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So, in my last year of schooling, I got a job at the school cafeteria which was dependent on my student status, which therefore only lasted 9 months. A year ago I graduated with a CS degree, and even better I immediately found a job, via a recruiter.

For various reasons, I am considering leaving my job (not least of which is talk, from my department head no less, of downsizing the department, which means the decision may be made for me). However, although in the past year my work has been in the same company in reality (same office, same chair, same computer, same tasks, same system), on paper I've had three different employers: First, I was formally employed the recruiter (i.e. the contract had their name on it, as did my paychecks, although my work was for the other company on their systems) for three months, then for the next six months I worked for the company. After those six months, (i.e. three months ago), my company was bought out by another company, which retained everything the same as before (the only things that changed where the logo on the handbook and the name on the paychecks).

My question is: Would this job history be considered job hopping? If so, how can I address this issue? If not, how can I make that clear, both on a resume and in an interview?

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    Much of this could be explained in a cover letter. – user8365 Jan 3 '16 at 5:17
  • You can make that clear right on your resume. This kind of thing is very common in IT. – Pete B. Aug 3 '16 at 18:37
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No, it's not going to be considered job hopping. When employers are concerned about job hopping, they're really expressing a concern that they're going to invest a bunch of time and effort to recruit someone that they're going to invest a bunch of time and effort to train only to have them leave for a new position before the company has recouped these investments. The length of the expected tenure is will depend heavily on the industry (9 months in a food service job isn't particularly short, for example, 9 months in a programming job generally is).

No one is likely to ever care about a job you had in the university cafeteria once you've graduated and had a job in your field (unless, perhaps, your field was something like restaurant management). I would strongly suggest removing that from your resume and using the space for something more meaningful to a future employer.

As for listing the job you've had post-graduation, you can just list the three company names to indicate that it was one job that happened to have different employers.

Your Position   Current Company (formerly Old Company, formerly Recruiter Company)  Dates

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