by Catherine Wasilewski | 25 February 2016
I have worked with many candidates who are either concerned about the number of moves on their CV or who have recently started in a role which is not right for them and they are worried that moving so soon will count against them. There are no hard and fast rules on how soon a move or how many moves are too much for a permanent candidate, as the reasons behind them will play a big part but, obviously, it is something that an employer will consider.
When looking at a CV, one of the things a firm will look for is a candidates’ commitment to the relevant area of law. They will also be questioning how likely it is that, if successful, the candidate will stay at the firm for at least a reasonable period of time. Snap judgments can therefore be formed based on how long a candidate has stayed in other jobs.
I have read in several articles that an acceptable amount of time at a firm before moving is around the 2 year mark. However, in my view, someone who moves like clockwork every few years may be, at face value, as much as a concern for employers as a candidate who is looking to leave a position after a few months.
Whilst some firms will just have a steadfast dislike of “jumpers”, most will be understanding if good reasons can be provided for each move. Firms recognise for example, that a job might not be what you anticipated, you were concerned with job stability or that a commute might have been too much. However, if the reasons are consistently along the lines of “a better opportunity came along” or are slightly woolly, this will, to many, be off putting.
When considering a new opportunity, thought therefore needs to be given about its long term prospects. This is going to be especially relevant for those who are immediately available – it is understandably tempting to take the first thing that comes along, but if you know that really, its only going to be a stop gap until something better comes along, it could do your CV more harm than good.
In order for us to help you, it is crucial you are honest with us as to your reasons for leaving so that we can manage this with firms as needed. It is also important you raise any concerns you have with a role so that we can address these prior to an offer being accepted so as to increase the likelihood of the role being right for you. Remember, we are not here to judge, but to help!