How to overcome a job hopping history on your resume

You’re taking the next step in your career and applying for new roles. Overall, you’re feeling pretty good about it. You have years of solid experience under your belt, valuable skills to bring to the table, and a variety of positions that have led you to this very point.

There’s only one problem: the numerous job changes evidenced on your resume are making you look disloyal, and that makes you feel uneasy. Even if the circumstances that led to your frequent job changes were completely out of your control – such as mergers or company restructurings – you can’t help but think that your resume is sending the message that you’re flaky, noncommittal, and undependable.

Although job hopping is much more acceptable in today’s market than it was a decade ago, having held many roles in a relatively short period of time can still raise a red flag for many hiring managers and recruiters who will question your loyalty and your ability to make a long term commitment to one company.

So, to downplay the frequency of your moves and increase your chances of landing an interview, here are a few things you can do to present yourself as the worthy, qualified professional you know you are, and convince recruiters that you are not a short term investment.


1. Include Key Accomplishments

Obviously, your resume places a lot of emphasis on your past experiences. To downplay a job hopping history, include key accomplishments for each of your past roles as a way to offset frequent job changes.

Highlighting accomplishments is recommended on any resume – even if you didn’t switch jobs often. So, as much as you can, try to provide tangible examples of past successes that are directly related to the role you are applying for. Doing so will get you one step closer to the top of that “to be interviewed” pile, especially if you’re able to demonstrate career progression from one job to the next.

2. Highlight Transferable Skills

When providing information about your past work experiences, don’t just focus on duties alone. Highlight the diverse skill sets you’ve gained from all of your previous roles – particularly if they’re transferable to the job you’re coveting.

This will help you illustrate what value and expertise you can bring to the table, and subsequently, draw some of the attention away from your job hopping background.

3. Use a Cover Letter or Add a Summary

Because resumes can be somewhat restrictive, it can be tough to tell the whole story of your employment history with just a few bullet points and sentence fragments. This is where your cover letter comes into play.

Within your cover letter, you can provide some context to explain your frequent job changes, demonstrate career progression, and show a larger purpose to every move you’ve made. Telling a good, strong story can come across as more positive, and a better way to explain why you’ve changed jobs so many times in the past.

And, if you don’t have the need for a cover letter, and want to ensure that your resume alone shares the whole picture? Consider adding a summary at the top of your document. Similar to a cover letter, it will give you some flexibility in demonstrating overall professional growth, and help you downplay a job hopping history.


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1 Comment

  • Jock McGregor

    Another key point is that managers and recruiters will also wonder whether the number of moves are actually performance related not just loyalty or commitment.

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