Between the Great Recession, career changes and the occasional misstep, it’s easy for anyone to have a period where they go through a few jobs quickly.
Unfortunately, that situation can cause you to be seen as a “serial job hopper” – someone who doesn’t commit to an employer for very long. Even though they shouldn’t, some employers really try to avoid hiring serial job hoppers.
If you had a period where you went from employer to employer in quick succession, think about the following approach to ensure your resume looks strong and steers you away from that pesky job-hopper label.
Emphasize When Leaving a Job Wasn’t Voluntary or Your Fault
If you left one or more jobs due to layoffs, downsizing, restructuring, a company going out of business or a temporary job ending, make those instances very clear in your resume. Employers won’t hold them against you if they know the reason you left wasn’t your fault, and there’s no need to suffer consequences of these situations because you withheld information.
“Combine” Jobs Where Possible
If you worked for several different companies as a temporary or contract worker, you should list all of the companies you worked for under a single “Temporary Work” or “Contract Work” subsection. This way, you can should that you had a range of different employment experiences (a good thing) and going from company to company was simply due to the nature of the work.
Use a Functional Resume
The most widely used resume format is called chronological, but it’s not the only option out there. You can also use what is known as a functional resume, which focuses on abilities and achievements, as opposed to work history.
A combination, or hybrid, resume combines the functional and conventional formats: Employment history is listed chronologically, but achievements and skills are prominently listed.
Focus on Your Summary Statement
A summary statement can tell the story of your career the way you would like it to be told. Rather than letting your work history speak for itself, you can emphasize your overall length of time in the field and desire to find a position when you can thrive for a long time.
Spotlight Your Achievements
One of the big worries when it comes to job hoppers is that they will leave before making a major positive impact, meaning they will cost a company more than they will provide value. From screening resumes to conducting interviews to performing background checks, hiring a new employee isn’t cheap.
The way to somewhat contract this concern is to show that you can make a major positive impact in a short time span. One way to do this is to include an achievements section near the top of your resume.
You Don’t Have to Include Everything
Although you shouldn’t lie on your resume, you also don’t have to include every single job you ever held. For instance, if you worked at one company for 7 years, took another job for 3 months and then moved to another job for a few years, you don’t have to include that job in the middle.
Let Career Concepts Help You With Your Resume!