The New York Times ran a column by the ‘Career Coach’ that discussed how to overcome a series of jobs you’ve held that have been short in duration.
The truth of the matter is it is very, very difficult for executives to overcome a resume littered with short durations at a number of companies. “This is especially hard at the executive and senior levels of employment. “A pattern of short jobs is a show-stopper,” said Michael Travis, principal of Travis & Company, an executive search firm in Newton Center, Mass. “No amount of résumé editing will help — there is simply no way to dress it up.”
I couldn’t agree more.
There’s one exception to this and that is the period of ’99-’01 within high tech. The dot-com implosion, with companies coming and going, is the only excuse for a pattern of staying at a job less than two years.
This makes the case for careful thought around career decisions. You are ultimately building a brand with your career choices–they need to be logical, methodical, and show a sense of purpose and commitment. Don’t try to dig the well down the road when you are already thirsty.
Keep these thoughts in mind as you revise your resume–if your company was acquired after 6 months of you joining and you stayed on with the acquiring company for another few years, for example, explicitly say that in your resume.