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Is job hopping an issue for job seekers? This was another of Quint Careers’ questions for those of us selected as “Career Masterminds” as part of their 15-year anniversary celebration.

This was my reply:

I attended an event hosted by iRelaunch, and a panel of hiring managers and recruiters discussed this question. Most agreed they liked to know why people changed from job to job; if the candidate appeared to be a job-hopper, the employers wanted to know why. For example, they suggested explaining if a company was acquired by a different organization, if you were laid off, or if you moved for family reasons. Even a talented job-seeker with exactly the skills necessary for a job should be prepared to discuss his or her work history and provide reasons for multiple job changes.

It’s best to present the situation in the most positive light as possible. (There is no need to expand on the personality conflict you had with a supervisor inspiring you to ditch the job as soon as you found something better.) Highlight where you took advantage of opportunities for new challenges, explain if organizations were restructuring, and you left for another opportunity, and note if you needed to relocate for family reasons. At the same time, address the employer’s underlying question: “Will you be willing and able to stay at this job?” Describe why you know you are a good fit, focus on your interest in staying and growing with the company, and quell the interviewer’s fear that if you join their organization, you would leave at the first opportunity.

Read my colleagues’ responses here.

photo by Carol Browne

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