Skilled laborers and tradesmen take on contract and temporary positions for a variety of reasons. Some need the flexibility to handle other responsibilities, such as family or education. Others trying to combat high unemployment or a weak economy, supplement their search for permanent employment with temporary jobs. Whatever your reasons, temporary jobs can pose an interesting challenge when it comes to your resume. Here are a few tips for formatting all your work experience on a resume, which will allow you to highlight your unique and expansive skills and abilities.
3 Options for Building a Resume with Temporary Work
Option 1: List the staffing agency as your employer.
First, add your dates of employment with that firm, not with the contract jobs. Then, underneath that information, list the company names that served as your temporary jobs and the responsibilities you carried at each of those sites.
- List work experience chronologically. Be sure to start with your current or most recent job and work your way back. Avoid explaining your reasons for accepting temporary work on the resume; those conversations are best saved for the interview.
Option 2: Arrange your work experience categorically.
In other words, list your contract positions under a similar heading. For example, if you have served as a construction laborer, electrician and equipment operator, make those general titles your headings and then list the specific companies underneath.
- Be sure to place the spotlight on any leadership or supervisory roles you took on. List these first and give them the focus of your resume. Also, take the time to highlight your achievements, new skills learned or trainings taken on in each of these categories.
Option 3: Focus on skills.
To avoid giving the impression that you’re a job-hopper, you may want to consider organizing your resume by skills. Consider all of the degrees of complexity involved with positions as an AC installer. List the top five or six major skills, provide a few brief sentences explaining your knowledge in these areas, and then list the companies where you employed these abilities.
- While you want to show your future employer that you are committed to full-time employment, you definitely don’t want to falsify your experience. Be sure it is clear that you were a contract worker. If you want, you can explain your reasons for temporary employment in a cover letter or wait to discuss that in the interview.
Option 4: Group jobs under the heading “Contract Experience.”
Let’s say you had substantial, permanent employment one-to-two years ago. Since then, you have taken on various temporary or contract positions. Bundle those work experiences under a separate label for contract or temporary work, while listing your full-time positions on their own.
- Think of a resume as your personal marketing tool. Find a way to describe every experience as a positive one, regardless of time spent in employment with that company. However, if the contract job does not add skills to your resume and you were there for less than six months, consider whether it needs to belong on the list.
In today’s world, many construction workers and skilled laborers prefer contract work, and they aren’t the only ones. Website developers, marketing coordinators, drivers, teachers and many others build solid, full-time careers out of multiple part-time and contract jobs. Showing your versatility can be a plus, if presented professionally on your resume. Emphasize what you gained from the job, along with what that employer gained from you.
At CCS Construction Staffing, we understand the different reasons tradesmen and skilled laborers want contract and temporary work. Our job is to match you with the opportunities that help you build your resume and add depth to your career. Looking for a new opportunity? Ready to diversify your skills? Give us a call. We’re here to help you find the right fit for your needs – permanent, contract or temporary.