In my coaching sessions, I come across many mid to senior level job seekers who are not only capable but also suitable for many jobs; but because of the frequent job shifts, they do not even receive interview calls. The primary reason for the lack of opportunities coming their way is the use of a ‘run of the mill’ approach towards a job search. We need to remember that we all live in a world where perception is a reality. And frequent job shifts is perceived negatively by most employers and it requires an unconventional approach while reaching out to prospective employers.
The focus needs to be on presenting your candidature with a variety of learning from each job shift and your performance delivery bringing in value which makes you stand out as a candidate. To receive relevant interview calls, one needs to take some steps during the beginning stage of the job hunt.
Few key things that you need to do if your candidature is reflective of the so-called job hopping problem:
1] Functional story based Resume:
A Chronological Resume is the end of a beginning. Worldwide research has proven that a hiring manager takes 30 seconds to read the initial part (one fourth) of your Resume and decides whether to read any further. One needs to remember that amongst thousands of applications, the HR /Hiring manager does not have the time to evaluate a Resume in detail. Hence, a display of tenures at the beginning of a Resume is by itself a non starter and your profile gets rejected.
Develop a strong 2 pager Resume with focus on your domain expertise, a display of core skills, a strong headline title to the position you and stories of achievements with measurable results making up the major content. Mention just a one liner reason for job shifts presenting them in a positive light under each tenure; however, this needs to be done tactfully.
2] Customised Solution letter:
I prefer calling it a Solution letter instead of a cover note which should be customised for each job application presenting you as a solution provider for the pain point of the job. To excite the hiring manager to meet you, demonstrate by mentioning one success story which find’s that connect with the job’s requirement. If you apply for 15 jobs, each solution letter should be different because every pain point is different. Remember one size does not fit all. Importantly, keep in mind that the objective of this solution letter is to motivate the hiring manager to open your Resume.
3] Network using LinkedIn:
Develop a strong LinkedIn profile with a powerful Summary which differentiates you on the basis of your strengths and positions you in your field. While developing your Profile, keep in mind how you want your target audience to feel about you. Use the Profile actively and start building value-based relationships with your network like with ex-bosses, alumni batch mates, ex-colleagues, prospective hiring managers, HR managers, recruitment agencies. Sharing of valuable research findings with them in only one option. Think of how else can you develop and strengthen your relationship first instead of just asking for a job. While one is anxious to get called for an interview but you cannot be seen as desperate or else the effort boomerangs. Then once your perceived value has improved, the prospective employers are open to considering your Resume because their attention mentally shifts from the concern of frequent job shifts to what you bring to the table.
Write to people who know you well professionally like ex-bosses, ex-colleagues, clients, vendors and ask for recommendations specifically regarding your domain strengths and achievements. That helps because a third party gets in the objectivity.
5] Recruitment Agencies:
While approaching them, don’t be defensive about your job changes. With a well-written Resume and a Solution letter, keep the focus on the connection you have with their clients’ requirement. Remember that the consultancy makes money by placing you so they will be motivated to present your candidature to their clients provided you show them how you can be the most suitable candidate. You need to meet/connect with recruiters from the reputed consultants and present the value you get specifically to each of their clients (not a generalised approach). Study the pain points of each of their clients and when you connect with the recruiter, keep the focus on how you are a solution provider to each of their client. Devise a different tailor-made pitch for every prospective employer. An overall professional approach from your side makes you stand out as a candidate and the consultant will start appreciating your effort and your relevant experience.
Taking these 5 steps at the start of your job search will help you overcome the challenge of not receiving interview calls because of the negative perception of frequent job shifts. And long before you know, you will be sitting in front of hiring managers and acing the interview.