“OK, I have this one in the bag,” thought Jayme. “I’m more than qualified, my resume and cover letter are updated, and I got along with the interviewer perfectly.”
A few weeks later Jayme receives that dreaded “Thank you for applying, but…” email. She is completely baffled about what could’ve gone wrong. So, she decides to be proactive. After emailing the interviewer asking for feedback on how she can do better next time, the interviewer explains that her skills and personality were a perfect fit. However, it was her moving around between three jobs in four years that made them consider someone else who will be permanent.
Jayme couldn’t believe it. She had officially been marked as a ‘job-hopper.’ She had actually never thought of herself as one before because she always left for a promotion, or to follow her passions. It never crossed her mind that those leaps forward in her career would actually be costing her new job opportunities.
Everyday, candidates are stereotyped as job-hoppers. Because they’re unsure of how to present this as a positive attribute during the interview, these qualified applicants end up losing out on their dream jobs.
Here’s how you can promote your job-hopping past during an interview:
Explain why you left
Like Jayme, you may have left your previous jobs for very positive and legitimate reasons. But those reasons usually aren’t highlighted on a resume and cover letter. An interview will be your only chance to explain why you moved on in the past.
Some interviewers will ask why you left former careers, but others may not. If they don’t, bring it up during the time when they ask if you have anything else to add or any questions. Explain that you left to advance your career for a much higher salary, or to follow your passions. Show how these decisions to move on weren’t based on you getting bored or having issues getting along with co-workers.
Remember, even if you left because a former employer treated you poorly, leave negativity out of the conversation. Your honesty could quickly be mistaken for someone who has trouble taking direction or working well with others.
Show off your skills
Holding multiple positions in a short amount of time means you’ve been conditioned in many different areas. Whether it be skills, many trainings/courses, or even being part of major programs, you’re an asset to companies.
Not only do skills play into how qualified you are for a position, they also show how quickly and successfully you could onboard. Use this to your advantage during the interview. Lay out the experience you gained from each position and explain how that will help you excel in this position, add to the company’s successes, and even onboard in less than the average time.
Explain how moving into multiple positions gave you the ability to quickly assimilate to your environment and become part of the team, or that they’ve given you confidence to speak up when you see room for improvement. Have you seen what the competitor is doing? That gives you new insight and different ways to enhance and challenge a process the company is already doing.
To help you feel organized and confident, sit down before interviews and make a list of your previous jobs. Underneath each, write your specific duties, skills you applied, and how you excelled. If you need to, take this paper along as a quick reference guide when speaking to the interviewer.
Explain why you want this position
Many employers see job-hoppers as those who get bored easily and quickly move on. The interview is your opportunity to show your passion for this current role and because of that, you wouldn’t be interested in moving on quickly.
Explain why this job is different from all of the others. Why are you so passionate about getting this role? What future do you hope to see for yourself with this company and how do you see yourself as an asset to the company?
In order to truly express your interest, do your research before the interview. Look at the company’s website, about us page, mission statement and values, and social media sites to fully understand what is important to them. Then, during the interview, you can express how important those values are to you and your hope to keep them alive through your employment.
How do you promote your job hopping ways during an interview? Let us know!