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In a competitive job market, my resume makes me secure job interviews, but I have been accused lately for being a job hopper.

Why would I be contacted to interview if I wasn't such an interesting candidate?

Anyway, my reasons for changing companies so "frequently" goes from the salary to a mismatch between job description and job assignment.

Another reason for having changed was that I spent 80% of my time doing nothing.

I felt like the HR guy had something against me during the last job interview I've had, and the company seems interesting and well structured.

Are these not reasonable reasons to change.

Should I spend 10 years in a company, where I am productive only an hour a week, so that it would look good on my CV?

closed as off-topic by gnat, Masked Man, Michael Grubey, scaaahu, Mister Positive May 1 '17 at 11:44

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    Your final question is highly suggestive and the information you are giving is insufficient to answer the underlying question (are you changing jobs frequently enough that it could hurt your applications). – skymningen Apr 29 '17 at 16:28
  • Are you being approached for interviews directly, or via a 3rd party recruiter? It's quite possible in the latter case that they are not disclosing your full history to potential employers prior to interview. – Julia Hayward Apr 29 '17 at 17:32
  • My whole career: First job: 12 months, Sencod job: 36 months, Third job: 14 months, Fourth job: 8 months, and I have been in this new job, that I want to change, since the beginning of the year. – Half Life Apr 29 '17 at 20:24
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    You probably should also review how you came to be job hopping in the first place - remember, you accepted these jobs that you then decided were not good for you. Get better at selecting the job you want before accepting it. – HorusKol Apr 30 '17 at 0:04
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    Another thought after reading the answers - it might not be your job history that is the real reason for failing the interviews - it's just a good excuse for employers that they can point to with clear evidence, bit they may really be failing you for other less tangible reasons, like cultural fit or attitude. Hard to say, though, as that gets into mindreading. – HorusKol Apr 30 '17 at 8:17
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Why would I be contacted to interview if I wasn't such an interesting candidate?

To state the obvious, being contacted for an interview is just the first step. The process is always competitive. Your resume may be interesting, but that just means you are worth talking to. Apparently other candidates are more interesting once they've spoken to all of you.

Whether you are considered a "job hopper" will depend on the details of your career, and is entirely in the eye of the beholder. The more times you leave jobs after short tenures, the less the employer will be interested in your explanations, no matter how justified they may be in your mind, or in reality. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, choosing one unsuitable job is an accident, choosing three unsuitable jobs is carelessness. Every job has it's difficulties and downsides. The employer's fear is that you are someone who can't or won't cope with that. Hiring someone who doesn't stick around for a while is expensive!

One common exception to this pitfall is the 'hired gun'. If you can sell yourself as someone who specializes in deep expertise in a particular technology, or in fixing troubled projects, short tenures won't work against you. However folks in this line generally work as consultants or contractors, rather than seeking permanent positions.

Should I spend 10 years in a company, where I am productive only an hour a week, so that it would look good on my CV?

Here you seem to be slipping into falsely binary thinking. No, you don't have to spend 10 years in a crappy job to establish yourself as a viable employee. However, if your resume contains nothing but short tenures, you do need to make an extra effort to stick it out for at least a couple years in your next job. Choose carefully!

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    I'll add to this. I'm currently interviewing for sales reps. I screen for phone skills, articulation, yellow flags identified on their resume, etc. I've spoken to several over the phone and only two have made it to an in person interview. One was a bit of a job hopper, but young. His reasons for job hopping is what lost him the job. Watch how you present the reason for each move. Was the reason them or you? If you always point at them, then it is most definitely you. – Andieisme Apr 29 '17 at 18:37
  • @Charles E. Grant, I accepted a job where I spent 4 job interviews. It was tough and at the end, they offered a very low salary (in comparison to my skills/experience/education). I thought there was going a counterpart: I would learn the business, management processes etc. I learned nothing. Work was very informal and I was bored. I spent most of my time surfing online and I had to stay till 7 pm for no apparent reason. – Half Life Apr 29 '17 at 20:33
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    @HalfLife, you are missing the point. You are depending on future potential employers to listen to your story and be sympathetic. I'm trying to warn you that employers may not be willing to do that. Suppose an employer is considering candidates A, B, and C. Candidate A has had three jobs in the last two years, and has never stayed at a job longer than 9 months. Maybe A has just had run of bad luck, or maybe they have terrible judgment. The employer really can't be sure which is which, so why should they take a chance? Other things being equal, they'll just move on to candidates B and C. – Charles E. Grant Apr 29 '17 at 22:04
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    Andieisme's comment is great and in addition to watching how you present the reason for each move, I would try to move the conversation on to what you learned from each job that you left - for example how you've changed the questions you ask interviewers or how you research companies you might want to work for. – Mel Reams Apr 29 '17 at 22:41
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One attribute of well structured companies is a low attrition rate of good employees. If everyone jumped ship as frequently as you implied about yourself, they would likely not be where they are today.

