According to a survey by American Staffing Association (ASA), over three million people work on a contractual basis in the U.S. on an average work week.
With the prevalence of contract employment in today’s society, it is common for job seekers to have multiple jobs in their resume with different employment terms. Mixing up traditional permanent jobs with contract assignments can cause some confusion. Outlining numerous contract jobs in a resume can give the appearance of “job hopping”. Another challenge is how to articulate experience gained on contract assignments without making the resume too long.
Here are some tips to create a resume that effectively highlights contract experience:
- Highlight skills on top of resume:
- Present specific technical skills, fluency, familiarity with industry tools, standards, and terminologies.
- Communicate technical skills at the beginning of the resume to capture the reader’s attention and to optimize keyword matching algorithm in common Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
- Separate direct-hire and contract jobs:
- List positions in chronological order, from newest to oldest.
- The dates of the contract jobs may overlap with direct-hire ones but as long as you specify which are contract and which are direct, it’ll be easier to understand by the reader
- Group contract jobs together, use one date range:
- Using one date range for all contract assignments will alleviate the appearance of “job hopping”.
- Write 2 sentences maximum to describe the responsibilities of the contract job and your achievement.
- Utilize the expertise of a recruiter who specializes in contract jobs
- Working with a recruiter, specifically those who are familiar with contract employment to maximize experience gained on contract jobs.
For help with making a resume or if you’re in the job market for a new engineering career, visit our Job Board or reach out to one of our technical recruiters at (408)246-5945 or (714)708-3639!