Artwork by: Antonina Kasyanikova
Job hopping is more common than it once was and isn’t always a negative. If you’re a serial job hunter, keep reading to learn more about how this affects your career trajectory.
As you look for new jobs, you might wonder how potential employers view the experience section of your resume. While some candidates stress over a lack of relevant experience, others might worry that they’ve had too many jobs in a short period.
The way we work is changing, and many people find themselves moving from one job to another in quick succession. Employee expectations have evolved and many restless job hunters are looking for a career that matches their unique needs. This practice, often called job hopping, has traditionally been viewed with suspicion by employers. Thankfully, this is beginning to change as the job market evolves.
If you’re a job hopper, you might be concerned about the future effects of your choices. We’re here to reassure you that you still have a bright future ahead. In this blog, we’ll explain how employers view job hopping and describe how to present your work experience during your job search. Before we finish, we’ll cover:
What is job hopping?
Job hopping pros and cons.
How do employers view job hopping?
Can job hopping affect your career development?
How to address job hopping during your job search.
The concept of job hopping is simple. It just means that a person has held many different positions in a relatively short period of time. If you’ve had multiple jobs that each lasted only a few weeks or months, chances are that you’re a job hopper. On the upside, this means that you’re very hireable and companies value your services. On the other hand, it also indicates that you haven’t quite found the sweet spot
Job hopping happens for many reasons. The most common cause of job hopping is dissatisfaction with wages, work conditions, benefits, and scheduling. Most people who are looking for new employment every couple of months are just looking for a position that meets their needs and provides them with the work-life balance they desire.
In other cases, employees will hop between jobs in an attempt to learn new skills and expand their resumes. The modern job market values a range of specialized skills, and this may help some candidates become more competitive. Other causes of job-hopping include relocation, layoffs, and the desire for promotion.
While job hopping is definitely advantageous for some, it can also introduce new challenges into your professional life. Here are some of the pros and cons of moving quickly between jobs:
Here are some of the benefits that you might enjoy while job hopping:
Higher wages. One of the most common reasons for job hopping is a desire for better pay. Keeping your options open allows you to secure higher wages and better benefits when opportunities present themselves.
Advancement. If you’re feeling stymied in your current position, moving to a new company might give you greater opportunity. Some employees find it easier to switch jobs than earn promotions where they are.
Experience. Every new job you take involves distinct responsibilities and provides unique experiences. If you’ve had many jobs over a short period, you may have greater experience than employees who stay in the same job for years.
Adaptability. Employees who move quickly from job to job are often more flexible and adaptable than their counterparts. This allows them to learn their responsibilities more quickly and provide value over a shorter period of time.
A change of scenery. Changing jobs often comes with a new location and a fresh commute. In some cases, you might even be able to move to a new state or city.
While job hopping brings perks, it’s not the right choice for everyone. Here are some of the challenges that you might encounter if you choose to follow this course of action:
Financial insecurity. The biggest challenge facing job hoppers is usually financial insecurity. Whenever you move to a new job, you’ll suffer a pay disruption and it may be a while before you receive a check from your new employer.
A lack of connections. A network of professional acquaintances can contribute massively to your long-term career success. If you hop between jobs, you may not have the opportunity to build lasting relationships, and you may even burn bridges with coworkers.
Lost benefits. If your job offers benefits, you’ll lose them as soon as you quit. While this isn’t always a big deal, it’s important to be insured in case of unforeseen accidents, injury, or sickness.
Employment challenges. Although attitudes towards job hopping are changing, some employers still view the practice with suspicion. Labor is a big investment for businesses, and many are looking for reliable, long-term associates.
Shallow experiences. Although job hopping can offer a diverse range of experiences, your expertise in each position may be shallow compared to long-term employees. Some employers prefer workers with deep expertise in a specific area over those with a little experience in many roles.
Wasted time. Each time you take a new job, you’ll have to go through interviewing, onboarding, and training. Job hopping may also cause you to spend valuable time searching for new jobs rather than earning money.
