Will Job-Hopping Hurt Her Job Search?


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Erika writes: I have had 3 different jobs in 3 years. My job-hopping has been done to extenuating circumstances that have been out of my control. Job # 1 declared bankruptcy and went out of business after I had been there only 7 months I left job #2 to move to Virginia to take care of my grandmother who was terminally ill. That one lasted 7 months as well. Currently I am in job #3 and am planning to move in the next couple of months because I am getting married. I am concerned that this moving around will affect my chances in finding my next job. People have said that since I am young and in the telecommunications industry that this moving around is expected. But I have also heard that employers frown upon this because my erratic job history looks on paper like I can’t stick to one thing. What can I do to offset this liability and change it into an asset?
The Career Doctor responds: There is a lot of truth to what people have been telling you. Because of the massive downsizing and rightsizing that began in the 1980s and continues today employers are less likely to use job-hopping (or what appears as job-hopping) as a reason not to interview someone. It also helps that you are in an industry where demand for employees is still strong. On the other hand, you always need to keep in the back of your mind that the purpose of your resume is to get you an interview — and you want to remove as many roadblocks as possible. Thus, even if all three of the jobs you’ve had have been similar, I would probably recommend that you experiment with a chrono-functional resume. Chrono-functional resumes focus on your key skill sets and accomplishments, listing your actual employment history at the end of your resume. You can read more in our article, Should You Consider a Functional Resume?. Be prepared to revert to a chronological resume if the chrono-functional version isn’t working for you as many employers disdain any kind of functional resume. Also be prepared to explain the short job stints in your interviews — and how you are now in a position to settle down and make a long-term commitment to your next job.