statement at the beginning of your resume to guide the reader through the document and influence how they will interpret those job changes.
First, highlight the years of experience in your field in a sentence such as, “Twelve years’ experience as a toolmaker with expertise in programming and setting up CNC mills and lathes.” Those twelve years might have been with four different employers, but stating it like this gives it a cohesive feel and tends to deflect from the job changes.
Summarize your job history
Don’t use bullet points for each job on your resume. Instead, list them collectively. In the previous example, you could have a start and end date for those four jobs together rather than for each job. List the companies and your title for each position within the collective date range. Add a sentence or two about your role in each of them. Listing it like this minimizes the sense of job-hopping while maintaining transparency.
Show progression as you changed jobs
If you’re not going to use a summary statement, make sure all your job changes tell the story. It’s good if you can show that each time you moved to a new job, it was to advance your career. Indicate that you accepted additional responsibilities with each new job so that the hiring manager realizes these were forward-moving hops in your path toward the ultimate dream job.
Point out when your job changes were involuntary
The past job-hopping might have been out of your control, and your potential employer should be aware of this. If your position changed because of downsizing, a merger, or acquisition, that wasn’t your choice, and you need to point that out on your resume. You were in the wrong company at the wrong time, so you shouldn’t be labeled as a job-hopper.
Show your dates of employment in years instead of months
There is nothing dishonest about using years in your employment history. For example, if you were with a company from December 2016 to March 2017, that’s four months and could raise a red flag, or at least an eyebrow or two. Using 2016-2017 will imply a longer stint and draw less attention to the short duration.
Need more help in landing a new job?
Select Staff is a leading staffing company in Dallas, Texas, specializing in the placement of light industrial, office, clerical, accounting, and finance personnel. If you’re ready for a new job, contact the experts at Select Staff today!