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The Buzz on Job Hopping

Will it hurt you to leave jobs too often?

When Allen Salikof got into the recruiting business 21 years ago, companies wouldn't even interview a candidate whose résumé smelled of job hopping. That attitude has changed dramatically. "In some industries, you have to explain why you stayed at a place for six years," says Salikof, now CEO of Management Recruiters International, one of the nation's largest recruiting firms. If you're a fruit fly, the key to packaging your job history is to articulate why you left. Here is Salikof's list of Raid-proof explanations.

I followed the best and the brightest. Companies want people who bring varied experience to the table. For that reason alone, job hopping makes you more marketable.

I followed the money. No one will argue with a move that gave you a salary boost - - as long as money isn't the only reason why you left.

I followed the promotion. A promotion shows both that you're valued and that you're managing your career aggressively.

I followed my spouse. Employers are typically understanding of this type of move. But they also want to know that your career matters too.

Coordinates: Allen Salikof,

A version of this article appeared in the November 1998 issue of Fast Company magazine.