There are several valid reasons why a job seeker would have a job history filled with short term experiences. Unfortunately, to the eye of the hiring manager it can be a red flag when a candidate has multiple job experiences that last for short periods of time. Your resume may depict you as flighty, disloyal, hard to work with, not worth an investment, and even a management nightmare. This can frustrate the job seeker and place a hurdle in them being considered for their job of choice. Here are the strategies for the varied reasons that your career has seen you moving around from job to job:
You Are A Free Spirit
· Pros: You are purpose driven rather than dollar driven.
· Cons: You can be viewed as flaky and not loyal.
· Strategy: Use the combination resume style to show the transferrable skills you bring. This helps the reader focus on your skills and not the gaps in your employment history.
Your Life Demands Changed (Becoming A Caregiver for A Family Member, Became a Parent, You Fell Ill, Etc.)
· Pros: You are clear on what your priorities are and value work life balance.
· Cons: Employers may believe that you won’t be committed; they may have the opinion that your personal life will interfere with your professional responsibilities.
· Strategy: Research and only pursue family friendly companies with work from home options
You Are in A High Turnover Field
· Pros: You are highly skilled and easily get hired in your current practice.
· Cons: HR reps may not know that it’s the field and not the employee that tends to severe the relationship
· Strategy: It might be time for a career rebrand. Leverage your skills that you have gained in your current field and sell it as a novelty in another field.
You Work in A Profession That Is Notorious for Laying Its Employees Off
· Pros: You have learned the challenges that come with limited budgets,
· Cons: You may present as a management challenge with difficult behavior
· Strategy: Be knowledgeable of the trends for why the layoffs are happening and highlight your unique solutions to retain talent
You Consistently Get Hired and Bamboozled by Employers Who Claim They Are Good Place to Work
· Pros You are clear on your boundaries and how you expect to be treated.
· Cons Some companies may read this as you have the potential to steal intellectual property and take it to another company.
· Strategy In order to distinguish between distractions and opportunities, research the company’s reviews, schedule a careers and coffee chat with a current employee and get their opinion on the company. Only choose jobs that are in alignment with your career’s mission, vision, and values.
You Are an Intern, Volunteer, or a Student
· Pros: You are gaining the latest best practice in a firsthand environment
· Cons: You will be told you don’t have enough experience or that you are too young
· Strategy: On your resume, include all the skills you have learned in each experience and explain which transformations you created. Highlight how many years you have been interested, pursued, and trained thus far. Articulate how you plan to learn quickly and cement your skillset in the company culture.