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5 Things To Prove

Blog, Hiring Advice

I was recently talking to a candidate who had a lot of jobs on his resume and was concerned that the H.R. manager would consider him to be “job hopping”. While job hopping can be justified, many employers might be put off by a person with too many jobs on their resume. As a recruiter, I always ask candidates before I present them to one of my clients, why did you move from that company to the new company?

In the wire and cable industry, I have had many discussions about the baby boomer career vs. the millennial career. Job hopping is not unusual and it is definitely more common in the younger generation. In 2014, a report from the Bureau of Labor showed that from 1998- 2011, men between the ages of 18-26 held an average of six jobs, and women in the same age group held 6.3. In 1983, the report stated that 1 to 3 workers aged 35 to 44 years had been with the same employer 10 years or longer.

Fluctuations in the economy have caused companies to lay off and reorganize more often in the past 10 years.

If you are concerned your potential employer will look askance at your job hopping, be prepared to answer the tough questions. Here are five things you may have to prove in the interview:

  1. You have had viable reasons for switching jobs. Employers want assurance that you are in control of your situation. Be confident when explaining why you switched jobs. Even if you were laid off, you should demonstrate that you understand why, and how that reflects on you.
  2. You are of mature character. No matter how old you are, you must always demonstrate to employers that you are trustworthy, capable, and have social aptitude. Job hopping could potentially be a red flag for employers who worry that you will quit the minute things don’t go your way. You may need to convince them that you are good at resolving and recovering from conflict.
  3. You are a team player. If you don’t play well with others, an employer won’t get a return on the time and money they invested in training you. From the employer’s perspective, you might be lured away by another job opportunity after beginning work if you do not become part of the team. Try to convince them that you will thrive in the working environment being offered.
  4. You are self-aware, and you know who you are. If you have switched industries or positions dramatically, the employer might worry you are trying to “find yourself” or haven’t settled on what job is right for you. They may need convincing that you are a serious candidate, authentically interested in the position, and willing to commit to the job and industry.
  5. You know your own strengths. One reason that employers have a different perception of job hoppers is they may think the candidate doesn’t understand their “sweet spot” within the workforce. Employers want to hire candidates who are confident that the job they’re applying for is a good fit for them today and includes opportunity for growth in the future.

There are plenty of reasons that people in today’s job market for job hopping, and my suggestion is to be prepared to explain every job on your resume, maybe even within the resume itself.

Good luck to you job hoppers, and hopefully, your next one sticks!

Pati Kelly

Pati Kelly is a contingent and retained recruiter exclusive to the electrical industry with a specialty in Wire and Cable. To learn more about how she can help your company identify and attract talent, check out  her LinkedIn profile or send her an email at