A stable work history on the resume could be a sign of a good candidate. However, have we forgotten that we need great hires and not perfect resumes?
It is common that hiring managers say no when a resume shows the person is unstable. Is that good thinking?
Everyone knows that showing frequent job changes hurts your chances of getting a new job. Everyone knows. So what do candidates do if they have some jobs for only a short period?
Stable Work History is a Sign
We recently had a guy for a GM position. His resume showed he stayed at every company 5 years. When we checked, we quickly found that he did not work 5 years at his most large US recent company. We asked him and finally he said he worked at a small Chinese company that he folded in as they were so similar!!
We laughed. Then we cried as we would now kill this candidate and need to find another that would tell the truth.
Most companies would have hired this guy. He had good English and was easy to talk to in the interview. He had buried two ‘similar’ work experiences at Chinese companies. Can you imagine the kinds of convenient cover ups he could do as GM? See also China Perfect Resumes.
So what does very stable work history mean? To us, it as a sign that he lied to make his resume look better. One out of ten people with a beautiful resume actually have that history. Those people usually cost money too. Staying long also does not prove that they were great achievers even if it is true.
Also, guys who change jobs more frequently may just have had some bad luck with bosses or businesses that downturned. With our background check ability, we find the gold among these.
So which do you want or two types? Do you want a guy who changed jobs often but pretended to be perfect, or a guy who changed jobs often and did not pretend? Or do you want to pay the premium for the guy who really does have stable work history even though he might be a guy who sits around all day with no initiative? Further, he may be an expert politician who knows how to get the others guys fired. From what we have seen, we know better candidates are out there, and they are rarely the ones who submit a resume with a stable work history.