Monday, February 9, 2009

Tips for Job Hoppers

EILENE ZIMMERMAN recently wrote a very useful Q&A on “How to Overcome a Job-Hopping History” (NYT), reviewing how to handle job-hopping on your resume and on your interview. When I am doing resume review, the most common mistake I see about job-hopping is either downplaying legitimate work or getting defensive about time off.

Here are some tips I’d add:

DO clearly indicate on your resume if a job is Freelance. One of the #1 resume mistakes I see is mixing fulltime and freelance/consulting work on their resume without indicating which is which. I do like a sequential resume, but if I see 3 employers in 1 year it raises my eyebrows. Are you a job-hopper or a successful consultant? Make sure your resume says this at a glance without needing to have a conversation about it.

DO add pro-bono work, volunteer work, consulting, writing articles, or creative projects. Took a year off work because you joined the Peace Corps? Put it in. You were job searching for 6 months but during that time you were in an arts colony? Ditto. I’d rather know someone was making valuable use of their time even if it isn’t 100% relevant to the current job. It may be an icebreaker with that hiring manager who always wanted to go to Yaddo.

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