Hoppers Need to Use Different Job Hunting Techniques
- If your career track
makes you look like a job hopper, you should skip trying to get jobs
through ads and direct mail. Concentrate on networking instead.
This one might hurt, but I’m going to tell it to you anyway.
If your work history makes you look like a job hopper, you have some
major strikes against you. You’re going to have a tougher time finding
a job in this economy. You’re likely to get
nowhere by applying to ads, contacting recruiters or with direct mail.
This recession has been very cruel to job hoppers. Last year, a
venture capitalist named Mark Suster wrote a pretty harsh entry in his
blog entitled, Never
Hire Job Hoppers. Never. They Make Terrible Employees. He may come
across as fuming in this, but his blog entry will give you a pretty
good idea of how employers view candidates.
What is a job hopper? Bear in mind, most job hoppers don’t think they
are job hoppers, and feel they have a unique story to explain their
career choppiness. Those on the hiring end have heard every possible
story, every possible excuse. Executive jobs take a year before the
person can figure out what is going on. And it takes five years
(perhaps as few as three in some cases) to see the long-term effects of
the changes that you make. If you have had a series of one-to-three
year jobs, you are a job hopper. If you’ve had five jobs in the last
fifteen years, you’re a job hopper. Sorry.
You probably have a great story about what has happened – why you
changed jobs. No one who doesn’t know you is going to give you a chance
to tell your story.
If you were laid off from a job in 2008 and were laid off again in
2010, most people will let that pass. This recession stinks.
Some people I speak to are furious because they are getting nowhere,
despite applying to hundreds or thousands of ads. When I look at their
resumes, the answer is obvious. They’ve had too many jobs. They don’t
realize that their resume arrives in a pile with 100 to 1000 other
resumes. They’re read by a bleary-eyed person who screens most out in
15 seconds. That screener culls out those with shaky job histories
Some try to cover up their backgrounds
with a functional resume. My suspicion when you send me a functional resume is that
you’re hiding something. Don’t try extending assorted job tenures to
make job gaps and short jobs disappear. I, along with other employers,
know how to find out when someone does that. Some resume books claim
that a resume is an ad and not a legal document like a job application,
so you only have to tell what you want to tell. Employers don’t view it
that way, however. Get caught fudging on your resume, and they’ll
wonder what else you’re fudging. You’ll be out.
Don’t send out one-page letters, teasing the employers to call you if
they want to know more. I’ve gotten tons of those, and have never
called one of them.
The solution is not to invest
your time applying to ads, contacting recruiters that don’t know you,
or sending direct mail.
you’re coming in cold, you’re automatically suspect. I don’t
know you. The employer doesn’t know you. You’re going to be held to a
only people likely to overlook your job hopping are people who know you,
or who are close connections to your trusted connections.
Networking is the best job hunting tool. If you’re a job hopper, it’s
really your only one, if you want to work for someone other than
yourself. If you’ve had a lot of jobs, and you’re good, there are a lot
of people who know you and love you. You’ll need to depend on them for
your next job.
Getting to a point I just made in the above paragraph above, if you’ve
changed jobs a lot in your career and are now looking for something
else, maybe now is the time to consider working for yourself. Many
people not suited for corporate careers job hop – they’re not tolerant
with the bureaucracy, they can be charming but also rub people the
wrong way, and if they can continue to get jobs, they are probably good
at selling themselves. These are the classic attributes of an
entrepreneur. If this is you, consider becoming a consultant, a
contractor or starting a business.
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