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Including Temp Work on Your Resume: A Bad Idea?

Including Temp Work on Your Resume: A Bad Idea?

You contacted your temporary staffing agency to help you find a contingency position while you searched for full time work. Smart move! Because of that single phone call or email, you were placed in a temporary position that helped you keep your skills fresh and your finances under control while you planned your next long term career move…but along the way, you made connections in your temporary position. You put down roots. You stayed longer than you expected to, and eventually you were assigned to another employer where the same thing happened again.

So now what? You’re still looking for a full time position that take your career to the next level and provide the stability you need, but how should you describe your adventures in temping as you draft your resume? Here are a few tips that can help.

1. By all means, include this chapter.

Without your temp work, your resume reveals a gap (possibly a large gap) between one stint of full time work and the next. This isn’t a problem for most responsible employers, who will ask you about the gap before dismissing you outright…but not all employers are responsible. And not all of them have the time to contact you and ask what you were doing this omitted chapter. So don’t miss an opportunity. Include your temp work, and provide plenty of detail.

2. Explain relevance and provide connections.

Draw clear lines between the responsibilities you handled during your temporary tenure and the needs of your potential employer. Don’t expect your reader to make these connections on his or her own. Use the exact wording used in the job post, for example: if these employers require a candidate with three years of application development experience or iOS proficiency, use those exact words to explain that you used these skills in your temporary role.

3. List every employer separately.

Technically, you were employed by your temporary agency during this chapter (not the agency clients to whom you were assigned), but list each temporary assignment separately. This will help your readers and reviewers understand the true scope of your accomplishments and responsibilities.

For more on how to use your temporary assignments to your advantage and leverage your contingency experience to gain full time position, contact the staffing and career development pros at Techneeds.