Looking for longevity

Job hopping for bigger pay or a better IT job title was a common practice in the boom economy, but executive recruiters are now looking for C-level executives who are committed to the growth of an organization. That's according to the results of a US survey from NETSHARE, a subscription-based executive job site for senior executives earning US$100,000 or more.

NETSHARE surveyed 200 executive recruiters about their attitudes towards candidates who had worked at multiple jobs over the course of a 17-year career. Most agree that a series of short-term positions on a candidate's resume would raise a red flag. According to the results, 38% of respondents said they'd have concerns about a prospective exec who worked for six to seven companies during a 17-year career, while 28% said stints at eight or more employers would cause concern.

The reason for the concern is that recruiters want someone who will stick around for a few years and achieve results. They also worry that job hoppers might be difficult to work with or won't be satisfied with any position.

If your own resume shows frequent moves, put them in a positive light. Dave Theobald, CEO of NETSHARE, recommends explaining that your experiences have prepared you for different situations, departments, and projects. Also emphasize that you are adaptable to a variety of working environments, teams, and reporting structures.

Kim Batson, a certified career management coach and NETSHARE member, suggests a three-step approach to handling the situation. "One, diffuse the issue with a short, honest, but discreet answer. Two, redirect the conversation to a future-oriented direction. And three, focus attention on the needs and challenges of the employer matched with a strong value proposition and quantifiable achievements in that area."

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