Job hoppers and jumpy CVs

As a recruitment consultant, I’m often passed CVs of candidates with a “jumpy CV” or “job hopper” types.

My specialism is recruiting temporary and permanent Part Qualified and Qualified accountants into the creative industries, including Media, Marketing, Publishing and Entertainment.

I wanted to write this article to disband theories or stereotypes that have prevailed about candidates that make a career of interim work or those who take on a period of temporary work after a redundancy etc. As well as to expose the advantages of temporary work to those who have perhaps never considered it, or have forever considered themselves a “perm candidate”.

First and foremost it’s important to establish: temporary candidates are by no means candidates that can’t secure a permanent role!

I think this a common misconception especially amongst those who have never experienced temporary work as a candidate, or never needed a temp as a manager. Candidates choose temporary work. Sometimes because they want to secure a job as soon as possible, sometimes for the flexibility, sometimes to broaden their experience. They are a HUGE commodity to businesses, when a company is in desperate need of someone to come in and fill a gap, it is essentially that person is highly skilled in the job, able to come in and hit the ground running and quickly adaptable to the new working environment; qualities that not necessarily every candidate has.

Is there such a thing as too many temp jobs?

This is another grey area, partially because it is entirely subjective. What is “too much” to one person, may be not enough to another. The thing that I always find important to evaluate when it comes to a candidates past temporary roles is firstly what contribution did they make during their time in the role, and how long were they in the role. A candidate can spend a short space of time within a role, to cover sick leave etc., and only be there for a few weeks; that’s fine. But if I see a number of very short term roles one after the other, it needs a little more investigation to establish: were they coincidentally short term intended roles or have they started a few roles and not been up to scratch? Also consider their contribution, if they were brought in for a particular project or purpose, what quantifiable difference did they make and tell them to add this to their CV! It’s an extra selling point.

Multiple jobs means a diverse and versatile skill set

Think about it. The more different places you work, the more people you work with, the more different ways you see things being done, the more ideas you hear, the wider your knowledge. So when you go into a job that sees you facing a problem, you’ll have many more routes to consider solving it than someone who has the same level of experience with only one employer. A definite advantage for your employer.

Date before you commit

A job is something you do everyday, it’s where you spend a majority of your waking life, why wouldn’t you “date” your job before committing to it long term? Oftentimes temps go on to become permanent staff, this gives both the employers and the employees and opportunity to get to know the job and the company better before signing on the dotted line. Seems bizarre to marry someone after 2-3 meetings/interviews doesn’t it?
In conclusion, temporary staff are a valuable commodity within the employment market with most companies using a temporary staff on a regular basis. As such, if you’re looking for work or looking for staff, temps are a great option and definitely worth consideration. Equally, if considering a permanent hire, a “jumpy CV” or “job hopper” is worth a second look and potentially an interview, they could be bringing things to the table that a stable CV might not.

If you’re considering a career move and would like to hear more about opportunities that we have available, please email your CV through to: (please keep in mind most temporary work requires candidates to be immediately available or on one week notice at most).
Equally, if you are an employer considering a new hire for your team, please do get in touch for a no obligation discussion and to hear about the fantastic candidates I’m representing at any time.