perceptions about quick moves on resumes
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    Are quick moves on a resume perceived negatively?

Posted By: Fiona Behan   Date: July 2016 

Jan Dickinson - Temp of the QuarterMany quick moves on your resume can make potential employers who are looking for longevity in their next recruit nervous.

Perceptions of hiring managers can be affected by their own length of service, particularly if they are in a stable industry less affected by market changes. They may feel that moving one or two jobs in the last 3 years is a warning you will lack commitment. But is it?

In reality, there are many reasons outside of employees control which lead to cuts in permanent staff. Company mergers, restructures, offshoring, completion of projects and just general downturn in business can all lead to quality employees finding themselves in a position where they are unwillingly looking for a new job.

Add to the mix, trends which have seen an increased use of contractors or temporary staff to meet business cycle fluctuations; and opportunities for candidates to sustain longevity of service are further compromised. However, this is not all bad, with more options for contract or temp roles, candidates can opt for a shorter term commitment until they find the right permanent option. Arguably, these candidates may be more prepared for a long commitment when they find the right fit as they have taken a considered approach in their search.

If the hiring manager can appreciate the changing nature of the market they increase the chances that they will capture all of the potential candidates for their role. Quick moves can indeed be a warning sign the employee is problematic or be an indication they won’t stay long, but quality candidates can be missed if not approaching this with a flexible mind. Unfortunately resumes do not always reflect the full picture.

So what can employees do if they have moved employers more than they would have wished? Make it easier for potential employers to see the full picture. Hiring managers have many resumes to cull so make it easy for them to see there is more to you then the dates on your resume suggest. List clearly the roles which are temporary, maternity leave or contract roles. Provide the reason for leaving roles.

By delving deeper, hiring managers may discover that these candidates had a previous history of stability, that they have had good reasons for changing roles or that they have a long standing relationship with an agency whereby they are in high demand and kept working. During this time of contract and temp work they may have developed skills allowing them to hit the ground running, be adaptable and quick to settle in and they may be very keen to stay long term at their next role. In fact many candidates we interview are specifically looking for just that opportunity!

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