Contingent work has a number of advantages – including flexibility, variety and the ability to quickly acquire new job skills. But when you list your assignments one after another on your resume, the result can appear, well, a little disjointed.
And that’s definitely not the way you want to present yourself to a potential employer.
If you’ve been temping for awhile, you’re not wrong to be concerned that employers may question your level of commitment to a full-time job if your resume makes you look like a job hopper. At the same time, however, you don’t want to be dishonest when describing your work experience or look as if you’re trying to hide something.
It’s a bit of a conundrum, right?
But it’s one that’s fairly easy to straighten out! Today, our Cool Springs employment agency shares some practical strategies for presenting your temporary work experience in the best possible light:
Take an Instagram approach.
Just as you might try out several filters before posting a new pic to your account, you should consider several potential formats for your resume. This earlier post covers the most common resume formats used today.
Devise a strategy for showcasing your experience.
- Who should you list as the employer? Name the staffing firm as your employer, detailing your accomplishments at various assignments beneath it (you can include employer names there). Working through one staffing service over a long period of time demonstrates your loyalty and conveys a more stable job history. Multiple assignments through one agency provide evidence of your success (after all, a staffing agency wouldn’t place you on subsequent assignments if you tanked on earlier ones).
- How many assignments should you include? Relax – you don’t need to list all assignments if there have been many. Choose a few key jobs, name the companies and describe what you did for them (focusing on accomplishments, skills gained and results achieved). If you have a history of multiple short-term assignments, you might want to choose a more narrative approach, organizing content by function and describing your overall skills and abilities. Provide supporting evidence by citing measurable accomplishments at specific companies.
- How should you organize the content? This is where the resume format you choose matters most. For example, a functional resume might be the right approach if you have multiple assignments in which you performed similar roles. Use a job title or category as your headline, and then bullet related assignments beneath them, describing your contributions. More than one assignment in a single job category suggests depth of experience.
Leverage your cover letter.
Designed to work in tandem with your resume, your cover letter should answer this all important employer question: “Why did you choose to work as a temporary employee?” Make sure your letter highlights the value temporary jobs offered you, focusing on the ways assignments prepared you to take on the direct role you want.
Ready to make the transition to a direct role?
Wood Personnel is ready to help. Let your recruiter know that you’re interested in looking for a full-time position, and he can:
- help you adjust your resume to put your best foot forward;
- provide advice on the best career path for you;
- present direct-hire opportunities that are a good fit for your experience, interests and career goals.