It’s become more common to change jobs and even careers more frequently than in previous generations when it was common to stay with the same employer for several decades. Even though it’s more acceptable with more frequent job changes, it will still raise a red flag with hiring managers to have too many job changes in a short amount of time. The hiring manager might be worried that you lack commitment, have no patience or that you have trouble getting along with people. If you should happen to find yourself in a situation where you’ve stayed at each of your last few jobs for less than a year, what do you do to convince a hiring manager that you’re really interested in a long-term career opportunity?
Here are a few things you can do to adjust your resume:
If you have a few consecutive contractual or temporary short-term jobs with the same job title; group them together. You can use a collective header such as “consulting work” if you’re a consultant, or a specific job title. List your combined work experience’s highlights and achievements.
Take focus away from employment dates
Usually employment dates stand out on a resume. But, they don’t have to be. People see what’s being highlighted. So instead of calling them out, put them at the bottom of the job description, or use only years instead of months.
Use a cover letter to accentuate the positive aspects of your work history, and provide an explanation for having several short-term jobs. Reasons might include contract jobs, temporary positions or layoffs outside of your control or other reasons that will ease the mind of a hiring manager who’s a bit leery of taking a chance on someone who they’re not sure will stay with the company for a long time. Be sure to indicate your knowledge of the company as well as how you’re going to add value to the position, to outweigh any shortcomings on your resume.
Consider a different resume format
The most common resume format is a chronological resume. But you could also create a functional resume to emphasize your skills and accomplishments, or a combination resume, which is a hybrid of the two formats. Read more here about different resume formats.
Paint a picture for hiring managers explaining your job history, and why you will be a good long-term fit for the position you’re applying for. Spin your background to your benefit and how the different experiences you’ve had are marketable skills. Mention that because of the different jobs you’ve had, are you good at getting up to speed quickly, and brand yourself a someone who makes a fast impact in the workplace. Make sure your resume shows specific results and quantify them when possible.