A telephone call came this week from a
hiring supervisor for a reference from me
for Z. Among the questions that E, the
hiring supervisor, asked about was on
the topic of job-hopping. He asked,
should he be concerned about Z
changing jobs so frequently, especially since
she was not from that area of the country.
1. So, for people that you list as references,
please find a way to have a conversation with
each one of your references on issues like
this, especially if they are pertinent to your
E’s question was a very sound and valid one.
Z and I had spoken about job-hopping in her
history. It was clear and simple.
She had explored three areas over the last five
years on a project basis. Each of the projects
had been completed to customers’ and project
managers’ satisfaction. One project is continuing
where she was continuing to play a virtual role.
2. Job-hopping is viewed differently by different
industries and companies. Chemically-related
fields, pharma and materials and the like have
been generally conservative with less frequent
movement. There are exceptions….
certain areas of the country (Cities like
New York and Washington have been cited.)
moving to a position of higher responsibility
moving as part of a family move
moving as a result of a down-sizing or merger
Job-hopping happens to benefit the employee, not
the employer. The costs of looking for, training
and letting people go are so high.
Job-hopping could be holding three or more jobs
in less than two years, as a simple rule of thumb.
3. Be aware of the perception of job-hopping as a
result of impropriety or incompetence will be
discovered. If you were working at the exceptional
level, why did you change? The reason of impropriety
is generally considered more serious that incompetence.
Some resume rules of thumb to recall on this topic:
- document in the resume the contribution you made
and the value to the employer, showing high performance.
- co-locate shorter times information with results
- early career accomplishments may be less
substantial, however, mid and later career results
should carry significant weight.
- consider not “misrepresenting employment
status as present,” when you are not employed”
It will be discovered and end your case your case
to be hired.
- no need to list your reason for leaving on the
resume. It is legitimate to offer this in certain
circumstances on a cover letter.
- no need to list all of the positions you have
held. Reasonable time limits finding positions
while pursuing a position can allow a person to
not include a short stay at a firm. (The resume is
your PR document, not necessarily a complete
full work history. Yet all the information needs to be
- many resume reviewers view functional resumes
more critically than chronological. Consider using
chronological or a combination with chronological
While job-hopping can help a person rise up the
ladder of succession at certain points in their
career, especially earlier, it can have
consequences over which one has little
control later in a career.
Z has not gotten back to me on whether she received
the job offer. Too frequent job-hopping was neutralized
in at least this reference’s conversation.