(866) 269-1380

We have all heard about employers trashing resumes because applicants look like “job hoppers,” so it is important to make sure your resume minimizes the possibility of you looking like an unstable, underperforming, or downright bad employee. Whether you moved, got fired, or just did not “fit” with the company, there are certain resume strategies that will help you look more marketable. There are a few techniques that will accomplish this for you:

1) List your employer only once. For instance, if you started working for your current employer in 1989, and have had several promotions throughout the years, the way you list your employment may unintentionally make you look like a job hopper. Below is an example:

Manager, General Electric (2001 – Present)
-Oversees all daily department operations to ensure performance and quality metrics are met.

Assistant Manager, General Electric (1995 – 2000)
-Supervised subordinate personnel in the completion of assigned tasks while assisting the Manager with projects.

Production Associate, General Electric (1989 – 1994)
-Assembled various products on the assembly line in compliance with schematics and company policies.

At first glance, that looks like three separate jobs. By putting the full range of dates next to the company (bolded), and listing each job under each other (unbolded), it looks like you had a long and successful tenure at the company rather than hopping from employer to employer. See below:

General Electric (1989 – Present)
Manager (2001 – Present)
-Oversees all daily department operations to ensure performance and quality metrics are met.

Assistant Manager (1995 – 2000)
-Supervised subordinate personnel in the completion of assigned tasks while assisting the Manager with projects.

Production Associate (1989 – 1994)
-Assembled various products on the assembly line in compliance with schematics and company policies.

2) Make your dates a little less specific. Typically resumes will include a month and year for the beginning and end of your employment with a company, but the month isn’t technically necessary. If you worked one job from January 2011 to January 2012, and you were then unemployed until January 2013, your resume is going to show a large gap. What looks better (see below)?

Manager, Old Navy (Jan. 2013 – Present)
Assistant Manager, Banana Republic (Jan. 2011 – Jan. 2012)

or

Manager, Old Navy (2013 – Present)
Assistant Manager, Banana Republic (2011 – 2012)

One shows a large gap, and one does not. Plus, you are displaying the correct dates without lying on your resume.

3) Use a functional resume. Functional resumes have a wide range of uses, and making you look more appealing to employers by masking job hopping is one of them. If you have had 10 jobs, listing a bullet or two for each of them will leave you with a 2-3 page resume that looks like it has a million jobs on it. Using a functional resume, in conjunction with point #2 above, will allow you to leave out some very short-term employment stints and make your resume more appealing.

If you are concerned about employment gaps or looking like a job hopper, consider hiring a resume writing company to handle the project for you. Otherwise, utilize these strategies and wait to hear from an employer!

By Drew Roark