What’s Your Number?



This short romantic comedy that I watched this weekend really got my noggin to thinking about statistics, the numbers that matter. In What’s Your Number? Ally Darling (played by Anna Faris) reads a warning in a women’s magazine that suggests that 96 percent of women that have more than 20 lovers are unlikely to find a husband. She also seemed shocked to learn that the average woman has 10 lovers. You got it, everything these days boils down to the numbers. At least, that’s the way it is with most people. 

On an emotional rollercoaster because she just got fired from her marketing job, Ally believes the warning. She is so lost and confused that she actually slept with her boss after he fired her. While trying to gain some insight on the expert’s opinion that claimed that the average woman has 10 lovers, she inadvertently revealed the number 19 to her girlfriends during their little game. After all the other ladies said their numbers, they found out that Ally had the most lovers (almost double some of theirs). Can you imagine the looks on her girlfriends’ faces as well as all the rude comments about the number of men that she’s been with? How could she explain? Should she explain?

After denying her actual number, she eventually owns her truth. She decides to abstain from sex. No wed, no bed… Because the next man that Ally’s plans to be with will be her husband. In short, she begins looking for the “perfect” man among her exes. Ally wonders whether her number twenty could have been her Mr. Right. This really got me to thinking about how too many numbers in a short period of time can negatively impact our professional life. For instance, did you know that if your career history has too many jobs in a short period of time, an employer may think that you are a job-hopper?

Truth is, no one wants to hire a “professional” job-hopper or some one that’s a flight risk. Seriously, your resume may get sent to the infamous blackhole. You may not make the cut for a phone screen or an interview because HR pros, recruiters, managers, and hiring authorities are trained to look for these types of red flags. Believe it or not, some hiring authorities do not understand that it is normal for teenagers to work several short-term jobs. Concurring with Forbes contributor Liz Ryan, all job seekers need to know how to explain their career history on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

“You can explain your job changes right in your resume. Don’t wait for a job interview to clear up any confusion about why you left one or several jobs after a short period of time. You won’t get that interview if somebody on the employer side is scared away by your job-hopper-esque resume!” – Liz Ryan

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker will work 10 jobs before age forty. And this number probably will increase with the volatile market. Unless you have the perfect career history, you should know how to convey any short-term jobs as well as explain any gaps in employment. Ryan shares sound advices as well as a funny story about her early HR career in the article, How To Explain Why You’ve Had So Many Jobs. It’s a must read. In short, she worked several short-term jobs in her teens. The HR manager wrote “Lot’s of jobs changes” on her application. She actually found it in her personnel file.

Across the top of my application, the HR manager who had been in place when I got hired had scribbled “Lots of job changes!” I laughed out loud reading her words. – Liz Ryan

Anyway, like Ally in the movie, you should write down all the “places” that you have worked in the last five, seven, or ten years. Yes, I said ten years. Some employers actually ask for a ten year employment history. Then check the article because it gives some good examples and sound advice. Own your story. You need to be able to explain it not only on your resume and on LinkedIn, but also during the interview. So, tell me… What is your number? How many short-term jobs have you worked in the last five years? Seven? Ten?  Feel free to comment, like, and share. Until next time…

Keep it 💯

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