How To Combat the ‘Job Hopper’ Stereotype

Job Hopper

Today’s employers know you’re not going to start and finish your career at one company, but a resume that shows you’ve bounced from one job to the next can still raise a red flag. Hiring and training workers is a time-consuming and costly process, so if you get pinned with the dreaded “job hopper” stereotype, recruiters may look for candidates they assume are more likely to stick around.

This label can especially hurt adult workers who have a lot of stops on their resumes, because – fairly or unfairly – job-hopping is an expected, if not fully accepted, practice among Millennials.

“The Millennial generation is constantly seeking self-improvement and professional development,” according to Richard Rathburn, Lead Employment Outreach Specialist with Ashford University’s Career and Alumni Services team. “They do not mind staying for a couple years at a company and then moving on to the next [job].”

People switch jobs for countless reasons, and some can be easily explained to prospective employers. But the last thing you want is to land in a position in which you can’t make a strong argument for your moves. If you’ve switched jobs often, you’ll want to come to an interview prepared to answer questions without raising additional red flags. Simply telling a hiring manager that you would “like to broaden your horizons” won’t cut it.

There’s no gold star answer to justify your job history, but it’s key to focus on the positives, and leave the impression that you made the best of every situation. Rathburn suggested highlighting reasons you took your previous position, how you were able to fulfill your goals, and which challenges you’d like to tackle in your next role.

“Something you can emphasize to employers is a diversified background in regards to both jobs and companies,” he added. “If true, you can state that you have the ability to easily adapt to change and new environments.”

Ashford students who need help putting together a resume can turn to Career Services for assistance. Rathburn said the team will help you sort through your personal and professional background in order to highlight successes and eliminate any question marks.

“Marketing yourself in a world so incredibly connected has become more and more challenging,” Rathburn said. “How do you set yourself apart from the competition? How do you determine what is the best next step? Career Services helps people to figure this all out.”

For more help with your job search, read “Your Best Cover Letter and Resume Format” on Forward Thinking.


Written by Jason R. Latham, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education.

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