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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

[BizCareers] Job hopping - what does it mean, how can I avoid it?

This week's BizCareers column looks at what it means to jump from job to job.
I have read your sections on "Job Hopping" and the LinkedIn Profile recently and I have a question for you.

Do you think there is value in using professional CV writers to type up your CV? Also with regards to job hopping, if I have worked for a company for 6 years, but changed (promoted) into new roles every 2 years, would this also be seen as job hopping? There is no other way of demonstrating the growth in my career on my CV except for demonstrating this growth in the company, however I find myself struggling to find work for 4 months now.

When I chat to the Employment agents they say I have a great CV, yet nothing is coming my way in terms of offers etc. - Deon

Hi Deon

Thank you so much for following my column and your excellent questions.

If you really don't know where to start or are completely lost with writing your CV, then yes you could approach a professional company to assist you. However there are a few very simple guidelines you could adhere to, and successfully write it yourself. Read this article 'Creating your CV so that it has a lasting effect' for hints and tips.

With regards to being promoted within the same company, this is not seen as job hopping. This is in fact very positive as potential employers like to see some form of succession, growth and ambition and being promoted every few years definitely shows this, so well done on your career path.

You haven't mentioned whether you've been for interviews, or just plain haven't received a response at all? If you are going for interviews and not getting any offers, perhaps it is your interview style that needs to be addressed. Are you too nervous? Are you too polite and not assertive enough?

If you aren't getting interviews then perhaps you're approaching the wrong agencies, are they specialised in your area of work? Do they have the type of clients you're looking to work at? Maybe they don't have many job orders coming their way at the moment, which has absolutely nothing to do with your CV. I would cast your net as wide as possible. Send your CV to at least 4 specialist agencies, put your details on all the job portals and actively apply for the correct roles on these job portals. This will hopefully allow you to get interviews. You can then work on perfecting your interview technique (often practice makes perfect) and hopefully your dream job will come along soon.

I hope this helps and wish you all the very best.

I would like your assistance as I have in the last 2 years been through 3 jobs each lasting +/- 6 month periods each. Before this I have successfully achieved more than 10 years in 3 jobs, 2 company's closed doors and I was retrenched.
My question is how do I overcome this on my resume as yes I do look like a risk, but would like an opportunity to establish myself and my abilities in an organisation?
Your assistance would be appreciated as at this point in time I am on a 6 month contract and do not foresee the company renewing my contract and am job hunting once again - Belinda

Hi Belinda

It seems that you are indeed very aware of how short tenures look on your CV and this is already a step in the right direction. It is often when people are unaware that this is a problem that they become a risk.

The best is to make your reasons for leaving VERY clear on your CV. After each description of your role, write "Motivation for change:" and explain what the cause was. Being retrenched cannot be avoided, and perhaps the reasons for the short 6 month tenures were due to the contract ending, your role becoming redundant etc. All factors that you don't necessarily have control over. There are employers who will be concerned about this but there will also be those in equal amounts that understand your reasons and will overlook this as they know you'll be an asset to their company.
The best is to be open and honest and fully communicate the reasons in an interview and don't leave any room for the interviewer to draw their own conclusions.

I hope this helps and I wish you the very best in your career search.

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About Juliette Attwell

Juliette Attwell is Head of Marketing & Operations at Recruitgroup. Recruitgroup has won Careerjunction Recruiter of the Year in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 as well as Fast Growth Business of the Year at the National Business Awards 2014. Juliette holds a Bcom Honours in Marketing Management and is the resident "agony aunt" on the BizCareers Column, she was also a finalist in the Top Young Executive at the National Business Awards 2014.