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The Big Q: Have short-term developer roles hurt my career?Posted almost 2 years ago by Client Server

Q : I’m a fairly junior software developer. When I finished uni, I was part of a co-op work placement programme, meaning I had several short-term jobs (4-8 months).

I thought this would be great for exposing me to a number of different teams and environments, but I’m worried it’s done the opposite. When it came time to apply for permanent work, I was told that my CV was “too hoppy” and that companies would think I would leave after a short period of time.

How do I show commitment without ignoring the fact I’ve had many smaller jobs?


A : It’s true that recruiters and hiring managers will look at the length of time you’ve spent at each job. It’s normal for developers at the start of their careers to have short-term jobs on their CVs, but explaining the context is important.

When you apply for a role through Client Server, our recruitment consultants will go through your CV with you and they would likely ask about your short-term roles. This is where you explain that it was part of a placement programme where you worked for a number of different companies.

The next step is to talk about what you learned at each placement and highlight some key projects. That will give your Client Server consultant a better sense of your skillset and what you could offer at a new job.

Beyond that, the consultant will be able to explain to the hiring manager why they think you could be a great fit for the role. So if you’re offered an interview, the company will be aware of your employment history and be able to discuss your skillset beyond the jobs listed on your CV.

Be upfront, explain the context, and highlight your successes.