Temporary work is nothing to shake a stick at. Whether you’re doing it because you enjoy it, because you just need more experience, or because you’ve been trying to get a foot in the door, there are all kinds of good reasons for taking a string of temp jobs and contract work. But it doesn’t always look too impressive on a resume. Especially since it doesn’t always look like you’ve accomplished much in such short stints. Here are some tips for listing temp work on your resume.
How To List Temp Work on Your Resume
1. Label it as temp
First of all, when you list your temporary positions, be sure to label it as such—either in parentheses or with a hyphen after your title. Otherwise, it looks like you’ve been job-hopping, leaving positions because you lack focus or because you’re bored. Most employers will respect temp jobs, but they won’t want to hire you if it looks like you have a pattern of fleeing from permanent jobs after a few short weeks or months.
2. Group them together
If you’ve had so many temp jobs that to list them all would take up seven pages, then combine them all in one group. If, for example, you’ve used two or three agencies, group each set of jobs for each agency under one heading. Or, if some of your jobs have been similar, group them together according to the type of duties or assignments. Then, you can limit the bullet points to the most notable or common tasks instead of listing every single one.
3. Match the skills to the requirements
Focus on listing your skills and qualifications that match up to the requirements outlined in the specific job your applying for. This means customizing your resume for each job you apply for. Try to echo the same language that the job posting uses so you seem like a perfect fit for the job.
4. Overcome stress
Even though your temp job might seem pretty boring and mundane and you don’t have many achievements to show off, include overcoming stress as an achievement. Think back to moments in your temp jobs when things got tense—trying to meet deadlines or operate under a tight budget—and highlight them on your resume as proof that you have the required skills.
5. Use numbers
Your resume will seem a lot more credible and impressive if you can use real numbers to describe the job you did. How many customer accounts did you handle? How much money did you save? How did you boost the company’s revenue? Or cut your department’s costs? In other words, demonstrate the impact your efforts have had on your employers.
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