Job Advice

Don’t Short Change Contract Work on Your Resume

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August 20, 2010
In this economy, it is not unusual for me to review a resume where the most recent position that someone has held was a contract or temporary position.  It is also not unusual to see someone whose resume shows that their last position ended a year ago or more, and then when I speak with them in person they tell me they have been doing contract work in the meantime.  I have been seeing it so much recently that it I would almost call it a trend.  Any time I notice this I will ask the candidate why they are not listing the information on their resume and the most common reason I’m given is that they don’t think it looks good to have such a short term position on their resume.  Really??  So you think it looks better to have a huge gap in employment rather than to show a contract job you held while searching for a full time, direct hire opportunity?  It makes me wonder who these people may have spoken to that gave them the impression that it "looks bad" to have a contract position on your resume?  That person/company is obviously not at all in touch with the reality of today’s market.  As hiring trends continue to lean towards companies filling their Indianapolis job openings with contract staff rather than permanent (for whatever that’s worth) full time employees, people are going to be missing great opportunities to list key employment experiences on their resumes. 

I, and most recruiters, see it as a huge plus if someone was able to secure a contract job while they continued their search for a direct hire job.  It shows to me that they are focused on trying to continue to keep themselves and their skills active, their resumes fresh, and learning new skills, all while still earning a paycheck.  I realize that even contract jobs are hard to come by still, so I’m not putting down those people that haven’t been able to secure anything yet.  I am specifically talking about those that have worked (or are currently working) in a contract job and are leaving it off of their resumes.  In my experience, most recruiters would want to see that experience listed on the resume, even if the position is not 100% relevant to your current job search.  You may be learning or utilizing a skill set that could be transferable to a new position in your area of interest.  Another thing that people forget about when omitting this information on their resumes are the additional references and credibility that can be gained with exposure to other companies and industries. 

If you are in an Indianapolis job search and are curious about how to list contract or temporary positions on your resume, feel free to reach out to us at That’s Good HR.  We’d be happy to help ensure you are putting your best foot forward on your resume.