Job Hopper Meaning:
A job hopper is someone who frequently changes the firm he or she works for. They don’t stay in one job or role for a long time; rather make it a short term affair.
The characteristic simply involves hopping from one job opportunity to another. But sometimes it could also be the case where, a person with diverse job history and skill sets of myriad markets can seem to look like a job hopper.
One should also know that while the term ‘job hopper’ seems a bit too negative it is also a common practice that is followed by most people in today’s world.
So how does a person with diverse resume skills look like a power packed employee?
Primarily the negative aspects in the resume should be camouflaged with the positive ones. Use your career tools as an advantage in your work path.
What could job hopping mean to employers?
It will look like the candidate has had more jobs than hot meals. It could also reflect an unstable career.
We all know that hiring and firing a candidate is as time consuming as it is expensive. And the last thing that anybody wants to do is hiring and firing the same candidate within three months.
Employers are very busy with piles of resumes lying on their desks. Hence everyone these days go through the stacks of resumes with the intention of ruling out potential options.
Now, this is why you need to work on your job profile and make sure that the employers are not going to notice your gaps.
And they look at the positives in the resume that you have laid out as the main course in the resume.
Securing a candidate could mean employing time, energy and money on that person. So when the candidate has this record of too many work opportunities, it may just sound like a job hopping resume and employers may just turn away from the prospect of selecting that person.
Let us go through a few pointers to understand how we can fill the gaps and bring a touch of optimism in the resume, without looking like a job hopper.
Are You A Job Hopper? How to Avoid That?
1. Job hopping:
As the likelihood of a person working for the same company over a decade or so is not practical anymore.
In fact some people agree that job hopping has given more opportunities, more money and more satisfaction than when they were in a single firm serving for real long years.
But what professionals are advising is that, you should never lose your focus on the career path while you are busy job hopping.
That way you can earn the income you need and potentially turn this affair into something that can last for a long term. You would then also have an opportunity to enjoy the variety and independence.
2. Turn away the attention from employment dates:
Make sure that you don’t use your employment details and dates on your resume very prominently.
Avoid making them bold and highlighting them in unnecessary locations. May be you could place the dates at the end of each job description.
Also remember that only a few recruiters are very keen on the exact dates. While some others are not very precise, you may use the number of years directly.
For example, if you were employed from “September 2010-March 2012” in a particular firm, on your resume it displays that you only worked at a firm for 18 months, or a year and a half.
But, if you expressed it in terms of years of your employment, then 18 months is more like 2 years. This is not to suggest that you should fabricate the dates of your employment but is a technique to appear less transient.
A warning could be that, you should use this only when you have too many short term assignments.
3. Overshadow dates:
You could do this by throwing more light on the contributions you have made in the firm than explicitly talking about the short term you lived.
What you must do is validate what a wonderful employee you have been and how the firm has benefitted with your existence. That is, your performance has been more valuable than your stay in that firm. This justifies the adage quality over quantity.
4. Short term assignments:
Let all the short term assignments be put together in one bag. That is, make a group for all the interim contracts, the internships, freelance work or any short term assignment for that matter.
Remember that a resume always highlights the capabilities and abilities of a person. It is not an autobiography that you lay out every tiny event.
Lastly if you think the employer need not necessarily look upon this section, and then mention it in the last along with its dates. So it is evident that it was not a significant tenure in your life and that it lasted a short time only.
5. Omit irrelevant details:
If you are applying to a product based company and you resume contains a certain detail of a skill that you have learnt in a service based company, then common sense tells us that we ought to omit that detail.
Also remember that there is no rule that you have to include all the tiny and petty jobs that you have done earlier.
Choose what is necessary and requisite based on the company you are applying.
6. Be truthful:
Confess why you have chosen to leave your previous employment firm. One of the reasons why you could be job hopping is that you were exploring where your interest actually lies.
Based on the number of transitions you have had, you are the better judge of yourself to realize what the next best job is for you.
7. Legitimate Reasons:
In case you have left a job due to legitimate reasons, then you must make that a point in your resume and be clear about it when asked upon.
When the reason you leave a job is due to structural changes in the company, or the company closes down, then it is not your trouble. This should not make you look like a job hopper.
Remember when company mergers, instead of relisting the company on your resume, just mention the current firm’s name and in brackets mention the former firm’s name. Don’t worry about things being made redundant as they are.
8. Online networking and Personal Branding:
It is extremely beneficial to have a strong personal branding. As this branding that you gain over the years helps you also develop a certain network that you may leverage for the purpose of finding you a job.
You could also network on the many online platforms available and help bring focus on you as a person and not on your resume.
Making a good impression while using your networking skills is extremely pivotal as chances are that the company will scrutinize your resume lesser and look at interviewing you personally.
Make sure your online profiles are all up to date, cause some people like checking out your profiles socially and avoid the resumes.
9. Cover letter:
A cover letter is something that will stand out and that will outweigh the resume. It is a fantastic piece of letter that indicates the knowledge you have about the company you are applying to and talks about the different aspects of you adding value to the new organization.
10. Don’t be a risk:
Let us make sure that you understand the aim very clearly. That is to bring the focus away from you looking like a risk to hire.
Demonstration skills play a vital role here. Under the given circumstances, you must display your achievements and skills more elaborately to cover up all the missing spots. The point is, there is not much we can do about the number of jobs one has been in.
But what we can customize is the experience and skills that you have obtained in your tenure. Once this is done, you may feel positive about landing in a new job.
Employers do care about your work experience in terms of how many years of expertise you have had in the role that they are looking for.
So they would take immense care to see if you have had relevant experience and if you would be effective on your job. This way we could avoid being categorized as a job hopper.
12. Using career summary as an advantage:
The first section that one looks at in the resume is the summary section. Because it is right at the beginning of your resume. This location is exactly where you overcome the short term employments listed later on in the document.
So, for example, if you have been a hardware engineer for about a decade then state the same right up in the front. Yes, it is a different issue that you may have performed that role in many different organizations. But the argument remains that you have strong experience in the same field.
13. Hybrid resume:
Some of us may always need an extra serving or a helping hand. If you haven’t had your fill with the above laid, then you need to integrate a couple of styles of resume. That is try with a hybrid or functional resume rather than using the old or conventional method.
These kinds of resumes focus on highlighting the skills and powerful tools you have acquired over the years. Such resumes also avoid the notion of grouping items together.
Just be prepared to justify the employment dates. But in all other cases, the hybrid resume may be just the thing for you to crack the next interview and find yourself a job.
Termination and poor performance may be one of the reasons why potential candidates get laid off. But note that poor performance may not necessarily mean the employee faired bad.
But it could mean that the company as a whole performed poorly, due to which some or most employees got laid off. In today’s economic condition, no one can predict the time of the downfall.
Here is some news from the statistics department. The Bureau of Labour Statistics is suggesting that today’s average worker maintains his or her job for 4.4 years at the maximum, yet the average for younger employees is approximately half of that figure.
Here is another important note, nearly forty percent of the hiring managers and employers state that a history of job hopping is a single biggest obstacle in a person’s career path.
The problem is many employers still see job hopping as inconsistency in the person’s life.
However, gone are the days or era where people worked for four long decades in a single firm and earned a pension while their stay along with a gold watch. In one way the hopping looks fine but in another angle, it may not look alright.
So here is hoping that the above article has helped every one of us in learning and understanding the pros and cons of job hopping. It’s not right to call anyone a job hopper simply because we don’t know the background.
Any peers or followers of this article, anything to share please go ahead and leave your warm thoughts with us. With this we come to the end of this article.