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Jun 7 2021

4 Ways to List Contract Work on Your Resume

Signature Consultants General

Along with this past year’s many ups and downs, workers of all industries have experienced layoffs, taken on new roles, been furloughed, or stopped working for various reasons due to COVID-19. As a result, many of these workers have explored new types of work arrangements, including temporary or contract work, to diversify their career path and stay employed.

The benefits of contract work are many. In a year in which we’ve had to let go of control in many areas of our lives, contract work puts workers in the driver’s seat. Contract workers get to decide which assignments to accept.

At Signature, a dedicated recruiter helps consultants source and determine the best job matches for their current skills and lifestyle. Consulting work gives workers increased flexibility in both their day-to-day schedules and longer-term career trajectory. Companies will usually seek out contractors for jobs or projects they cannot perform in-house. This means the consultant is often the authority on a particular technology or skill, gaining additional knowledge with every job they complete.

The Challenge of Including Contract Work

Whether you’re considering contract work or currently in the middle of it, knowing how to effectively list your roles and accomplishments on your resume plays a vital part in your professional success. In today’s hiring climate, however, knowing how to arrange a traditional resume to accurately reflect contract work can be tricky, particularly if you are new to this type of work.

This is largely because in a typical resume, work history is listed in chronological order, with job title, employer name, and dates of employment grouped with each job/role. But, when the roles you’re performing or the company you’re working with changes every few months, the traditional resume approach clearly won’t work. You need a fresh approach that accurately reflects the type of work you’ve done and highlights your accomplishments appropriately.

To clear the confusion, we’ve broken down the basics of listing contract work on a resume for you. Below are four ways to clearly and compellingly structure your resume to showcase the contract work you’ve done to potential employers or staffing firms.

1. Organize Contract Work by Parent Company

This approach is the closest to the traditional resume approach, so if you’re in a time crunch, this may be the right approach for you, as it won’t require lots of time. In this method, you’ll list the staffing firm you work with as the “umbrella” company. Underneath that, list the consulting jobs you’ve completed while working with that staffing firm, and underneath that, your major duties and measurable accomplishments while in each role.

For Example:

Work Experience

Signature Consultants (06/2020 – Present)

  • Senior Java Developer (06/2020 – 12/2020)
    • Blue Moon Bank, Nashville, TN
      • Re-engineered Java User Interface and portions of core applications, resulting in additional functionality and scalability.
      • Increased customer satisfaction with bank’s website by 56%, according to user surveys.
  • Job Title (Month/Year – Month/Year)
    • Company Name, City, State
      • Accomplishment
      • Accomplishment

2. Organize Contract Work by Short-Term Employers

If you’re a job seeker who has worked with a variety of staffing firms, done a variety of contract assignments, or both, this is a great way to present all of your experience without spending lots of space showing which staffing firm you were working with during each one.

In this approach, you’ll list all of your consulting jobs in chronological order, separately from any long-term jobs, under the heading “Consulting Jobs.” You can omit the staffing firm you worked with on each job, instead focusing on making room for your major responsibilities and accomplishments while in each role.

For Example:

Consulting Jobs

  • Senior Java Developer (06/2020 – 11/2020)
    • Blue Moon Bank, Nashville, TT
      • Re-engineered Java User Interface and portions of core applications, resulting in additional functionality and scalability.
      • Increased customer satisfaction with bank website by 56% according to user surveys.
  • Job Title (Month/Year – Month/Year)
    • Company Name, City, State
      • Accomplishment
      • Accomplishment

3. Organize Contract Work by Type of Technology

If you have expertise in several different programming languages, you may choose this way of organizing your contract work to better highlight your range of programming skills to potential employers. Or, if you haven’t worked with your favorite technology for a while but would like to get new job assignments that use it, you’ll need to show potential employers you have the necessary skills for it.

In situations like this, grouping your experience by type of project, technology, or language is often the way to go, with the particulars of each role nested underneath. Make sure you’re including relevant certifications either in this area (perhaps as an “Accomplishment” bullet point) or elsewhere on the resume.

For Example:

Work Experience

•  JavaScript Consulting Roles

1. Job Title (Month/Year – Month/Year)
   • Company Name, City, State
   • Accomplishment
   • Accomplishment

2. Job Title (Month/Year – Month/Year)
   • Company Name, City, State
   • Accomplishment
   • Accomplishment

• Cloud Computing Consulting Roles

3. Job Title (Month/Year – Month/Year)
   • Company Name, City, State
   • Accomplishment
   • Accomplishment

4. Job Title (Month/Year – Month/Year)
   • Company Name, City, State
   • Accomplishment
   • Accomplishment

4. Organize Contract Work by Work Category

It’s fairly common for professionals in this industry to have collective experience working as consultants, independent contractors, and long-term employees. But this presents a problem: you must incorporate all of your work experiences into a unified list without confusing the person looking over your resume. To do that, you can arrange your work experience by work type or category.

For Example:

• Consulting Experience

1. Job Title (Month/Year – Month/Year)
   • Company Name, City, State
   • Accomplishment
   • Accomplishment

2. Job Title (Month/Year – Month/Year)
   • Company Name, City, State
   • Accomplishment
   • Accomplishment

•  Independent Contracting Experience:

1. Job Title (Month/Year – Month/Year)
   • Company Name, City, State
   • Accomplishment
   • Accomplishment

2. Job Title (Month/Year – Month/Year)
   • Company Name, City, State
   • Accomplishment
   • Accomplishment

•  Full-Time Positions:

1. Job Title (Month/Year – Month/Year)
   • Company Name, City, State
   • Accomplishment
   • Accomplishment

2. Job Title (Month/Year – Month/Year)
   • Company Name, City, State
   • Accomplishment
   • Accomplishment
 
Is contract work your thing — or do you want to see if it is? Get your job search started on the right foot. Reach out to us today.

About Signature Consultants, LLC

Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the ninth consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is named the 15th Largest IT Staffing Firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 29 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit https://www.sigconsult.com. Signature Consultants is the parent company to Hunter Hollis and Madison Gunn.

Signature Consultants General