The truth behind jumpy CVs

By Rachel Poon, Consultant – Finance and Accountancy, Links International Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s job market has always been very active, where candidates tend to change jobs every few years.

In fact, in today’s market, you would be considered a somewhat stable candidate if you have been at a job for three years! Have you heard recruiters or HR Managers say that certain profiles are too “jumpy”? Let’s have a look at what candidates and employers need to understand about “jumpy CVs”.


One big red flag that a “jumpy CV” raises is whether the candidate is capable of keeping a job. This may sound harsh, and recruiters try to give candidates the benefit of the doubt, but we also know that not all candidates will be honest about their performance issues. When we see a “jumpy CV”, we often wonder if there is a capability issue or other issues that are stopping a candidate from keeping a job.

On the other hand, technical skills are not the only factor that employers need to consider. There are others, such as personality, interpersonal skills, and even your intentions to stay at a company. One effective way to gauge your commitment is to look at your track record: have you switched jobs often? What are the reasons? Are you willing to invest time and your skills into a company, or are you going to change jobs as soon as somebody offers you a salary that’s slightly higher than your current remuneration?


It is important for hiring managers to understand that many candidates are seeking and capable of keeping a job. With the recent trend of companies restructuring and downsizing, there are many good candidates who have had to leave their companies – again, not because of their abilities. Some of these candidates move to another job, only to go through the same thing again. While it may be easier to hire someone who has a track record of solid performance and commitment to an organisation, to only look at the past may also be saying that management does not look at the potential of their team.

Another question employers usually raise about a CV are gaps between jobs. Sometimes candidates take time off to take care of their families, or simply want to take a break after being with a company for such a long time. Although recruiters and employers need a critical mindset, it is unfair to simply assume that such candidates are just lazy or do not take their careers seriously. It takes a good recruiter to dig deeper than a candidate’s surface value and understand their personalities and priorities. In fact, candidates with a well-balanced lifestyle may be better equipped emotionally to be a higher-performing employee.

As a candidate or employer, what do you think about jumpy CVs? What are the most common misconceptions you have come across? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you’re looking for your next career move, or some advice about what step to take next, do not hesitate to contact us.

Likewise, if you’re an employer looking to hire the best talent to grow your organisation, let us help! Get in touch!