Use Your Job-Packed Resume To Showcase Your Versatility In Interviews

If you're like most people these days, your resume is packed with jobs that you've held, sometimes for months, maybe for a few years at a time, and then it shows you moved on to a new position or a new company. Even though the reality of the working world today is that people change jobs frequently, interviewers still want to see stability in their candidates. You can have it both ways.

The blog 99U explains that even a wandering career path and hopping from job to job can actually be an asset in your interviews, rather than something you have to defend against when it inevitably comes up. If you're doing your homework before the interview, you should learn enough to be ready to explain how your experiences in all of your previous jobs have led you to the person you are now. Namely, the person with the perfect combination of skills and experiences, drawn from each previous job, for the position you're applying for.

Don't shy away from it like you're embarrassed of it, they note: instead, talk about your job hopping as an adventure that you're coming out of the other side of. Use it as a way to highlight a common thread among all of your past jobs, whether it's an interest that's relevant to the position you're interviewing for or a skill that made you valuable to each of your prior employers (and will make you valuable to this one.) Use those experiences to sell your versatility, they explain:

That background is your proof that you can handle uncertainty and come out better for it. They don't have to take it on a leap of faith that you can dive into new things and get your bearings quickly — the proof is right there. In a world where every company and organisation is moving quickly in a changing landscape, and every hiring manager needs you to onboard quickly and as painlessly as possible, these are great traits to have. Use that as a source of confidence for yourself.

"I'm sure I can come up to speed on this quickly. The situation seems similar to when I did XYZ — and that project went well in terms of bla bla bla. I'm also reminded of my time at ABC where the main challenge we faced was [insert here] — just like this role/project."

Handling a long resume full of prior positions can be tricky in an interview, but the important thing is to never shy away from those experiences — they've all been valuable in some regard, and even if you don't think so, you should be able to make the interviewer think so. Then you can explain how the company you're interviewing with is the exception to the rule, and explain how excited you are to join them — and stick around for a while.

Turn Your Wandering Career Path into a Secret Weapon [99U]


    The downside is that if you are a job-hopper, a company won't invest in you; they will treat you as a short-term contractor. While this is perfectly suited to some industries/positions, there are a lot who will look on it disfavourably. You will also have great difficulty keeping your resume to one page without appearing inexperienced. That will results in you not even making it to the interview stage at many companies.

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