Writing a resume can be challenging enough. However, if you have a mix of full-time and temporary jobs, or mostly temporary jobs, it can be tricky to know how to list them – or if you should include them at all. Here’s a look at the pros and cons, so you can create a resume that works for you.
When to List Temp Jobs & When to Avoid It
In most cases, you should list your temporary work. After all, you don’t want a hiring manager to think you have a big gap in your work history when really you were employed in temporary assignments.
The question is how to list it. For instance, do you list each job separately as its own position, or do you group them together under a “Temporary Jobs” subhead? The decision is up to you, however, it’s one area where a professional resume writer can make the best recommendation.
The only time when listing a temp job can hurt you is if it’s far outside your field. For instance, if you’re applying for a job in accounting, and you took a temp job at a seasonal restaurant to make ends meet, then don’t want highlight it on your resume – unless there’s something relevant to the position you’re applying to.
How to Put Temp Work on Your Resume
If you decide to include your temporary jobs on your resume, you need to approach it properly. Otherwise, your resume might look confusing and messy. Generally, you should list your jobs in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent position.
Next, be sure to state the employer’s name, your job title, and label it as temporary. If it lasted for two months and you don’t indicate it was temporary, you’ll look like a job hopper. Avoid this by calling out your jobs as temporary. Also, list your dates of employment, your duties, and highlight any achievements, just like you would with a full-time job.
Here's an example:
Temporary Receptionist, August 2022-November 2022
- Greeted up to 80 clients and visitors and answered 60+ calls each day, connecting callers with the appropriate individual.
- Prepared weekly bank deposits averaging $72,000.
- Proactively responded to email inquiries from prospects within 24 hours.
- Managed travel arrangements for senior leadership team, consisting of six directors, on a regular basis.
Generally, if you’ve had a couple of positions like these, then you can list them each separately. However, if you worked with a staffing agency and your career basically consists of only temporary jobs, then take a different approach to the way you discuss them on your resume.
Instead of listing them individually, group jobs under the name of the staffing company. This will make it easier for hiring managers to scan and understand.
Here's an example:
ABC Staffing Company, 2018 – Present
Contracted with the staffing company to fill a range of administrative opportunities as a front-end receptionist in industries, such as accounting and finance, as well as marketing and legal. Performed a variety of diverse duties and tasks, ranging from making travel arrangements to answering phones, greeting guests, and managing office supplies.
- 123 Co. (March 2018 – November 2018): List tasks and accomplishments here.
- Smith Mfg. (December 2018 – June 2019): List tasks and accomplishments here.
- Jones Inc. (July 2019 – May 2020): List tasks and accomplishments here.
- Crane Co. (August 2021 – April 2022): List tasks and accomplishments here.
- Smith Mfg. (May 2022 – November 2022): List tasks and accomplishments here.
Whatever way you opt to list your temporary work experience, you want to impress the hiring manager. Besides providing a professional resume that is clear and easy-to-read, also:
Don’t simply list what you do in your temporary roles, but the objectives you helped the company achieve. The more you’re able to paint a picture, using specific examples of the value you added, the better your chances of getting a call for an interview.
Stick to the facts.
You don’t have say you’re a “driven performer” or a “hard-working collaborator.” Anyone can claim these generic statements and there’s no way to back them up. Instead, stick to the facts of what you’ve done and the results you’ve achieved. Hiring managers will take you more seriously, as a result.
Don’t include unnecessary information, like hobbies or personal details. Instead, provide only information that is most relevant to the job. To do that, read through the job description as you’re writing your resume and ask yourself what skills, tasks, duties, and achievements are most important to highlight. This means you’ll be tailoring your resume for each employer, taking more time, but yielding better results.
Need help with temp jobs on your resume?
At ResumeSpice, we work with candidates with many different career backgrounds. Let us help you transform your experience into a clear and compelling resume that helps you land your dream job. Simply call 832.930.7378 or contact us online to get started.