How to Avoid Looking Like a Job Hopper

by Brian Skory

With an industry as dynamic and fluid as Information Technology, there will certainly be a degree of forgiveness when a resume shows a position or two lasting a couple of years or less. But unless properly positioned, a resume filled with short-term roles will give the impression that you are a job hopper—and it is not uncommon for a hiring manager to decline a resume for that one reason alone. Following are three sure-fire methods to minimize giving the appearance of job hopping?

1. If you separated from a company for a good reason, note it.
Tucker Industries, 2010 - 2011
(Voluntarily left when company relocated outside my commute range)
Salazar Medical, 1995 - 1996
(Position was eliminated when our division was sold off)
Tyler Tool and Die, 2005 - 2007
(Left to pursue a career in a new technology stack)

2. If you took a position as a short-term contract, note that.
Thrifty Software, May 2001 - Sept 2001
(Took position as a short-term contract)

3. If multiple positions were through one agency, group them together.
Instead of the following (which looks like you had three jobs in five years)...
Alco Industries, 2005 - 2006
Silpo Software Solutions, 2003 - 2004
Mylo Medical, 2001 - 2002
...group under one agency:Star Solutions, 2001 - 2007
Contracted to Alco Industries, 2005 - 2007
Contracted to Silpo Software, 2002 - 2004
Contracted to Mylo Medical, 2001 - 2002
Obviously, you won't have a good excuse for each job you left, but with these three suggestions, you can significantly minimize looking like a job hopper.

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