Changing jobs on your CV: The best tips for job hoppers
Frequent job changes in the résumé are becoming more and more common. A lifelong commitment to the same company, on the other hand, is becoming obsolete. But too many job changes in too short a time still arouse suspicion. They suggest volatility and a lack of stamina, to name just two negative characteristics. It is all the more important that you correctly explain your job change in your résumé. This is how it works.
Frequent job changes in the résumé are nothing unusual anymore. On the contrary, if you want to earn more or get promoted, there is no way around a change in the air.
Nevertheless, job changes as part of an application are delicate. You can be a flaw. Especially if they happen too often. But how many job changes are too many?
There is of course no clear answer to this. Many individual factors play a role. In principle, the frequency of job changes is not necessarily a problem for HR managers, but often the frequency. Anyone who has always moved on quickly has to put up with unpleasant questions in the interview:
- Were you unable to integrate into the team?
- Was your performance unsatisfactory?
Was there a lack of assertiveness?
- Do you give up quickly when the sea gets rough?
- Or are you just a volatile guy who doesn’t stick to anything or anyone any longer can or wants to bind?
It is generally your right to be a moody and unsteady person. But it is also a company’s right not to want to hire such an employee. Besides, these prejudices don’t have to be right. However, it is problematic if you, as an applicant, give this impression.
In principle, a job change after three to five years in the job is completely harmless. During this time you have established yourself in the company, developed yourself further and left your own mark. In any case, you couldn’t have been that incompetent.
On the other hand, changing jobs after a very short stay – after six or ten months, after one or two years – may raise questions. If these quick job changes appear more frequently in your résumé, you are quickly considered job hoppers.
Job-change in the résumé: Background
Every job change is different. The backgrounds differ, the framework conditions, the experiences and goals. Here are 4 aspects that you should consider when it comes to your job change in Résumé :
It is logical that young employees change jobs more often than older ones. They are often still in the orientation phase, have not yet found their place in the world of work, but at the same time have a lot of alternatives. Also, as a career starter, you often only get fixed-term contracts.
That is why are frequent Change of job at the beginning of the career absolutely normal and legitimate. So you don’t have to worry that the recruiter will think you’re a selfish job hopper. However, this risk increases if your many job changes continue deep into your working life.
Often it just fits Not. The opportunity to quickly end the collaboration during the probationary period can be a blessing for both sides. No problem!
You only arouse suspicion when your entire résumé is filled with very brief positions of less than a year. The HR manager will doubt your ability to work in a team or your skills – or both.
The most important thing is the quantity ratio. So if one short term follows the next, it becomes critical. If, however, two or three employment relationships of several years are expelled during the probationary period, this is completely fine for most companies.
Frequent job changes in the résumé can have a variety of backgrounds. Perhaps family reasons were the deciding factor for the first time – a move, for example. And the second time a professional reorientation. So several coincidences combined can result in an unsightly mosaic.
But if you explain a job change properly, the picture makes sense. That is why it can make sense in exceptional cases to go into the background of a job change in your résumé. A good reason makes your job change understandable for the HR manager.
In certain industries many job changes in good faith. In others, you rarely change jobs or employers.
Temporary workers naturally accumulate many different jobs in a short period of time, but also IT experts and engineers who work freelance. According to surveys, fluctuation in the catering, consulting and media industries is significantly higher than in other areas of the economy. Even software developers rarely stay in one position for years or even decades.
On the other hand, things are less volatile in the health and legal sectors, in public administration, manufacturing and the real estate industry.
Frequent job changes in your CV are slow-moving goods on the supermarket shelf. Nobody wants them, but you can still sell them – if you advertise them well. You can ALWAYS put your CV in a good light – even if the many job changes cast a shadow.
First of all, you shouldn’t unnecessarily stress frequent job changes in your résumé. You should definitely not address them in your cover letter. Don’t wake sleeping dogs!
A popular trick: do not include monthly information in your CV. Of course, the trick in the interview can provoke questions – but you have to get that far first.
