Judging a Resume by Its Cover

Avoid Being Seen as a Flight Risk on Your Resume

Avoid Being Seen as a Flight Risk on Your Resume

By Luke Dancy

(The Short Term Perception) 

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”Wayne W. Dyer

Job hopping can be a strategic way to move up in your career.  Some employers, however, might look at your resume with one eyebrow raised. After all, they want to hire someone who will commit to their company for the long haul. The good news is that more and more employers in the ERP ecosystem are saying that ‘job hopping’ is becoming less of a red flag as a result of current market conditions. Let’s say you’ve switched jobs a few times as an ERP Consultant over the last few years. What’s the best advice we can share? Let’s plan ahead and talk about how to avoid being seen as a flight risk on your resume.

Be Transparent

Whether you’ve had a string of bad luck or moved around in search of your true calling, the question about your employment history is sure to come up. The best way to handle this is to be honest about why you’ve made the job changes you’ve made. Maybe you were just pursuing the next great opportunity. Or you had to escape a toxic boss. Perhaps you were laid off because the company was downsizing. Whatever the reason is, be up front about it from the very start.

Over the last few years, as a result of the pandemic, a lot of people have had to change jobs or even start over completely and change careers. As recruiters we’ve seen a lot of Acumatica and Sage consultants move from being contractors to full time employees, and vice versa, as a result. It’s because of this ‘climate’ that being open and honest is more important than ever. More and more employers understand this ‘shift’ in workplace retention.  Don’t be shy about explaining your situation. It’s definitely not the exception these days. By not addressing these changes at all, you won’t do yourself any favors as you try to avoid being seen as a flight risk on your resume.

In fact, whenever possible, you should add a brief reason for leaving on your resume itself.  Sometimes, you might not even get a chance to explain yourself if the hiring manager won’t even interview you because of the perception your resume gives them.  If you worked as an independent contractor and worked 3 projects in the last 2 years and have them listed on your resume, simply note they were project engagements.  If you were laid off due to Covid or downsizing or outsourcing, a brief one-liner can alleviate some fears and land you a much-needed interview.

Keep It Short and Sweet

So you’re all about being open and transparent, but where do you start? The best approach is to offer a short explanation of why you left each job. There’s no need to provide long-winded explanations, or give a play-by-play of how things turned out. Less is more in this situation so don’t get too detailed, especially if things ended badly.

Do your best to use simple explanations of why you left a job. For example: “As I settled into my position, I realized the work I was doing wasn’t what was presented in the job description,” or, “I was hoping to develop my skills in a new area, and my company didn’t have an opportunity for me to do that.”

What shouldn’t you do? It’s never a good idea to speak ill of a former employer as a way to justify an exit from a job. When a hiring manager is considering making you an offer, they want reassurances you are not going to leave them in less than a year.  Turn your negative into a positive.  “Without speaking negatively, it wasn’t the best culture fit, which is why I’m very interested in speaking with you.”  Then, go into the details of why this company is a better fit. 

Focus On Your New Skills 

To help a hiring manager see past your ‘job hopping’ background, it’s helpful to really highlight the experience and the skills you’ve picked up along the way. With that being said, be prepared to describe a key experience for each job.  How will those experiences help you bring value to an employer?

For instance: “Though I was brought on to Bob’s Accounting,LLC as an Accountant, I was instrumental in researching potential ERP systems and assisting our VAR with the implementation of Sage Intacct.  As I learned more about the software, an opportunity came up for me to work with that same VAR as they planned to grow aggressively.  In a short period, I was part of 3 full cycle implementations.  Unfortunately, the company didn’t grow as quickly as anticipated and I was let go.  I was able to do some Independent work, doing two smaller implementations, but I’m excited to put these experiences together for this full time opportunity.”  

To Sum Things Up

At the end of the day change is inevitable. Making sure that change doesn’t prevent you from future opportunities is the key. We’ve done our best to give you a starting point to address some of the conversations and questions that are sure to come up along the way. A couple of other things to keep in mind:

  • Have references to speak on your work ethic and dependability
  • Update your resume to really highlight your growth as an employee
  • Where possible, give reasons on your resume for leaving positions
  • Highlight your desire to find a company that you don’t want to leave 

These are just a few tips to avoid being seen as a flight risk on your resume.  As always, if you’re in the market for a new job in the ERP space, then be sure to check out our job listings for both full time employees and independent contractors. We’d love to help you find a job that’s the right fit for you! 

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