The lifespan of executives in their roles today tends to be rather short, so how do you tell the story of all your job hopping and resume gaps when you are interviewing?
The gaps in employment history that come with moves between jobs is a common concern among executive job seekers. Our career coaches routinely help the VIP members they work with on how to address this topic so that they are ready for it when they interview. For many, it’s a part of the personalized guidance they receive. Our coaches are brilliant at this and at utilizing ExecuNet’s way of approaching job search, which has been refined for more than 30 years to best-position senior-level executives for their next great opportunity.
The essence of their message on the subject is that it is simply storytelling, and if you don’t fill in the gaps you can be certain the recruiter or hiring company will. Don’t leave it to chance! Own the move and explain how the assignment came to an end because you accomplished your goal and left to find your next challenge. You’ve been around for a minute, so that means you’ve had a good amount of jobs to accumulate all the experience they are so interested in — why be ashamed of that? Everyone knows executives tend to move around. And if along the way you were a casualty of downsizing or a company’s pivoting in a different organizational direction, that’s okay. It happens and people understand it, especially since the ’08 recession.
What they stress is that your perspective is key. Your perspective is the story you tell. If you tell a story of job hopping or employment gaps as a problem, then those things will be a problem in the ears of anyone listening to what you have to say. But if you instead are telling a positive story of a journey of leadership and achievement, of challenges met and skills and abilities acquired, then your listeners will hear the job hopping as wise stepping stones in a journey and the gaps as necessary transitions of no consequence.
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