As a certified professional resume writer, I often see people sell themselves short on their resume, and one of the most common things people seem to leave off or be embarrassed about is including temporary employment. If you are or have previously worked a temporary or contract position, don’t shy away from highlighting this on your resume. I worked at a temporary recruiting company, so I’ve seen the benefits of it first-hand, but new research shows that this industry employs more Americans than ever. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the temporary help services industry now employs around 2.8 million Americans per week, an all-time high.
Why temporary or contract work can benefit you:
While there seems to be a negative connotation with the words “temporary” and “contract,” these positions can open many doors for you. Contract and/or temporary work can help you in four main ways:
- It will give you current work to put on your resume
- It gives you immediate income while you’re searching for a long term position
- It lets you network with industry professionals
- It gives you the opportunity to show off your capabilities
If you excel at your temporary position, chances are that you will meet people who can a) point you in the right direction, b) know of a job that may interest you, or c) will work with you to keep you at the company but progress to an area that best suits your qualifications.
There is truly no downside to temporary work. While it’s not always smart to take a position in an industry or path you’re not interested in, temporary work gives you the opportunity to explore various options and networking opportunities.
Why it’s important that you don’t shy away from highlighting this on your resume:
Taking a temporary position and including it on your resume highlights your motivation, ambition, and drive to further your career. There are a lot of people who fail to stay active during transitions or times of unemployment, and there are people who strive to further develop themselves and move forward. If you have taken on a temporary or contract role, it shows that you are part of the latter group, and that you have taken charge of your career. Regardless of the situation, you have been able to work with it, get a job, and provide for yourself and/or your family. This shows incredible strength and highlights admirable qualities for a potential employee.
Regardless of the connotation of the word “temporary,” there is absolutely no shame in temporary or contract employment. In fact, it highlights your ambition, motivation to further your career, and your ability to handle any situation handed to you. This is why if you are currently or have previously been employed by a temporary position, it’s so important that you don’t shy away from highlighting this on your resume.