In fact, the average 24-year-old today has already held 6.4 jobs.
That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t valid reasons for changing jobs: a chance to learn a new skill or a sudden opening at the company of your dreams, for instance.
However, having many jobs on your resume in a short amount of time, at least to an old-school recruiter, might require careful positioning during your job search. To help avoid being perceived as a less-than-committed candidate, here are seven important “do’s” and “don’ts” for the modern job hopper:
Have an Online Presence
You don’t have to maintain a daily blog, but you should have a simple landing page that directs people to your LinkedIn profile and contains a brief personal statement and photo. Consider investing in a simple website platform such as WordPress or SquareSpace to increase your personal brand SEO.
Craft an Intentional Social Media Presence
While your online presence is revealed in search results, your social media presence is very specific and can be more easily searchable. If you want a hiring manager to take you seriously online, your Twitter, Facebook, Google + and every other platform must be 100 percent professional or 100 percent private. We recommend professional.
Include Short Jobs on Your Resume
If you have experience that relates directly to the position you’re applying for, don’t be afraid to include it on your resume. Consider adding a section of “Seasonal Employment” and list positions that lasted six months or less in one place.
Over 53 million Americans currently freelance for their income. Now that the term is not commonly misused to cover unemployment, consider building your name, reputation and portfolio within your field by freelancing on the side. Pepper your interview with pertinent examples of your work experience and how your freelancing efforts helped you understand the job.
Say You’re “Up for Anything”
Even if you have an array of different talents from taking on so many different jobs, it’s still important to present yourself as a professional with a specialty. The more sporadic your work history, the more consistent and professional your interview presentation needs to be. Lay that foundation by making firm statements about what kind of results you can provide, not how many different things you’re willing to do on the job.
Be Vague About Why You’re Leaving (or Have Left) a Job
Speaking of consistent and professional, your interviewer will know if you’re lying or being evasive about why you’re leaving a job. Make sure you’re up front with a professional reason behind this career change and be honest about your passion for (and experience in) this new venture.
Imply You’ll Be on the Move Soon
Unless explicitly stated in a contract, your hiring manager can’t expect you to stay onboard for a set number of years. However, that doesn’t mean you should “clear the air” by disclosing how long you plan to stay with the company. Approach every new job as if it might be “the one” that you stay at forever. And should you find you need to move on in two to three years, you will be able to move on guilt-and-expectation-free.
It’s no longer a sound career plan to find a company and stick with it for 15 years. Younger workers are taking on jobs, learning valuable skills and moving on.
Do so strategically, and you’ll build a network of jobs that dovetail into a stunning career.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Simply Hired!
About the Author: Sarah Greesonbach a career transition specialist and freelance writer. Her work has been featured on AOL Jobs, YAHOO! Small Business, and Brazen Careerist. She released Life After Teaching, the career transition book for teachers, in 2013, and provides content and strategic communication consulting services through Greesonbach Creative.