In the midst of the Great Recession, many workers have found themselves cobbling together short-term or temp jobs in order to pay the bills. These workers often become very concerned about how this work activity will appear on their resumes. If you’re worried about how to address temp jobs on your resume, take heart—many people are in the exact same situation.
The first thing you should know is the current economy has forced many workers to take jobs for which they are overqualified. It has also displaced many experienced, competent professionals from the workforce. Given this, the stigma once attached to taking a temporary job or a job beneath your qualifications has lessoned greatly. Hiring managers receive resumes all the time from people who are doing the best they can to make it. The most important thing they look for is proof a laid-off worker is being productive with his or her time—whether that’s through obtaining further education, volunteering in the community, freelancing, or working temporary or part-time positions.
I recently worked with a client who had left the full-time workforce for 13 years in order to care of her special needs child. Although she seemed to view this period as a throwaway on her resume, the reality was she had started two successful businesses during that time and had obtained an additional professional certification as well. Rather than perceiving a hole in her resume for the time she’d spent raising her son, I saw an entrepreneur who was determined to provide for her family in the midst of very challenging circumstances.
Likewise, showing temporary work on your resume instills among worthwhile hiring managers the same feelings of compassion. It demonstrates even when times are hard, you have the work ethic to do whatever you can to stay in the game. Hiring managers know there are just as many people competing for those temporary jobs as for their full-time positions—so your having one shows tenacity in and of itself. Wherever you are currently working, you’re contributing something to that company’s operations and bottom line. Including this work on your resume shows you’re a team player and a hard worker—and every company appreciates that.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock