Are you a job hopper? How do you handle that with potential employers?

This article from had really great advice for job hoppers.  Here is the full article:

Job hopping can be a non-starter with potential employers, so it's critical to address job transitions and to own the message.  Many candidates try to avoid discussing reasons for making multiple job changes in a short-amount of time.   Let's face it.  Times have changed and we don't stay in jobs as long as we used to.   However, you will be considered a job hopper if you have a series of positions that lasted less than two years.  

Potential employers consider a job hopper to be a risky hire, so it can be a true barrier to being considered for a position.  There can be concerns that the open position may just be a stepping stone for a candidate that tends to change jobs often.  That means the position will be open again and the employer will have to incur the cost of recruiting, training and onboarding all over again.   Perception is reality in many cases, and a series of short-term roles can reflect poorly on a candidates ability to make good decisions.  

If submitting a candidate with multiple job transitions to a hiring manager, a recruiter must be prepared to articulate the candidates's job transitions.  In my experience, many candidates tend to glaze over reasons for making job changes.  So, I am forced to bring them back to those details while qualifying or interviewing.  In most cases, it is the first question or pushback that recruiters experience from hiring managers when submitting a candidate with multiple job transitions.  

It is critical to own the message.  Be transparent about job transitions which are obvious on a resume.   How you chose to message job transitions is what's critical.  Did you think you would grow or gain a new skill set?  Could you have done a better job assessing the role, the hiring manager or company upfront?  As long as you can prove that you learned lessons from positions that didn't last long or roles that just weren't the right fit and demonstrate a commitment to avoid those past mistakes and make a long-term career decision, then you should be able to break through the "job hopping" barrier.    


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