Progressive Careers Advice
Loyal or risk-averse? Progressive or job-hopping?
When professional recruiters read a candidate’s CV one of the first thing they examine is the career history section. The quality of businesses and types of role that a would-be employee has had is, of course, crucial in determining their potential suitability. But how much of a factor is the length of time for which they have worked for each company? Is there such a thing as staying too long with a single employer or, by the same token, how many jobs are too many jobs and over what period?
Gathering dust or true believer?
There is nothing wrong with staying loyal to the same company, nothing at all – in fact it is a positive trait. That said, where you CV is concerned, it is important to demonstrate progression. If you have been with the same business for a number of years, your CV needs to document how you have moved up through the ranks, how you have developed your skills and taken on greater responsibility. If you’ve been working for a great company that has consistently provided development avenues for your career, why would you have wanted to move?
Case in point: Former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy joined the company in 1979 as a marketing executive from whence he rose to marketing manager and marketing director for Tesco Stores Ltd. Then on up to commercial director (fresh foods) before joining the group board in 1992 as marketing director, then managing director in 1995 before finally taking the top job in 1997.
No-one could accuse Sir Terry of having anything but a highly progressive career within a single employer!
Career climber or commitment phobia?
Recruiters just love to see a career history that demonstrates clear progression from role to role, company to company. But you can have too much of a good thing. In the early stages of your career moving from one employer to another is more understandable – everyone needs to find the vocation that will best serve them.
As careers progress however recruiters will be suspicious of CVs that suggest a person is unable or unwilling to commit to their employers. If it shows managerial-level vacancies with six months here and six months there – particularly if the industry/sector is changing each time – there’s every chance that the person in question will be labelled a job-hopper.
Naturally enough employers aren’t particularly keen to invest their time and money in people whose career history suggests will be looking for their next job in under a year.