We’ve all heard the old adage – your resume should be no longer than one page. The idea behind this is that recruiters and managers are so busy reviewing resumes that they don’t have the time to be reading through a multi-page resume for a single candidate. While there may be some truth to this, there are ways around it. However, unless you’re fresh out of school or have only worked one job throughout the entirety of your career, it’s virtually impossible to keep your resume to only one page in length – especially for those who work within the IT industry.
As those within the IT industry know, working contract, project and/or freelance jobs is a common practice. The reasons for this are many as contract work comes with many benefits. But it’s not uncommon to see an IT professional work as many as two or three separate jobs within one calendar year. So the question that arises is, how do you list those contract positions on a resume? In the space below, we’ll share what we believe to be the best practices for doing so.
Make it Chronological – First and foremost, your contract work should be listed in a chronological order. When reviewing resumes, recruiters and hiring managers are looking for what you’ve done most recently – especially if they’re looking for a candidate who can “hit the ground running” (which is most often the case). If your most recent experience isn’t listed until page two or three, it can be misleading and disqualify you for a position you may be perfectly suited for.
Add the Staffing Agency as Your Employer – This is something we see candidates get wrong time and time again. When working on a contract assignment, you are working on behalf of the staffing agency, not the company you are assigned to for the duration of the contract. So list the staffing agency as your actual employer and to the right of the agency name list your dates of employment (bolding both).
Include Each Contract Job in a List Under the Staffing Agency – On the lines below, there are three pieces of information you’ll want to include for each position you held: the company you were assigned to, your job title for the position you held, and the length of each contract for each separate position (all in regular or italicized font). Of course, there are a few different ways to list this information on your resume, and it should be done in a way that’s most comfortable for you, but having this information listed in a clear and easy-to-read fashion is vital.
Detail Your Job Responsibilities for Each Job – Finally, and this really needs no explanation, but for each position you should detail your job responsibilities and highlight your achievements for each contract job. These should be listed in bullet point format and they should cover the skills you used and the tasks you performed while on your assignment.
Again, there are many ways to write a resume but the main objective remains the same: to provide a summary of your skills, abilities and accomplishments. By following the advice listed above, you’ll be providing the clearest “snapshot” of yourself in the hopes of securing yourself an interview.
However, we know there are differing opinions out there when it comes to resume writing so what other ways can candidates best list their contractual work experience on a resume? We’d love to hear from you!