Resumes are hard. Technology workers can be exposed to a variety of software and hardware combinations over the years, which can make a resume run too long. Today’s job market includes freelance and contract work, in addition to full-time roles. All of this can make a resume read poorly or make it overly complex. How can you increase the readability of your resume when you’ve had a variety of contract roles and job experiences?
First, Should You Even List Contract Work?
Some employers may have an unconscious bias against contract workers, even though freelance, contract, and temporary jobs are growing in popularity for both employers and workers. Hiring teams may look at a variety of six-month or one-year engagements as job jumping, when, in fact, it gives the worker valuable experience they could bring to a full-time role. But there are ways to list these positions so that they show you in the best light.
Here’s the truth, though; independent workers are now taking over the modern labor market. Brookings reports there are currently 15.5 million U.S. workers that take advantage of something other than full-time employment. There are all kinds of new models that are different from traditional full-time roles. The research tells us these numbers are increasing.
Resume Tips for Contract Workers
Consider that leaving contract work off your resume might leave gaps in your resume that will make you look even worse than listing a contract role. It’s always easier to find a job when you have a job. Here are a couple of tips for highlighting these skills:
- If you’ve been contracting for the same company for a while, but working at a variety of client sites, make sure you list the staffing agency or consulting firm (employer) first with the full time you worked there. Then, with bullets, list out each company they contracted you to, your title, and a compelling story about what you learned at each job.
- If you completed multiple projects for the same employer, list all of that work under the same company name.
- If you were exposed to specific technologies in a role, try to highlight them in the descriptions of what you accomplished.
- If you took on roles as a freelancer, list that separately on your resume along with the employers you did work for and what you did.
Don’t skip the contract, temporary, or freelance work, but do list it chronologically, so there are no gaps in your work history. As in any job, highlight your compelling story including your achievements and any promotions you received. If you’re applying to a specific role, try to use some of the same keywords you see in the job description or advertisement. Always try to tailor your resume in this way to improve your chances of being invited to an interview.
Blackstone knows that alternative work arrangements offer big benefits to employers and employees. That’s why we work with companies to tailor a variety of great jobs from full-time to contract in the technology field. Contact us for resume advice and to start you on your next career path.