It’s a résumé red flag for me when I see that someone has worked at many different jobs before they’ve graduated college. I see a lot of students come in who have only been working for four years and they’ve had eight jobs.
They think that the way to earn more is to bounce around, always taking the next higher paying gig. Or they think it shows they have a lot of experience. What it really shows is a lack of loyalty at best, and suggests some sort of social problem at worst. It tells a potential employer that they are probably only going to have you for a short period of time because you’re going to just go on looking for the next better thing or you’ll turn out to be a bad fit.
Training you in a new job is time-consuming and costly. Employers prefer to hire people who will stick around long enough for the training to pay off. Employers want to see consistency. They like to see themes—several jobs in the same industry, for example. They like to see progression in responsibilities. They especially like to see that someone has worked with the same company or at the same job summer after summer, year after year.
If you have worked eight jobs in four years, leave out the ones that are least consistent with your goals, education, or training. Keep the ones that show a pattern of interest, and maybe an advancement in responsibility.
Find more crucial résumé tips in the résumé chapter in No Shorts, Flip Flops, or Sunglasses.
by John Wasserman
Proceeds benefit Children's Dyslexia Centers