Someone got to my blog by asking “why are job hoppers so good at getting jobs?” At first I smiled, but then realized that the question was worth spending some time answering. Especially by a former job hopper like me!
With all the great job search advice out there – and with so many career experts warning us to avoid job hopping and short-term jobs at all costs – there are still people who don’t stay in their jobs very long and yet manage to get that next gig. How do they do it?
Notes from my own job hopping story
First, it’s important to know that I never thought of myself as a job hopper, despite having quite a few short-term jobs. No labels. No berating myself over past choices. Just the facts ma’am.
Early in my career, I had no real idea of what I wanted to do. I just knew and believed that I always did the best I could and, even if I wasn’t particularly suited to that particular job, there were aspects of the job I zeroed in on and did well. Those were my transferable skills that I could bring with me to the next job (and beyond) and sell with confidence.
Plus I made sure to connect with the people I worked with as best I could, so I had good references. These references were essential when I made my case in good faith for why the new job was a better fit, and why I would be someone they should feel comfortable offering it to. They even later became networking contacts and often clued me in to new jobs!
And then, I made sure to rework my resume and cover letter (they work together) to create a solid, believable career story of why whatever I’ve done before and who I am as a person is ideally suited to the job I am applying for.
Accentuate the positive
When you’re applying for a job you want, you don’t need to spend lots of time talking about what you don’t have, and try to explain away some of the jobs you didn’t stay with for long. You want to show how well you match the new job, highlighting those skills and experiences that make you ideal for it!
It’s true that some resume screeners will immediately eliminate resumes with too many short stints. But, I never worried about the ones I couldn’t win over. I aimed for those I could interest enough to at least let me come in for an interview. After that, it was up to me to win them over. And I did that more about 50% of the time.
The main thing is not to come in feeling like damaged goods. Start from the present, and use your resume, cover letter, interview skills (so important), and any recommendations you can get to help them see how well you match the new job – and how much you can contribute to the job and the company. The rest is history – including any short-term jobs or “job hopping”!
Resume and interview help to get you through the process