Punk Rock HR Question: Job History & Context


A reader wants to know:

Hi Laurie, quick question that I would love your input on: I’ve always been told that work history of a short nature (under two years) looks fishy to employers, but do you think this is still true with an unstable economy? Are today’s HR professionals looking at job history with a different eye? Thanks much!

Today’s HR professionals don’t have much of an authentic role in the recruiting process. We push paper and talk about unimportant shit like the importance of hiring someone for a ‘cultural fit’.

You will be selected for an interview based on three scenarios:

  1. You’ll know someone at the company — most likely the hiring manager or the owner of a small firm.
  2. Your skills will match an algorithm that is liked to the criteria in a job description.
  3. A third-party recruiter will pre-screen your resume and you will be selected for an interview based on the recruiter’s discretion.

I would worry about what a recruiter thinks before I would worry about Human Resources.


What will recruiters and hiring managers think about your short job history? It depends on context.

  • If there is forward progression in your career, don’t sweat it.
  • If you hate your job and keep moving around, you’re screwed.

Context is key. Are you a dynamic guy with excellent references? Or are you a chump?

– Laurie

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