Job Hopping – Is it a Good Idea?

Job hopping is a trend that has been on the rise in recent years and is not showing any signs of slowing down. A “Job Hopper” is someone who works briefly in one position then moves on to another, rather than staying in a role for a long period of time. A recent survey by Future Workplace stated that “91% of millennials expect to stay in a role for less than 3 years”. If job hopping is something you are considering, why not take a look at some advantages and disadvantages before you fully make up your mind:

Advantages of Job Hopping

  • Diverse background – By changing your career frequently over the years, you expose yourself to different experiences that wouldn’t be possible if still in the same role. You open the opportunity to work on projects of different scales and this can be attractive to a potential employer. It shows diversity of skills and that you can settle in to a new environment quickly. For example, graduates with a finance background may try their hand a few banking jobs before realising it’s an accounting job that they would prefer.
  • Networking – When you are a “Job Hopper” your network has the potential to be varied and wide reaching. By connecting with clients and co-workers across different jobs/sectors, you have access to a large system of people with similar interests to you.
  • Exposure – The exposure that you have gained to other aspects of business will be useful to your new employer. You may have insight on how their top competitors work, as well as growing your own skillset in ways you wouldn’t be able to if you stuck with the one company.

Disadvantages of Job Hopping

  • Loyalty – You could have an issue further down the line trying to prove that you will stay loyal to a prospective employer. Employers may feel that there is nothing stopping you from hopping onto the next job. However, if you can explain the changes in your career due to promotion/better prospects, the employer should understand.
  • Job Security – As someone who has a chequered past and is not a long-term employee with the company, you may find that you are the first to go in a round of layoffs.
  • Limited Growth – While hopping from company to company offers an initial period of fantastic growth, you may find that you don’t get to see the long-term impact of your work and move up the ranks of a company organically.
  • References – You may find that by changing jobs frequently, it is harder for you to get a good reference. This is not due to the quality of your work but rather that you did not have enough time to make as lasting an impression as you may have wished.

While there are both advantages and disadvantages, you may find at different stages of your career that job hopping is a feasible option for you. For example, depending on where you are in your life cycle, you may hop jobs more frequently – if you are a recent college graduate, you may change jobs while searching for the sector that you love, or in-between periods of travelling, etc.

How to Overcome Job Hopping on Your Resume

There is an outdated view that people who move around in their careers are selfish and do not have loyalty to the companies that they leave. However, these moves are normally because the employee is continually offered new positions at a higher level than their current employment, ones that their employers cannot match.

For prospective employers, it is important to remember that when they see Job Hopping on a CV, this person delivers short-term excellence over long-term mediocrity. Therefore, their ambition should not be seen as a fault. These people have taken the initiative to move their careers forward to get to the level that they want to work at.

Still, there are some steps that you can take to ensure that the prospective employer sees the key elements on your CV and does not just focus on start and end dates. By using what is called a ‘functional resume’ – one that highlights your skills, achievements and abilities instead of time – you may find your chances to be called to interview are increased. So, here are some tips when writing this kind of resume:

  1. Include an experience summary. This should focus on your top experiences and show the hiring manager that you mean business. If you have been working in various firms as an accountant, state the years of experience that you have, i.e. “X years of experience in accountancy”.
  2. Draw as much attention as you can to your skills and achievements. Having worked in different environments, you will have gathered many. Highlight this to the employer.
  3. Make your contributions to the company clear from the start. Show how your position had a transformative effect on your previous companies and that this new employer would not have to worry about getting a return on their investment into you.
  4. Don’t be afraid to omit any experience that is irrelevant to the position that you are applying for from your CV.
  5. Write a brilliant cover letter that shows you know about the sector that the company is prominent in, the company history and that you would be a valued addition to their team.

In conclusion, job hopping does not have to be viewed as negative, especially in the current jobs market. If you are curious as to what options are out there in your field at the moment, please feel free to contact us on 01 676 0505 or info@questrecruitment.ie.