Building a resume that will cause hiring managers to throw your resume in the trash is easy. All you’ve got to do is show that you’ve been hopping from job to job for the last few years. It tells the hiring manager one of two things. Either you suck at what you do and you get fired everywhere you go, or you’re one of those people who have no concept of digging in and making a long term commitment. One thing is certain, job-hopping is bad for your career.
Job-hopping is nothing new, but millennials are less likely to perceive it as a problem. While 41 percent of baby boomers say you should stay in a job for at least five years, only 13 percent of millennials say the same. So… in reality, hopping from job to job can still negatively impact your career prospects — even if you don’t realize it.
What Exactly Constitutes Job-Hopping?
So, how do you know if you’re a job hopper? Career growth often requires a person to dig in and give that place of employment a chance. No employer likes turnover. They hate to spend money training someone only to have them take off after 6 months.
According to 51 percent of human resources professionals, a job hopper is someone who has stayed in a position for only a year, while another 34 percent believe job hoppers change jobs every two years. In short: A pattern of leaving companies in under two years will probably get you red-flagged.
How Do Managers Look at Job-Hopping?
Once HR and hiring managers have identified a job hopper, they may or may not proceed with the candidate… but probably not. Depending on the role, recruiting and training someone who leaves within a year can cost a company as much as $20,000. Needless to say, once a company has been burned by a few job hoppers and frequent turnover, they may be disillusioned with hiring someone who doesn’t seem apt to stick around.
Some hiring managers are more forgiving of job-hopping applicants that are straight out of college but expect more company loyalty from candidates with more experience. According to one CareerBuilder study, just over 40 percent of HR professionals see job-hopping as less acceptable in candidates who are in their mid-30s. A full 43 percent of companies won’t even consider a potential hire who has a history of job-hopping.
Getting What You Need Without Job-Hopping
Some of the most common reasons people leave jobs include wanting to expand their skill set, a desire to significantly increase their pay, and a lack of career path at the current organization. If these are deal breakers for you, consider ways to get what you want and need from a job without leaving. If you move to a new company, it will likely take longer to get a promotion and add serious value to the organization.
What are some ways to make the most of your current position? Start here:
- Get outside training. If your current employer can’t offer more training, seek online training or industry training at a conference. Your employer may even reimburse you for some of the costs if you can show proof it will benefit the company.
- Pitch development ideas. If you are stagnant in your position, instead of growing resentful over the lack of career path, pitch management a way to expand your role or develop your department.
- Maximize your annual review. Ask important questions during your review. Instead of viewing it exclusively as a forum for your manager to give feedback, go prepared to present detailed information about why you deserve a raise and how the company can keep you happy enough to stay.
Job-hopping can turn you into a risky candidate, signaling to HR that you may leave the company high and dry within the year. Build a strong resume by advocating for yourself at your current company before you consider leaving — you’ll build great references this way and enjoy longer tenures in each position.