Even with your in-demand skills, the hiring company is investing in you. Training, getting you ramped up on their {products, services, customers}. And your experience within the company makes you more valuable over time. So their investment in you is lost if you leave 6 months later.

Anyway, my reasons for changing companies so "frequently" goes from the salary to a mismatch between job description and job assignment.

Another reason for having changed was that I spent 80% of my time doing nothing.

If you said all that to a recruiter, HR person, or interviewer, then what they interpret that to mean is that you'll leave the company sooner than later for any of the following reasons:

  • A little more money instead of waiting or negotiating for a raise

  • That you'll get bored easily.

  • You didn't self-assess yourself against the position you were applying for. (i.e. you aren't being honest with yourself if you are a fit for the employer).

My advice is that you conduct a job search with the attitude that you will stay for the long term (2-5 years) and attempt to build a career within that company. You don't have to commit to that many years, that just needs to be your attitude. (And if you think this way, it will reflect itself well in interviews).

But if you are the type of person that is always looking for something new, then you could consider contract work instead of full time. If your skills are in demand as you describe, there are likely plenty of contract gigs that all last 3-12 months. You might find this career path more attractive.

  • I've noticed that companies will ascertain they have all assets you're looking for in a project. Once you start with them, you realize they weren't frank 100% about it and they need to hire. In this situation, I can't rollback nor anything ... People won't reveal much about their current employers and most people just want to be employed ... they don't care about companies quality ... – Half Life Apr 29 '17 at 20:29
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Anyway, my reasons for changing companies so "frequently" goes from the salary to a mismatch between job description and job assignment.

Another reason for having changed was that I spent 80% of my time doing nothing.

Are these not reasonable reasons to change.

To be blunt, those aren't great reasons to change. If you didn't like the salary you were offered you shouldn't have taken the job (unless you were desperate, but you said you weren't having trouble getting interviews), and if you weren't given enough work you should have found something to do. That's part of what people are reacting to when they call you a job hopper.

Another part of it is how you explain your reasons for leaving those jobs. If you take responsibility for having chosen poorly, that makes you look much better than blaming other companies for offering you jobs that you turned out not to like.

To be fair, salary can be a good reason to change jobs if your expenses rose for a reason you couldn't control and I've heard horror stories before about people getting penalized harshly for supposedly "making their bosses look bad" by trying to do more work or working in a place where job duties are very strictly regulated and they really aren't allowed to "do someone else's job."

That said you've got to be careful how you spin those. In a comment on another answer you mentioned that at the job with the low salary you expected to learn more in exchange for accepting the low salary, I would not mention the salary and instead say that you learned you would rather be judged on the results you get than on how many consecutive hours you can spend at your desk.

Third job: 14 months, Fourth job: 8 months, and I have been in this new job, that I want to change, since the beginning of the year

No matter how good your reasons for leaving each job are that kind of trend is going to make employers very worried you'll get bored and leave their company in a few months too. If you can possibly stand it I recommend staying in your current job for at least 1 year, ideally 2.

It looks to me like you're caught in a cycle of bad job -> desperately jump to another one -> another bad job -> desperately jump again. I think you need to break that cycle more than you need yet another bad job. If I were you I would focus on making friends with other people in your industry who can tell you honestly if you would be happy working at a company they've worked for and not change jobs again until you're really sure the next one will be a fit.

Or like another answerer said, go into freelancing. If you current job is dull, doing a little freelancing on the side (if and only if you're allowed under your current employment contract) could keep your boredom under control and you could eventually build up enough clients to drop your day job and freelance full time.

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