Tips for Presenting Job-Hopping Positively (With Definition)
Updated 8 April 2023
When working at a position for less than two years, you may find some potential reasons to look for another job. This practice is often called job-hopping and comes with some benefits and possible challenges for you to consider. Understanding why you may job hop and the considerations you may want to think about before switching careers may help you make more informed job-hopping decisions. In this article, we define what job-hopping is, discuss the pros and cons of changing jobs and detail how you can present your job-hopping in a positive manner during a job search.
What is job-hopping?
Job-hopping is the practice of changing jobs within a short period of time. If you switch to a different position when you worked at your job for less than two years, this is generally considered job-hopping. People switch jobs quickly for a variety of reasons and the practice is becoming increasingly popular.
Related: The Essential Job Search Guide
Pros of job-hopping
Here are a few potential benefits of switching jobs frequently:
One of the primary reasons employees job hop is the possibility of a higher salary. Changing positions often comes with a salary increase as part of a contract. Many employees prefer to change jobs rather than wait for a raise or a bonus from their employer. If you're looking for a higher salary to support your family or improve your lifestyle, job-hopping may be the fastest way to earn the salary you need.
Better career advancement
Another advantage of job-hopping is the opportunity for career advancement. Changing jobs may allow you to pursue a higher-level job at another company. It can also grant you opportunities to learn new skills, gain practical experience or assume more responsibilities. Changing jobs can help you advance your career without having to spend years waiting for a promotion.
If you're job-hopping, you build new relationships with a new team every time you change and learn a whole new way of working. You improve your communication and adaptability skills as you become adjusted to your new work environment. This can make you resilient as a professional, which can be a beneficial trait to have.
One of the more common reasons for job-hopping is the pursuit of a better work environment. Individuals who job hop have the opportunity to test out multiple company cultures. Many professionals consider factors like benefits, management styles and office atmospheres when evaluating a company's work environment. Holding different jobs in a relatively short time can help you make an informed decision concerning what kind of company culture and environment is the best fit for you.
Cons of job-hopping
These are some challenges that you may encounter if you choose to job hop between positions:
One of the main challenges of job-hopping is finding a new job to change to from your current position. While you may want to switch jobs, there may not always be a job available or an employer may give an opening you applied for to someone else. You can reduce the impact of needing to find work by staying at your current job until you get an official offer for a new role.
When working multiple different jobs in a short period of time, you may receive an uneven work experience that may reflect on your resume. Staying within the same general industry may help increase the consistency of your work experience. You can also learn industry-related skills independently by taking certification courses, which may help you make your resume seem more competitive.
People who change positions frequently may start to feel discomfort with their jobs due to not fully adjusting to the job before switching roles. Consider researching your position if you start to feel discouraged, as finding facts about the company and role may interest or excite you. You can also consider talking to a supervisor about ways to engage with your new work community and increase your overall job satisfaction.
Many companies offer key benefits, such as health insurance or paid leave, after you stay in your position for a specific amount of time. Frequent job-hopping may limit your ability to obtain these benefits. You can address this challenge by researching a position in advance to determine how long it may be necessary to work in an organisation before accessing benefits. If you intend on finding another position quickly, you may want to apply for jobs that provide you benefits shortly after joining their team.
Frequently switching jobs or companies may cause stress as you're likely to fill out job applications and attend job interviews regularly. Before changing careers, consider how the position may affect you and develop a plan to help you adjust to the situation. Additionally, try to find jobs in the same field or that have similar duties to reduce the number of changes you undergo.
Tips for presenting job-hopping positively
When applying for a new job, employers may notice signs of job-hopping, such as multiple positions in a short period of time. Learning how to frame your job switching experiences positively can help you explain your actions to a hiring manager, which may improve your chances of getting hired. These are some ways you can positively present your job switching to a supervisor or employer:
Refine your cover letter
Including explanations about why you left particular job positions may give an employer insight into your work experiences and may help them better understand your career changes. Consider addressing your job history directly in the cover letter attached to your resume, where you have more space to explain your reasoning. State why you left and describe your departure in a positive manner, such as an attempt to grow your career.
Restructure your resume
While many resumes list past work experience individually in reverse chronological order, using a different structure may allow you to effectively describe your qualifications and skills if you have multiple job positions in a short period of time. Try to use a format that emphasises skills and achievements rather than work experience. You can list how you developed skills in different positions or summarise your career experience in a paragraph format or bulleted list.
Prepare interview answers
If you know that an employer may ask about your job history, you can prepare for these questions in advance. Consider ways to present your job changes in a positive way during an interview and prepare explanations for why you left your previous positions. Try to highlight the benefits of your job changes, such as improving your ability to adapt quickly or learning new skills, and how you will apply those to the role you're now seeking.
During the job application process, try to write your resume and answer interview questions as honestly as possible. This can demonstrate to an employer that you're dedicated to the position, which may improve your chances of getting the job. Additionally, discussing your job changes with the hiring manager allows them to express their concerns and lets you respond proactively by focusing on your other attributes.
Focus on the benefits
There are multiple benefits to changing careers frequently, which you can include in your cover letter, on your resume or during an interview. During a job search, try to emphasise the positive effects of your job switching, such as new experiences or improving your adaptability. This can help reframe your qualifications to an employer and can increase your chances of getting hired.
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