Temporary employment used to be a relatively uncommon practice, back when most employees worked for the same employers for many years at a time. As the economy has changed, however, career paths have also evolved. Today, many workers find themselves working at short-term jobs. While this is now common, it can present some challenges for your resume. It is important to understand how to include temporary employment in your resume in a positive way.
The Challenges Temporary Employment Poses for Your Resume
Temporary employment can present some interesting challenges for your resume. Obviously, most employers will be reluctant to hire anyone who looks like they simply jump from job to job.
Companies generally value stability, after all. If you have moved from job to job with any great frequency, it may be hard to properly convey your ability to provide reliable value to any new company.
Of course, you almost certainly have valid reasons for your temporary employment. Perhaps you’ve been focused on contract employment for several years.
Or maybe you were caught up in the aftermath of the recent financial crisis and forced to pursue temporary jobs where you could find them. Whatever the reason, it is vital that you know how to list temporary employment in a way that doesn’t make you look like you’re a poor hiring risk.
Do You Need To List Temporary Work on a Resume?
If you worked there for less than 6 months and it won’t create a big gap on your resume – you could leave it off.
We wrote a good post on here on when you can leave a job off of a resume.
How to List Temporary Employment on Your Resume
Of course, you need to know how to format temporary jobs on a resume if you want to maximize their impact. There are several key things to keep in mind when you’re listing these types of short-term jobs:
- A reverse chronological resume may be a good option. While you could use a more creative format to focus on skills, the fact that you had so many different jobs could confuse the employer. With a chronological resume, you can demonstrate consistency in the use of your skill set. See our great post, How to Write a Chronological Resume, to help you with this format.
- This resume format also provides an easy way for you to highlight your accomplishments. Simply list several beneath each job, emphasizing the skills used, new skills developed, and value that you provided to the company.
- Don’t forget the staffing agency. If you were working for a temp agency, list that company as the employer. That can help to demonstrate job consistency, especially if your temporary positions were all obtained through the same agency.
- List individual temporary employment positions beneath the staffing agency. That will help the employer to better understand your job history and creates a more impressive job narrative.
Example of Temporary Employment Listing on a Resume
The following example can help you to better understand how to list temporary employment on your resume. Simply use this template and substitute the information from your positions. As you do so, don’t forget to rely on sound resume-writing techniques, emphasizing value and achievement!
Social Media Consultant, Best Company USA (Aug 2017 – Jan 2018)
– Crafted comprehensive social media campaign to increase online customer acquisition
– Led in-house effort to increase new customer engagement by 43%
– Implemented online sales pipeline that increased company revenue by 12% in Q4 2017.
Branding Specialist, Stronghold Services (Mar 2016- Oct 2016)
– Collaborated with Stronghold’s marketing team to rebrand the company’s online and offline market presence.
– Successfully introduced new marketing program that increased sales force production by 23%
Leveraging Temporary Employment to Your Advantage
The good news is that you can leverage your temporary employment experienced to your advantage – if you learn how. The key is to focus on the skills that you used and developed in those jobs and showcasing them properly in your resume.
Emphasize your accomplishments and quantify the value that you provided to those companies during your employment.
It can be tempting to skip some temporary job listings, especially if you’re concerned about giving employers the wrong impression. That would be a mistake, however. The reality is that most employers understand how tough the job market has been for the last decade.
As a result, they’re often more interested in what you’ve achieved during your employment than whether you’ve been with the same company for several years.