As recruiters, one of the most common reservations we often hear about CVs is that the candidate is “too jumpy.” In other words the person has changed jobs too many times and doesn’t have much longevity in any of them.
So what constitutes being “too jumpy?”
Being jumpy is quite easy to define. It is simply somebody who serially changes job every year or so. Sometimes this can be explained by a redundancy or the close of a business. However the perception from employers is usually one of two things:
- That you have been sacked by most companies you have worked for and so are not a good candidate
- You lack loyalty and commitment and are always looking for a better deal
Why do employers shy away from CVs like this?
Employers want to hire people that they feel safe with. They are making a big financial commitment to cover wages and costs and they hope that whoever they employ will give them some loyalty in return. If people see that you, as a candidate, are changing jobs every year then that does not give them piece of mind that you will stay with them for more than a year. Why invest time, energy and training in somebody who won’t be with you long term? Another reason is that if they think you have been sacked by numerous companies they wouldn’t want to be seen hiring sub standard people.
How can I change this perception of me?
It’s obviously very hard to go back in time and change what you have done in your career, unless your name is Marty McFly and you have a DeLorean in your garage that is! Whenever you do start looking for a new job and you do have “jumpy” CV, be honest with the recruiter or the employer that you are talking to. Honesty goes a long long way. Don’t trap yourself in a lie that will come back to haunt you.
Another good policy is to confront the issue head on. Tell the employer or recruiter that you understand it will be an issue and that you are going to work hard and commit to the next role.
What if I have stayed at one company for years?
It’s not that unheard of that employers don’t want to hire somebody because they have been at one company for years and years. They could argue that the candidate hasn’t shown enough ambition in their career and have stayed safe!
In conclusion, you really have to think about your career from an early stage. Try and have a plan of where you want to get to in 5 years or so and create a roadmap to get there. Its important to show commitment and ambition in equal measure.