As I review resumes on a daily basis, there is one thing that continues to concern me, and by the articles I have read lately, many other recruiters… Job hopping! It seems to me that in the last eight to ten years, the number of jobs on a resume has increased. It is very rare to find an employee with a long tenure in their company. Although, some may see job hopping as a way to gain skills and knowledge faster, for recruiters and managers, this is a deal breaker. So the question is: why does this affect your ability to find meaningful work?
Two things come to mind when looking at resumes: loyalty and stability!
LOYALTY – Employers are always looking for people who have a strong loyalty to their employers. They want to invest time and energy into developing an employee’s skills to benefit both parties; this can cost a considerable amount of money. Job hopping tells an employer that you are only interested in what you can get out of the arrangement (usually new skills) and then you leave.
STABILITY – If you do not have a clear plan in place and cannot show that you have contributed to the previous organizations, you run the risk of being viewed as a “difficult employee”. The employers will struggle with hiring you as they are not sure how to keep you motivated to stay in the position.
Let’s say that what you believe to be the perfect job for you has become available. You have worked hard at all those past companies to gain the skill set for this job. When you submit your resume, what are they going to think? Have you shown your ability to learn and grow with a company? Can they see loyalty and stability on your resume? What is your work ethic like? Employers are not generally interested in hiring someone that they see as being a short term employee. You may be the perfect candidate for the position, but what your resume indirectly says about you may push the employer to choose another person, regardless of how hard you may have worked to obtain that skill set.
The most important thing an employer looks for is to find an employee who will contribute to the growth of the team and the company. This person will be someone who fits with the corporate culture and values. It is more important to find the personality than it is the skills. Skills can be trained; work ethic and personality cannot.
Are you a job hopper? Have you had any issues finding work lately? Check back in a couple of weeks to find out how you can stop being a job hopper!