What to do With Job Hops on Your Resume November 11, 2020
I read through dozens of resumes every day, and something I always look for is a candidate’s tenure at a company. In the ABA world, I find it is common for BCBAs and other ABA professionals to work at a company for about 2-3 years. But when they have worked at a few jobs for only a couple of months, that raises a flag and I always ask for an explanation.
How a candidate explains their job transitions matters. I have a few tips for those of you who have had some job hops in your work experience.
First, have a plan.
Plan out how you will explain your work history prior to the interview. I’m always rooting for candidates to have a solid explanation, but if a person stumbles over their thoughts or seems caught off guard or even offended that I am asking about their transitions, it does not give me much confidence in the strength of their candidacy.
When I speak with candidates, I am hoping they can prove to me they are on top of things and are coming to the conversation prepared. Proving that they can reflect on their own background and anticipate my questions will start the conversation off on a great note.
Own your story.
Sometimes a person has switched from company to company because of travel or family situations. While other times, it has been because of poor decisions or traits that the person later regretted or changed. I respect a person who is honest about their background, even if it means admitting that they made mistakes.
Don’t tell too much.
You can own your story, but you don’t have to write a book about it. Too much extra information can make it seem like a person is hiding their reality. As you prepare how you will walk the hiring authority through your transitions, try jotting down a brief outline of key points you’d like to hit. If you add information that does not move the explanation forward, just leave that out. By being brief your background will be easier to follow, and you will come off stronger and more honest.
Avoid trash-talking previous employers.
This can be a major turn-off for some companies. I understand that some companies are truly terrible, and you might have some legitimate concerns about previous positions. But it is in this situation that you could combine the above tips. Plan out how you will articulate yourself so it will be easier to effortlessly explain the situation without getting emotional about your experience. Keep things brief, and only mention what is necessary to answer the question. And above all, stay as positive as you can, focusing on yourself rather than dwelling on the negative experience with that company. At the end of the day, it is YOU the interviewer really wants to hear about!
I know it can be discouraging if you have been job hunting for a while and see your background as to blame for the wait. But stay positive! In an interview, you are selling yourself. YOU are the person who believes in you the most, and it is YOUR job to convince the interviewer that you are as good as you know yourself to be.
Written by: MELINDA MARRIOTT, Executive Recruiter
Melinda Marriott is a recent graduate of William & Mary with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and in Government. She is a hard-working individual with an enthusiasm for learning and embracing opportunities, and a desire to improve the lives of others. Melinda has established herself as a knowledgeable recruiter in the ABA industry. As a recruiter for TYGES Behavioral Health, Melinda strives to connect outstanding ABA professionals with the most fitting opportunities to benefit both them and their clients.
In her free time, Melinda can be found exploring Williamsburg, reading, listening to music, or being with people in her community.
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