En Route: A Career Blog

If Your Jobs Have Mainly Been as a Contract Worker

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
CATEGORY: , , ,
POSTED: November 3, 2010 at 11:36 am

Temporary (contract) employees are the wave of the future. Companies no longer have to worry about benefits or keeping someone on who doesn’t fit in with the corporate culture. Of course, that leaves many individuals with ten or more short-termed positions to detail on a resume.

Although it seems daunting and impossible to attract a hiring manager’s attention with that kind of data, it can be done.

1.  IF YOU’VE WORKED SIX JOBS THROUGH ONE TEMPORARY AGENCY, LIST THE AGENCY’S NAME AS THE EMPLOYER:

Technically speaking, the agency – not the company where you actually do the work – is the employer and should be listed as such. If you’re like most contract workers, you do the same job for a number of companies, and you should detail those duties one time only beneath your job title, which will also include the employer list. For example:

FIRST STAFFING AGENCY, White Plains, New York, 2001 – Present
Administrative Assistant
(XYZ Company, RRT Company, ABC Company, & CDF Company)
* Generate correspondence for staff and senior executives.
* Answer telephone inquiries.
* Maintain inventory of office supplies.

The above is organized and provides relevant data without repetition.

2.  USE THE OPENING SUMMARY TO PROMOTE THE SKILLS IT TAKES TO SUCCEED AS A CONTRACT EMPLOYEE:

Showcase your time management skills (especially if you’ve been asked – at the last moment – to accept a position because of an emergency staff shortage), how you thrive on change and meeting new people, what a quick learner you are (every company has its own policies and procedures that new staff must adhere to), and the range of your skills, which have to be comprehensive in order to move from company to company on short notice. In other words, show the hiring manager that you can make a quick, seamless transition from your contract job into a more permanent position at the targeted company.

3.  SHOWCASE ANY CONTRACT JOBS IN WHICH THE CONTRACT WAS EXTENDED OR YOU WERE ASKED TO STAY ON:

Detail why you were offered a permanent position, and where it led – either to a promotion or to increased responsibility. The key is to show the new hiring manager that you have what it takes to get the job done.