Traditionally, many employers have been suspicious of job hoppers. Companies invest heavily in training and onboarding new workers, and high employee turnover can be financially damaging. Some recruiters may also view serial job hunters as unreliable or think that they have a bad work ethic.
Fortunately, these perceptions are changing as the job market evolves. It’s far more common for employees to change jobs than it used to be, and employers are adapting accordingly. There are many reasons for this change. The first is that the population is more mobile than it once was. In the past, a person might stay in their hometown for most of their life. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for people to move cities or states several times before settling down. Each time they move, these individuals are likely to find a new job.
Employees also have greater expectations regarding pay, flexibility, and benefits than they once did. If they’re not getting what they need in a given job, they’re likely to seek greener pastures. Finally, the contemporary job market values individuals with a diverse and specialized skill set. This leads many professionals to switch jobs in an attempt to learn new skills.
Employers are very aware of these developments, making them more likely to hire job hoppers than in the past. While some recruiters might have misgivings, you’ll have no trouble finding a job so long as you can demonstrate positive qualities and give good explanations for your choices.
The simple fact is that job hopping will affect your career path, although this could be positive or negative. Every choice has pros and cons, and it’s up to you to weigh them and do what’s best for you.
For example, imagine that you’re up for a promotion in a few months. This will bring greater responsibilities, higher pay, and will look great on your resume. However, you might be hoping to move into a different industry that requires a range of new skills. In this situation, you could stay in your company and gain some short-term benefits or find a new job that will teach you the skills you need to make bigger moves in the future.
The bottom line is that you should always keep your goals in mind when job hopping. Try not to switch jobs just because you’re bored or temporarily unsatisfied. If you weigh the pros and cons of all your career moves, you’ll be able to find success whether you job hop or not.
If you have a history of job hopping, it’s important to give this the best possible spin during your search for a new job. Here are a few tips that you can use to show recruiters that you’re a good bet:
First and foremost, always be transparent about your work history. Any dishonesty about your job hopping could reinforce hesitations on the part of the recruiter. Remember that there’s no shame in looking for an ideal work situation. Most companies are used to this approach and won’t have a problem with it as long as you have good reasons for your choices and demonstrate desirable qualities.
If you’ve had a lot of jobs, chances are that your resume is starting to look a bit messy. Most candidates use a chronological resume format that lists jobs in order, starting with the most recent. However, this might not be ideal if you’re a job hopper and there are other choices.
Listing all of your jobs may make your resume longer than necessary, which can deter recruiters. Instead of a chronological list, there are several non-chronological formats that you can choose. These formats allow you to highlight your skills and most relevant work experience while losing some of the clutter. If you use one of these formats, make sure that any gaps are explained and be ready to answer questions.
If you’re trying to ease a recruiter’s mind, the best thing you can do is offer thorough explanations for your choices. This is especially important when you’re in an interview environment. Before you meet with your contact, consider why you made your career choices and formulate your answers. Explain how each job transition helped you gain new skills, garner experience, and enhance your value as an employee.
Your cover letter is also a good place to make your case. It offers a degree of flexibility that your resume doesn’t, so use the space wisely. Describe your career trajectory and your goals, and explain the reasoning behind your job hopping ways. That should put the recruiter’s mind at ease and show them that you’re a dedicated worker with a serious plan for success.
For tips and tricks on making your career path, check out our service page!
Job hopping refers to the practice of moving quickly from one job to another.
Job hopping offers advantages like diverse experiences, higher pay, and flexibility, but can also be a drag on your career path.
While many employers were previously suspicious of job hoppers, perceptions are changing, and it’s not a deal-breaker anymore.
If you’re a job hopper seeking a new position, make an effort to explain your choices and how they benefited you.
Patrick specializes in career services, and is passionate about helping professionals define and achieve their career goals. As a skilled writer and editor, Patrick knows how to create flawless application documents—blending technical perfection with a personal touch that makes candidates jump off the page and impress hiring managers. Whether it’s finding new job jobs or growing in a role, Patrick guides professionals to their goals.