A new piece of job hopping research came out and dives into some interesting questions like how common is job hopping?

The findings provide some interesting insights for job seekers. The Job-Hopping Report, commissioned by LiveCareer, explores whether observations about rampant job-hopping are accurate; the report also delves into worker engagement in the workplace.

Employers fear that business will suffer as a result of increased job hopping, so the study set out to determine whether job hopping is a growing problem. To do so, LiveCareer conducted a big data analysis of thousands of resumes and job ads across 12 job titles to explore the current state of job hopping and job tenure.

The Research Study’s Key Stats and Takeaways – How Common is Job Hopping?

  • Across professions, the average number of jobs held by workers from 2016 to 2018 is 1.3, while the average number of jobs held over five years is 2.3 per worker.
  • Job hopping is more common among younger workers and diminishes with age and career growth. While the study found that average amount of time spent per job is lower in younger generations, this could be less of an indicator of generational behavior. Rather, the research indicates that this may just be behavior common among younger workers across all four generations examined—Bay Boomers, Gen-Xers, Millennials, and Gen-Zers.
  • Higher education may not be valuable for the careers of some workers and could, in some cases, even affect job-hopping behaviors. Job seekers in blue-collar careers list higher education at a much higher rate than employers writing job ads. This indicates that higher education is less important to blue-collar employers than it is to job seekers.
  • Workers who are highly educated are less likely to stay at a job for a longer period. Those with only a high school diploma tend to job-hop less often than those with higher education degrees. More specifically, high school-educated workers stay with their employers 33 percent longer than those with bachelor’s degrees (4.4 to 3.3 years).

Higher Education May be Holding You Back

This may sound counter-intuitive, but the study’s findings lean towards the fact that job seekers should carefully consider whether to include higher education on their resumes, especially in non-professional fields. Since there is a large disparity between the value blue-collar employers place on higher education, it may not be necessary for job seekers in these professions to list them on their resumes.

In fact, the study found that not mentioning these credentials at all might benefit job seekers. Since only 5 percent of blue-collar employers are listing bachelor’s degrees as a qualification in job ads, versus 17.5 percent of blue-collar job seekers who list these same credentials on their resumes, it’s clear that employers overall do not see a college degree as necessary for performing the job duties. In fact, the study theorizes that this disparity might indicate that these workers are underemployed, which might lead employers to worry that workers with higher education are more likely to job-hop than their counterparts who don’t list degrees on their resumes.

Job Seekers Should Reassess the Value of Certificates and Licenses

Another interesting point about education and resumes: the importance placed on professional certificates and licenses varies wildly depending on your profession. Across the 12 occupations included in the study, employers in only five categories expressly mention licenses and certificates in job ads at a rate higher than job seekers list them on their resumes.

These fields are accountants, caregivers, registered nurses, servers, and teachers. The importance placed on certificates and licenses by employers in these professions is likely because these professions require licensing or certification by law. In these instances, job seekers should take care to list those certifications and licenses they hold on their resumes.

On the flip side, there were three fields in which employers never listed professional certificates and licenses as a requirement for employment. Job seekers in these fields, however, were still listing them on their resumes.

Among job seekers looking for customer service representative roles, 17 percent of job seekers listed certificates and licenses on their resumes, while 13 percent of sales associates and 29 percent of software developers did the same. Software developers were perhaps the biggest surprise on this list since there is a wide range of professional certificate programs available for this type of worker.

The lesson for job seekers here is that they should carefully research the value of professional certificates and licenses. For those in a profession where licensing and/or certification of some kind is a requirement, it is critical that job seekers both obtain and list them on their resumes. However, job seekers in other professions might want to weigh the value of these credentials against the cost of acquiring them, since they may not hold weight with employers.

Access additional findings and statistics, plus a free PDF download of the full report, via the 2018 Job-Hopping Report.

Biron Clark

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