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September 04, 2013

Explaining Job Hopping During an Interview

You started at the bottom and climbed your way up the ladder. You now have a high-paying, well-respected position with the company that gave you your first break two decades ago.

That scenario is a thing of the past.

In today's job market, the average number of jobs a person has is eight. In fact, Generation Y is more likely to have frequent job changes early in their career because they are searching for their dream job, they don't feel fulfilled at their current position or they aren't the right fit.

Most employers still frown upon constant job hopping. When a young professional changes jobs every two or three years (sometimes less) they may be viewed as unstable, unreliable and a risk. But job hopping can be used to your advantage.

Here are four ways to put a positive spin on your constant job changes.

  • Builds up Your Resume. Listing all the skills you accumulated from your jobs at the top of your resume is the first thing you want the hiring manager to see. Show them what you have to offer and what you can bring to the company.
  • Diverse Environments. You have the opportunity to see how other companies conduct business, implement corporate cultures and execute leadership styles. You are exposed to a variety of challenges in large and small companies and have the opportunity to bring new, fresh ideas to the table.
  • Advances Your Career. The various skills you gain will contribute to your career advancement. Changing positions because you are advancing your career gives you more credibility. It shows you have set and met goals and want to contribute to the company's success.
  • Your Best Attributes. Job hopping tells employers you are willing to adapt, learn quickly and are not afraid of change or taking risks.

Once you get the interview, here are four tips to keep in mind when discussing your job changes.

1. Explain your job changes ONLY if the hiring manager asks you. There is no need to volunteer the information if they were never planning on addressing it (and sometimes they don't).

2. If it needs to be addressed, don't lie about your rapid career changes. It will come back to bite you.

3. Even if you had an awful experience at your previous employment, avoid bashing your former boss or company.

4. If you were laid off more than once, just say so. Hiring managers understand about cutbacks and consolidations. It's nothing to feel ashamed about.

Job hopping today has nowhere near the negative connotation is once had, so just be honest about your career history.


At the WunderLand Group, we specialize in placing qualified marketing, interactive and design candidates with companies in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. For more information, contact our staffing experts today!


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