Boing. Boing. Boing. What to do if you’ve got a “jumpy CV”.

17 April by Emma Hawker


As recruiters, one of the most common reservations clients have is that the candidate is “too jumpy.” In other words, the person has changed jobs too many times and doesn’t have much longevity in any of them.


In today’s job market, the millennial workforce (who will make up over 50% of the global workforce by 2020*) isn’t looking for a “forever job” and job-hopping could be the rule rather than the exception. A consultant can work with you to ensure prospective employers understand the motivations behind your jumpy CV.


The benefits of job hopping include being exposed to several different organisations, personalities, cultures, processes and ways of working, so as a prospective candidate you will be used to changing priorities, learning new things and find adapting to new ways of working easy.


“Jumpy”, like many things, means different things to different people. For some it will be three months, some six months, some two years. A good consultant will find out from the client what their expectation is and can explain the moves according to the reasons behind them (e.g.  it could be redundancy, close of a business, contracting etc). The consultant will work hard to change the traditional perception of employers that you were either sacked (for not being very good) or that you lack commitment to a role or organisation and are always on the lookout for something better.


In many cases the reason for jumping around will be the drive and determination for progression or professional development. So, you are bringing a willingness to learn and a drive for self-improvement, things that employers should be seeking in their employees and harnessing this ambition in their own businesses.


It’s not always easy to change perceptions though, the client will be making a substantial financial commitment in salary and costs and will be looking for an element of loyalty in return. They could ask “Why should I invest time, energy and training in somebody who won’t be with me long term?” A good recruiter will explain that the past doesn’t reflect the future and a candidate who may have jumped around straight after graduating may now be looking for more stability in their career (providing they still can grow and develop in their new organisation).


You could argue that people who have been at one company for years haven’t shown enough ambition or drive and may find it difficult to adapt to a new environment.


The key is for everyone to be honest about what they are looking for and to have plan of action to achieve it. If you’re not looking for a long-term commitment, some roles may not be for you but a mix of commitment and ambition, in equal measure, should secure you the right role via the right recruiter.