Are layoffs, freelance jobs, or a few hasty decisions painting an inaccurate portrait of your character to hiring managers? A slew of one-year (or less) stints at various companies can make a candidate look unreliable, but not all hope is lost. With a few tweaks to your resume and some pre-interview preparation, you can still be a competitive candidate to hiring managers.
The first step is formatting your resume in a way that takes the focus off of your scattered work history:
In the next section you can list the companies you’ve worked for with only the years included. No need to add duties as this was listed in the previous section.
Uber, Los Angeles 2017 – 2018
Career Group Companies, Los Angeles, CA 2016 – 2017
ABC Production Company, Los Angeles, CA 2015 – 2016
But formatting your resume is the easy part. After you’ve gotten your foot in the door, you’ll still need to impress your interviewer. If your quick departure was due to anything other than poor health, you’ll need to convince your employer that the reason was justified. There are a number of reasons why someone might leave their job quickly. Below are the most common reasons and how to deal with them.
If a layoff is the reason for your scattered work history, then you are off the hook. Be upfront about this with your future employer. Your first round of interviews will likely be with a Human Resources representative who knows firsthand how devastating layoffs can be for employees.
Employment agencies can be helpful for finding full-time employment or freelance work. It gives you a chance to test out different companies and careers before committing. Listing multiple assignments that only lasted a few months or weeks under the actual company name can make you seem like a flight risk. Grouping these assignments under the agency name on your resume or using the format we offered above will help solve this problem.
Not everyone knows exactly what they want to pursue career wise upon graduating. If uncertainty caused you to job hop early on in your career, owning up to your mistakes will work in your favor. Consider sharing with the interviewer that when you were unsure of your career path, you made decisions that you regret. Assure them that with the knowledge you have now, you greatly value stability and are looking for a company where you can stay and grow.
These tips will most definitely help you win over the interviewer as you combat questions about why your job history entails short stints, but take a moment before accepting any new offers. Make sure your job-hopping days are over before committing to any long-term positions. If it continues, it may indicate a greater issue that you need to address within yourself. Maybe you’re better suited for the freelance or consultant life, in which case, there are a plethora of opportunities out there that will fit your needs and lifestyle.
For more help finding your path, check out the rest of our career advice and tips on our blog.