You can add explanations to your résumé Briefly state the reason for the change in brackets after a station.
You should only do this if the reasons were beyond your power – as is the case, for example, with an economic downturn as a result of a pandemic. For reasons that are unfavorable for you (termination due to unsuccessfulness etc.), it is better to leave them out.
If you have extremely many You can also simply leave out one or the other in your résumé.
This creates notorious gaps in your résumé. But these can perhaps be explained better than the excessive number of job changes. In addition, short gaps of a few months may not even attract the attention of the HR manager.
You can do similar jobs and projects summarize in the résumé. So you write the period on the left and collect the individual projects on the right.
This tactic is particularly useful for employees who have numerous project work in quick succession, for example IT freelancers. You briefly explain the individual orders with bullet points. This means that the many short engagements look like one big one and your résumé is much more rounded.
A popular strategy: If you have many stations in your résumé, then you should upgrade the ones that are most advantageous for you.
You can do this by explaining and describing the relevant stations in more detail with keywords, but not the others. If you also work with bold text and visual emphasis, the viewer’s attention is drawn to the “good” stations.
Especially for job hoppers, it could be a worthwhile strategy to look for a job in your own network.
Your own friends and acquaintances are often familiar with your personal situation, know the background and can correctly assess your many job changes.
Job hopping benefits
Who sees his many job changes himself as a flaw, often comes under pressure to justify himself. While some recruiters don’t care about this fact, some applicants believe they should apologize. DO NOT focus your cover letter on your many job changes. You want to apply, not justify!
It is better to put your strengths first. Incidentally, even if you really were kicked out every time during the trial period. Even then, you have strengths, skills and talents that may help you over the threshold in your new job. Show why you are the right man or woman for the job now and here.
It starts with your own attitude. See your job change as an opportunity and not as a weakness. Of course, that’s easier said than done. But there are certainly advantages, very many. You have already got to know many companies, personalities and industries, a wealth of experience that others do not have. Job changes are always associated with a learning process – plus point!
But: It is not the job change per se that you should sell as a plus, but the associated skills and broadening of horizons.
These are the greatest advantages of job hoppers :
They are doer types
Job hoppers don’t just talk, don’t just dream, don’t just make demands. You act. If you are dissatisfied with your job or the general conditions, move on.
Of course, quick job changes can also be based on unrealistic expectations. Basically, however, job-hopping speaks very well for a doer quality. Tackle and act instead of waiting and reacting.
In your application, however, you should convey in a credible manner why which job change was logical and consistent at the respective point in time.
You are flexible
Fixed and rigid – two non-words in today’s working world. Those who change frequently seem to be flexible. He or she has to constantly adapt to new circumstances and to a certain extent reinvent himself.
You have already got to know and support many teams, procedures, processes and projects. That can be a huge perk – either way, it should be sold as one.
Plus, you’re not comfortable. You have NOT settled in comfortably in your comfort zone but always accepted new challenges. Whether voluntarily or involuntarily, it doesn’t play that big a role.
You are diversified
Many changes, many different experiences. An employee who only works for one employer all his life cannot collect all these impressions.
A wealth of experience helps – for example, to correctly interpret and classify relationships or to make decisions. You can say that in your application. The wealth of experience also favors the joy of innovation. Job hoppers transfer many fresh ideas from one workplace to the next.
And you have developed a macro view if you have worked for different companies. What is important to everyone, what does not go down well with anyone? You may even have mutated into an industry insider because you went through so many stations.
You have large networks
A large network of contacts helps immensely in professional life. It is also an argument with which you can collect points in the interview.
Contacts help in the search for business partners, suppliers, customers, employees. Anyone who knows many people in many companies – and can activate them if necessary – has advantages.
You earn more money
Many Employees are only allowed to jump in salary if they change jobs. More than three to five percent are often not possible with internal pay rounds, when changing jobs the potential sometimes rises to ten to 20 percent.
Those who change jobs frequently and strategically cleverly earn significantly more than employees after a few years in a comparable position.