Should You Include Temporary Positions on a Resume?

 

A very common question indeed! Many of us have worked a temporary, seasonal or holiday, contract, or other short term job (or two – or ten) in our work history.  What’s the best strategy for listing (or not including them) on a resume, though?

 

 

Here’s why you might want to put a short term job on your resume:
  • They fill job gaps to keep employers from wondering what you were doing in that void if you leave them off, especially if it’s been awhile since your last long term job
  • Hopefully they may even show you have certain skills you gained from that short term job (even transferable skills count for something)
  • Especially if you have very little experience in that field, or with that type of work, even 3 months experience is better than none!
There are exceptions where it may be better to leave a temporary position off your resume:
  • If you were fired it may not matter or be wise to include it (especially if the job gap is small)
  • If it is completely irrelevant to the work you seek now (and you otherwise have a strong work history in your field already)
  • If it hasn’t been very long since your last longer term position, it isn’t necessarily needed to fill that job gap on your resume with a temporary, unrelated listing on your resume (and it wouldn’t necessarily be wrong to include it, either – this is often up to the client’s preference)

The ultimate decision on whether to include a temporary job or seasonal position, or other short term work on your resume is unique to each person and their work history, the job itself, and current goals, but these guidelines should help you decide.

 

The two biggest tips I’d suggest for including these types of jobs on your resume are:
  1. Put the word “Temporary”, “Contract”, or “Seasonal” in your job title on your resume. (EX:  Temporary Office Manager or Seasonal Sales Associate) This easily & simply explains why your dates of employment were relatively short (so the employer doesn’t think you’re just a job hopper!
  2. If you were hired into a permanent position from a holiday or other short term job, make sure to note that, too – that’s a good sign!

 

Lastly, here’s a few ways to list your temporary jobs on a resume:

EX:

Sales Associate, XYZ Company, Anytown, IL, 11/2017 – present
  • Hired to full-time position from holiday/temporary position (11/2017 – 1/2017)

EX:

ABC Corp., Your City, CA, 2015 – 2017
   Office Manager (2015 – 2017)
   Temporary Administrative Assistant (via Kelly Services) (2015)

 

Also check out these related posts: Addressing a Job Gap on Your Resume and Re-entering the Workforce After an Extended Absence

 

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