There’s something thrilling about beginning a new job. Meeting new people, facing new challenges, and learning new skills or building onto the ones you already have are just a few reasons beginning a new job can be exciting. And if you’re like most people, switching new jobs might also come with a salary bump or other benefits like better work hours. What’s not to love about that?

But if you switch jobs too often, you risk looking more like an unreliable flake than an ambitious ladder climber.

Job hopping doesn’t have to be a bad thing…

The days of working for 40 years at the same company, working up the ranks, retiring, and drawing a pension for the rest of your days are essentially over. A few decades ago, this was the norm, and changes in employers were met with raised eyebrows or a frown.


But those days are long gone. According to a 2020 survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median number of years an employee had been with their current employer was just 4.1 years, nearly the same as the 2018 version of the survey. What may have been considered job hopping in the past is no longer looked down upon. Switching jobs can be an excellent way to build your resume.

…But it can be!

While switching jobs regularly can help build your resume, it may also come back to haunt you if you do it incorrectly. If you’re regularly spending only a year or six months in a position before moving on, employers may be reluctant to hire you. It’s expensive to train employees, and if they expect you to leave shortly after completing training, they may not want to make that initial investment.

And while being a jack of all trades has benefits, too much differentiation in your job history can raise eyebrows, too. If you’re switching careers every time you switch jobs, it’s hard to show that you have the depth of knowledge employers are looking for.

Job hopping to build your resume

So if you love the thrill of starting a new job but don’t want the pitfalls often associated with it, here are a few tips to help you make job hopping work for you.

Watch the frequency

Yes, switching jobs is okay. No, getting a new job every six months is probably not okay. If you’ve had 6 different jobs in three years, that’s going to look bad to future employers. While there may be legitimate reasons to leave a job after a very short time (such as a toxic work environment or work that is completely different from what you were expecting), staying in a position for at least two years looks much better on a resume.

Check your skills

Make sure you’re not just aimlessly hopping around, but have a purpose for your job changes. How are your skills looking? Are you focused on growing skillets in a niche, or is every job completely different? On your resume, can you show how each job builds on your existing skills or adds skills that would benefit future employers?

Progress in your career

It’s best if your resume can show progression, whether that’s building on your skills, growing in responsibility, or moving into management positions when you switch jobs. Starting over in a whole new career every time you switch jobs is definitely not going to look good on your resume.

Testing, testing

A benefit of switching jobs is that it gives you the chance to work in new areas. As long as you’re not moving into a completely new field several times in a few years, a job hop could offer the opportunity to try out a new career and ultimately help you find the job of your dreams.

Check your reasoning

What’s your reason for leaving your job? Can you explain it on a resume? Some reasons hold more weight than others, and may be more understandable from the position of an employer. Leaving to pursue management possibilities or to build a deeper skill set sounds a lot better on a resume than leaving a job because you couldn’t see eye to eye with Betty from accounting.

Final thoughts

Though job hopping doesn’t hold the negative connotation it did once, there are still pros and cons to moving around in employment. You don’t need to stick with the same company for life, but make sure that you’re making intentional moves to further your career rather than just switching employers without a real purpose.

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Brynn Mahnke is a freelance writer specializing in researching, writing, and ghostwriting for clients in the career, finance, SaaS, and B2B/B2C niches. She focuses on writing case studies, whitepapers, ebooks, and articles showcasing the value her clients bring to their customers. When she isn't writing, you can find her running, cycling, or wrangling children. She can be reached through her website or at