3 Ways to Turn Job Hopping from a Negative to a Positive

Posted December 17, 2012

There are two sides to the job hopping story. It’s understandable why an employer might be a little skeptical of candidates who have many jobs in a small time frame — is he unreliable, restless or flaky?

At the same time, this negative perception is not really fair for those of you who have left several jobs for justifiable reasons, like a terrible management, cultural misfit, layoffs.

Unfortunately, most employers don’t have time to really dig in and figure out if an applicant is truly faithful or fickle. That’s why, it’s better to proactively clobber any negative preconceptions a potential employer might have about your resume before you are knocked out of the running. 

“State that you are seeking long-term employment,” says Kelly Donovan, certified professional resume writer and principal at Kelly Donovan & Associates.

To combat the negative perception of job hopping, make sure you explain your work history in your:

  • LinkedIn Summary
  • Resume Summary
  • Cover Letters
  • Interviews

Rather than being defensive about the job hopping stigma, you will create a more positive perception if you are upfront about addressing the high quantity of jobs. Here’s how to turn the negative perception of job hopping into a positive:

1. Sell Your Diverse Skill Set

If you have job hopped in several different industries, each of your jobs has given you unique skills. Prepare a brief explanation about how your different, unique skills will work harmoniously to help you succeed at your new position.

“Multitasking from retail, computer skills and professionalism from being an assistant, the value of hard work from meatpacking, or whatever it is,” says Joel Gross, CEO of Coalition Technologies. “Explain how these jobs have been able to grow you as a person and an employee.”

Put a major emphasis on how each of these skills will benefit this new company.

2. Point Out Valuable Contributions  

You’ve seen the way companies in your industry work from the inside — this is a major selling point for you, especially if you’ve job hopped in the same industry.

“The individual brings more insight into how a number of competitors operate -- knows the ‘secret sauce’ recipe from several group. They can help organizations seeking to improve, gain market share, from that intel,” says Mark DeVerges, recruiter at Kimmel & Associates.

Donovan would agree and says that a variety of experience can be beneficial to the employers.

“For example, a candidate who had short marketing stints at corporations, advertising agencies and a non-profit could emphasize her exposure to a variety of marketing strategies and tactics,” Donovan says.

Just make sure you reiterate your desire for long-term employment!

3. Find the Right Next Role

“The best way to combat the effects of being seen as a 'job hopper' is to find the right role next,” says Megan Fox, career coach, resume writer and recruiter.

Chances are that each of your work experiences has taught you about what you want (or don’t want) in your ideal company.

Clearly talking about what you want long-term and how this job will help you achieve it is the best way to ease any employer’s worry about job hopping. Express genuine interest in the position by interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you, Fox says.

“It will not only show them that you are taking your next career move seriously and are looking for a long-term match, but provide you better insight to make a more informed decision about the next role you choose to take,” Fox says.

photo of The CareerBliss Team

The CareerBliss Team

CareerBliss cares about your career happiness. That's why we offer a variety of great tools and resources to help you make better-informed career decisions. We believe that if you're happier at work, you'll be happier in life! Check out company reviews, salary information, career advice and, of course, millions of jobs on CareerBliss and choose happy today!

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