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I am starting the process of searching for a new role, but I have a bit of a problem. Since I've started my career, I've had too many jobs for reasons that I hope were not entirely my fault. Let me go over my positions:

First job: I was technically an intern, and the owners laid the whole engineering department off. 8 months

Second job: I was a "contractor" here. I left here because we were being made contractors illegally and that didn't sit well with me. This position was with the upper management who were laid off with us. 8 months

Third job: This is the worst offender probably. After 9 months, the company continually juggled me around and there were other issues, so I left.

Fourth job: I loved this position, and had finally found a place I wanted to stay for a long time to wipe away the old mistakes... Until a year and 4 months in we ran out of money and were all laid off.

Fifth job: I took another contract to hire positon, but this time legally. I thought this place was going to work out well for me, but then coronavirus happened and they are planning to let me go at the end of the contract, so I'm finding myself searching again.

My resume doesn't show it at all, but my goal is to stay at a company long term. I wish I could go back and serve my time at my third role, but it's obviously a little late for that. I don't expect there to be some magic wand to wave, but my hope is that there is some way to get across my desire to not job hop.

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How to get over job hopping stigma?

Looking at the facts you describe I don't think you will (necessarily) be perceived as a job hopper.

In all five jobs you mentioned you stayed at least 6 months (less than that is more likely to raise some flags).

In four out of five of those (80%) you were laid off for reasons unrelated to your performance, like the company running our of money or cutting a great number of employees.

The only one you actually quit was because you say you were constantly juggled around, meaning that whatever they offered in the beginning or whatever the position they offered you involved did not match the job you signed for (case where you are in all rights to quit).


Now, what I do suggest is to always be prepared to explain the circumstances and reasons why you left any of your previous jobs, for when/if someone asks you during an interview, so you can explain yourself.

When you do stick to the facts and avoid bad-mouthing your former employers.

Finally, remember that a resume should be tailored to the job you are applying to. This means that you should include things that are relevant for the position you seek, and avoid including details that may be less related to the job.

In other words, if some former job of these you describe is not related with the job you seek now, then including it in your resume will hardly have any benefits.

Regardless if you decide to include it or not, always be prepared to explain yourself in case any former job you didn't mentioned comes up during an interview/BG check.

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  • In my locale, its customary to state reasons for leaving at each job on Curriculum Vitae. It leaves some room for "spin", and being laid off for none of your own fault is not bad. Resigning can always be "spun" as something like "looking for more stability" (which is true and signals that you're actually not a hopper. Don't badmouth ex-employer!). You could also use your intro, cover letter, etc. to reiterate that your "goal is to add value to co. long term". I've been in a similar situation and still get msgs from recruiters [on THAT site] that laud my "wide experience" - turn it positive :-)
    – frIT
    Jul 21 at 12:59
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So 8, 8, 9, 16 months, then however long you last at your current job. Seems like all very short duration to me. You will certainly be questioned about it.

Be prepared to emphasize how this time you want to find a job where you can stay long-term.

And be prepared to explain what you will look for in a company and role this time that is different than you have in the past. I would assume that potential hiring managers feel like you have made poor choices so far. Explain to them how this time will be different.

Spend some time in introspection before interviewing. Think about why you weren't able to see the quick problems in the companies you joined, and how you can avoid the same mistake again.

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  • I think this answer arrives at the conclusion that the OP is somehow at fault. But that's not really the conclusion that I think is reasonable? How was the OP meant to predict 1, 2, 4, and 5. Maybe they could have left 3 earlier, but I don't know how that helps avoid the impression they are job hopping. May 27 '20 at 4:07
  • If you ignore or disbelieve the explanations, I understand how you've arrived at that conclusion. May 27 '20 at 11:07

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