Chopped and changed jobs throughout your working life? That's fine - we can present this in a positive way.
Back in the day, it was unthinkable to move jobs or companies. If you were with a reputable organisation, you stayed there whether you liked it or not - working your way up the ladder until you reached the grand old age of 65 and retired with a handshake and a gold-plated carriage clock.
How times have changed! The job market is so much more fluid nowadays, with job seekers no longer feeling the need to fester away in one company for the whole of their working lives.
But what if you've gone to the other extreme, with roles all over the place and for short periods of time? You might be concerned that this could set you back when looking for a new role.
What is job hopping?
If you've had a career that has included lots of different positions within a fairly short space of time, you'll probably be viewed as a job hopper. This is defined as someone who doesn't stay at the same company or in the same role for very long – normally less than two years. There are both positive and negative aspects to this.
Hiring managers may be reluctant to recruit you, as they see job hoppers as not settling, getting bored quickly, and wanting to move on without giving each job a good go. It can also show a lack of loyalty and sticking power.
If recruiters put you forward for a job, they want to know you'll have the staying power to last through the training and beyond. Companies want to invest in staff, so if you're shown to be a job hopper this can count against you.
On the other hand, as a job hopper you can be seen as a proactive individual constantly on the lookout for new and exciting challenges. Once you've achieved all you believe you can in one role, you move onto the next. It also builds valuable skills such as adaptability. If you're used to performing well in new situations, you're likely to deal with stress more productively. This shows resilience, confidence, and an openness to change.
There could be many valid reasons as to why you've changed roles frequently. Life can get in the way, for a start! Contract roles are often short and easily explained. You might have just started a position and found out you hate your new job - you're not going to waste time hanging around to find out if it gets any better. Personality clashes with your line manager could mean that you find yourself in an awkward situation and feel it's time to move on quickly.
How to explain job hopping on a CV
Whatever you do, it doesn't pay to lie on your CV, so don't be tempted… even slightly. There are certain ways to explain job hopping when crafting your CV that show you in the best possible light without having to resort to porky pies. Concentrate on your selling points and what you've achieved during your career by following the advice below.
CV tips for job hoppers
Focus on key skills
By highlighting transferable skills on your CV, you're drawing the reader away from your countless jobs to focus their mind on what you're really good at and what benefits you can bring to their organisation
Compiling an attention-grabbing profile will also win you admirers, as it summarises your work ethic as a professional in a succinct manner
Credible and verifiable achievements on a job hopping CV can go a long way to reaching your end goal of securing a position. It's time to blow your own trumpet here and list those accolades that set you apart from the rest of the crowd
Combine or omit some roles
If you've done roles with the same job titles, combining them under one heading gives a clear picture of your worth without emphasising the fact that the roles have been at different companies for short periods of time
Additionally, with short roles that aren't relevant to your current career path, you can omit them as they aren't necessary and can muddy the waters when moving forward with your chosen career
Years not months
Only include the years you worked at a place, not the months, as this mitigates red flags and screen-out factors
Be transparent and honest
This is certainly the best way forward, both on your CV and at interviews. Explaining your reasons for job hopping in an open manner is going to work more in your favour in the long run
While a “Reason for Leaving” section isn't required on CVs any more, you can offer more explanation in cover letters – especially if some of your reasons for changing companies were due to circumstances beyond your control, such as redundancy or company closure
How do you hide job hopping on a CV?
The career section of your CV only needs to go back 10 years or so and show relevant information that dovetails with the position you're aiming for. There's no point in including short roles that aren't applicable to your current goals or experience that can limit your opportunities. Any job hopping you did more than 10 years ago can simply be removed from the CV.
So how do you hide job hopping on a CV? In short, eliminate any insignificant jobs and align your skill set with the expectations of the hiring managers. Consolidate other roles into one category, rather than listing them out individually.
Be truthful while emphasising the positive aspects on your CV. Still not sure how to explain job hopping to a prospective employer? Let TopCV help with a free CV review.