Spotty Work History

Q:

"I’ve held lots of different jobs over the years. How can I assure prospective employers that I’m ready to commit?"

A:

First, consider what might have caused your job-hopping. Was it disorganization? Trouble meeting deadlines or showing up on time? Brainstorm some ways to work around the problem. If you just can’t seem to get to work by 9 a.m., for example, maybe you could find an afternoon shift or a position that offers flexible hours.

Next, think of ways to put a positive spin on your work history. Make sure your résumé details the valuable skills you gained from your various jobs, not just the tasks you were responsible for. If an interviewer asks why you’ve held so many different jobs, you can say something like, “Honestly, none of those jobs was a good fit for me. But I’ve carefully assessed my strengths and limitations, and applied for this position because I’m confident it will draw on my strengths.” Then mention a specific step you’ve taken to correct a personal weakness — for example, “I began using a PDA, and I find that it helps me keep all my appointments.”

Sandy Maynard lives in Washington, DC where she operates Catalytic Coaching. She was instrumental in the development of The National Attention Deficit Disorder Association's Coaching Guidelines and a founding board member for the Institute for the Advancement of AD/HD Coaching (IAAC). Sandy lectures internationally and is a regular contributor to ADDitude.

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