Job Hopping Looks Bad on the Résumé. Gen Z Doesn’t Care.


This headline from the Labor Day print edition of The New York Times hopefully drew thousands of young professionals into reading the article, including former students of mine – a few of whom are into their sixth, seventh and eighth jobs since graduating three to five years ago.

Long gone is the belief you must stay in one position for two years – one to learn everything possible and one year to show the organization what you can really deliver. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, about 22.3% of workers ages 20 an older spent a year or less at their jobs last year.

“What used to be a red flag for me is the new reality,” said a recruiter friend of mine who added that he still “winces whenever I see a job hopper’s resume.”

Another hiring manager told Culpwrit she has no problem “stealing promising young talent as long as the candidate has demonstrated some form of logic in the frequent, early job moves. In other words, does each move make sense or do you have to explain dramatic career-focus shifts.”

Of course, money is often a factor in early job moves. But some young pros move moments before they perhaps could have been promoted to a salary level commensurate with the new opportunity.

Besides compensation, make sure job moves are easy to explain – for instance, better fit to your background and career passion.

Realize that more than one move a year will raise eyebrows. So be ready with a solid explanation. Even if not asked directly, the question will linger in the back of the mind of any hiring manager. Address it before being asked or even if not asked.

Finally, remember the often-used proverb that “the grass is not always greener on the other side.”  Give early job moves serious thought before hopping to the next opportunity.

One thought on “Job Hopping Looks Bad on the Résumé. Gen Z Doesn’t Care.

  1. Sound advice, as always, from Culpwrit. I couldn’t agree more and I always give the same advice to young professionals. Not only do you raise questions about what these frequent moves say about you (“inability or unwillingness to focus on a mission for a reasonable period of time” or “unable to competently hold onto a job” or worse). But it also raises questions about the true depth of your experience, because each job change disrupts your client service time — as you wind down one job and get oriented at the new job.

    Potentially damaging unless you have a justified reason for a move in less than two years.

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