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11th May 2018

Does Job Hopping Affect Your Future Career Prospects?

Posted in: Company News
Job Hopping & Your Career

Job hopping is becoming a frequently used term for job seekers. Is it a Millennial trait or is that an unfair generation stereotype? Previous generations would seem to follow their status quo of longevity equals job security and career progression. We live in an era where that is, in part, no longer true, some would say that job-hoppers are more likely to provide innovative ideas and help companies break the mould. But, how do employers look at job hoppers?

How would you define job hopping?

Job-Hoppers are essentially job seekers who change roles and sometimes careers more often than not, if we were to quantify it, they tend to be people who take on a new role for two years or less. An individual can leave a job for an infinite amount of reasons; however, we can categorise them.

The Opportunist

These are the individuals who opt to change job or career regularly, as they deem the job to provide a much better opportunity for them, whether that is because they believe there is more progression there, a better work culture or perhaps better benefits. Whatever the reason they believe ‘the grass is greener’. These are typically workers in the early stages of their careers who are yet to decide where their future career lies.

The Unlucky Hoppers

These are job hoppers where most of the hops are down to situations out of their control. This could be company takeovers, redundancy, or relocation amongst others. Some careers are destined to job hop, such as project-related roles (IT contractors, construction workers), time-related roles (events-based work).

Regardless of the number of roles the individual has had they should be able to explain why they moved and what they achieved in their time at the company.

The Strugglers

The final categorisation of job hoppers is ‘The Strugglers’, people who are struggling to find their feet in a position and within the working world in general, unsure of direction and what best suits them.

Their CV will evidently show a pattern of situations where the individual would have struggled to set in and explain these by stating bad management, colleagues, or experiences.

The Benefits of job hopping

The majority will perceive job hopping negatively when they see it on your CV, however, there are several reasons why you should consider changing your job regularly:

  • Development of Skills
    • Moving jobs can be an excellent strategic decision, it can allow you to over time make yourself more employable by learning different skill sets helping to enable you to climb the career ladder.
  • Building a strong network
    • How many times have you heard the phrase ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’. Well by moving jobs it can allow you make new connections and build a network you may well need later in your career.
  • Become more adaptable
    • Adaptability means more able to deal with change, if job hop then this indicates you make changes more frequently than others and are successful when bedding into new teams, companies and surroundings.
  • Find the right career
    • By changing jobs and careers it allows you to try different fields and areas of work. Which in turn will allow you to find the career you’re most suited to and most importantly enjoy.

What does job hopping look like to an employer?

The recruitment process for any company or recruitment agency costs time and money, therefore employers will generally look for potential employees who appear to be loyal and stable to allow them to get the best return on investment. Some of the negatives associated with job hopping are:

  • No long-term focus
  • Unsure what you want
  • No loyalty
  • Risk of poor performance
  • Lack of direction
  • Are you a quitter?
  • Shallow experience

If your CV does portray job hopping it will raise questions from your potential employers to find answers to the above, you should expect this in your interview process. However dependent on the company they may look favourable on job hopping. If the company operates in an agile fast-moving environment, then an adaptable job hopper may be more aligned with company and their culture than perhaps someone who was in their last role for 10 years.

How to overcome your job hopping CV

There are some steps you can take to ensure that the negative impact of your job-hopping is minimised as much as possible:

  • Explanation
    • You have the perfect opportunity in your CV to briefly explain why you left your position, answer the inevitable question before the interviewer can ask it.
  • Type of Work
    • If you have moved around because you are a contractor, then take the time explain this on your CV.
  • Describe the impact you had
    • Emphasise the impact you had on your team and the company if you genuinely positively affected the company you worked for, explain what it was you achieved. Whether that was set a record for sales, reduced staff turnover, whatever the achievement, say what it was and how you did it.
  • Have a strong summary
    • Use this to show how many years you have in the relevant roles, if you then say how you’re looking for a long-term position and want to grow at a company.
  • Don’t include everything
    • It is perfectly acceptable if you worked in one position for 2 years, then 3 months at another one followed by a year at the next company, to leave the short-term position off your CV. Also, include only the relevant positions for the role. With this, your CV looks tailored and shorter, and if the interviewer does bring up the gap you can explain it.

At Recruit Mint we will work with every candidate that comes to us and because of our extremely close relationship with our clients we can help explain the reasons around the frequent job moves. So, let us help you today, job hoppers and all. All you need to do is register or take a look at the currently available jobs in Peterborough on our job board.