I was working with a client today who is part of the “baby-boomer” generation. Like many members of this loyal group, he has basically had two jobs: one where he had a progressive 20-year career and his current position, where he has been for fourteen.
He was frustrated because he was learning that something that used to be viewed very positively by hiring managers is now something he is finding himself having to explain, and defend. He’s understandably confused. What’s up?
Demographic trends could be responsible for this shift in attitudes as more younger people take on the role of hiring manager. The millennial generation is part of the tech boom that saw an increase in what would have been known as “job hopping” back in the day – as the best and the brightest moved from dot-com to dot-com due to their talent and the start-up’s ability to dangle big bucks. Then, when the tech bubble burst and the economy tanked, hiring managers got used to seeing lots of applicants with gaps on their resumes and that faded as a negative drawback.
Now the tide is turned and it seems more unusual to see someone with the kind of long-term career tenures as my client has. However, don’t despair. This is NOT a negative! Here is a link to a great article from Fortune that illustrates how best to position yourself.
Likely, you had a lot of accomplishments so go ahead and illustrate those. Reiterate that you remained because of the tremendous learning and growing opportunities the organization provided for you. Dazzle them with how you remain current with your field. The hiring manager will sit up and take notice!