How To List Contract Work on a Resume

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated September 24, 2022

Published January 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A resume is a resource that job seekers use to make a good first impression on potential employers. Including contract work experience on your resume can help you demonstrate that you have skills companies desire in employees. If you're looking for a new job, the diverse experience you gained from contract work could be invaluable to an employer. In this article, we discuss how to list contract work on your resume to help you get attention from hiring managers.

Should you list contract work on your resume?

It helps to include your contract work experience in your resume as proof of your expertise. Contract work may have equipped you with a variety of skills, such as learning and adapting to new environments quickly, which can be very useful to your employer.

Another significant reason to include your temporary work experience in your resume is to eliminate employment gaps. By listing contract work on your resume, you can show what you were doing in periods between full-time employment. It may also propel the hiring manager to see you as a resourceful person. The work experience is legitimate, so don't deny yourself a chance to market your skills.

Related: Why Is a Resume Important?

How to list contract work on your resume

If you decide to include contract work on your resume, here are the steps to do so:

1. Decide on a listing method

There are several ways to list contract work information on your resume. Regardless of the method you choose, try to ensure that you list the individual jobs clearly. Listing the work individually gives you a chance to chronologically arrange the jobs. This creates a more cohesive picture of your past work and might make it easier for hiring managers to comprehend. Use reverse-chronological order by starting with your most-recent contract gigs first.

The essential details to include are the specific company you worked for, the job title or position you had in each contract and the duration of each contract.

2. Group jobs by industry

Grouping each job by its industry allows you to show the relevancy of each position to the job that you're applying for. You can organize the work under one heading, such as a consulting business or staffing agency, to ensure continuity. This also makes it easier for interviewers to scan and understand the relevance of your work experience to their organization.

3. Be clear

Try to offer clarity regarding what types of contract positions you held and the companies you worked for. For instance, if you worked at a staffing company, you can start by stating the staffing company that hired you and then name the individual companies you were engaged with. However, it's good to clarify that the staffing agency was your employer and you worked on the various projects on their behalf. Including the name of the companies that you worked for in your resume may help to stamp authority, especially if the organizations are reputable industry leaders.

4. Emphasize your achievements

As you list your responsibilities in each temporary job, it's also good to include your achievements. Employers are interested in seeing the value you added to each of the companies you worked for, and this is indicated by your accomplishments. Try to explain your accomplishments with tangible facts and numbers that quantify your benefits to each employer. They indicate what you might add to your potential employer's bottom line.

Read more: What Is Relative Experience on a Resume?

5. Highlight your skills

Think about the various skills you used in each contract job and come up with ways to highlight them. One great way is to first review the job posting's requirements and identify any job-related keywords. Then, as you pick out the skills gained from contract work, try to find ones that are most relevant for the position you're applying to. While applying online, using the right keywords can help employers find your application in a database.

Related: 10 Steps for Building a Resume

Template for contract work resume listing

While there are many ways to list contract work experience, you can use this template for your resume:

[Name of a staffing agency and its location]

[Include a short blurb that introduces the jobs and the various tasks that you completed during your contract work.]

[Temporary job 1 role or job position during the contract; Name of the company; Contract (duration)]

  • [Work duty/responsibility 1]

  • [Work duty/responsibility 2]

  • [Work duty/responsibility 3]

[Temporary job 2 role or job position during the contract; Name of the company; Contract (duration)]

  • [Work duty/responsibility 1]

  • [Work duty/responsibility 2]

  • [Work duty/responsibility 3]

[Temporary job 3 role or job position during the contract; Name of the company; Contract (duration)]

  • [Work duty/responsibility 1]

  • [Work duty/responsibility 2]

  • [Work duty/responsibility 3]

[Temporary job 4 role or job position during the contract; Name of the company; Contract (duration)]

  • [Work duty/responsibility 1]

  • [Work duty/responsibility 2]

  • [Work duty/responsibility 3]

Examples of contract work resume listings

Here are a few examples of different ways to list contract work on a resume:

Example 1

This format can work if you have only held a few contract positions throughout your work history. Try to list them individually and indicate that each job was temporary by adding the word “temp,” “temporary” or “contract” after the job title. Stick to one format for listing your jobs:

James Harden IT Staffing Inc, Little Rock, AR
Front-end Development; Little Rock Museum of National History; Contract (April 2018 — July 2018)

  • Designed a new website

  • Offered support and website maintenance

  • Developed mobile application

  • Optimized visitor check-in application to ensure maximum speed

Mary Boyd IT Consultancy, Fort Smith, AR
Technical Service Provider; Arkansas Arts Center; Contract (September 2017 — Feb 2018)

  • Monitored system and offered recommendations as per the upcoming needs

  • Developed user support documentation

  • Monitored computer configurations and installed hardware and software

  • Trained 20 staff on how to use system hardware and software programs

  • Maintained records and documentation

  • Served as the chief resource for technical questions

  • Maintained files and databases

IT Gurus Arkansas, Conway, AR
Back-end Developer; Conway Central College; Contract (January 2017 — June 2017)

  • Collaborated with five front-end developers to create the college website

  • Defined and communicated technical design elements

  • Trained, supported and helped 20 junior IT members of the team

  • Conducted UI tests and optimized system performance

  • Participated in educational seminars and school programs

Example 2

This format works better if you have worked on temporary jobs over a long duration. The best way is to group them together, especially when you held similar positions, worked in the same agency or conducted similar tasks during each contract. You can group multiple jobs with one agency posing as the employer and have an introductory blurb that explains your assignments during that period:

Health Staffers Inc, New York, NY (2016 — Present)

Medical Receptionist — Front Desk (Temp.)

Health Staffers contracted me Inc. to work on a contract basis as a receptionist for their medical institutions within the greater New York City Area. I performed a wide range of diverse secretarial duties including maintaining files and filing systems, scheduling appointments, managing office inventory supplies and greeting and checking in patients.

  • Great Well health Labs, New Hyde Park, NY (May 2018 — Present): Fixed up to 60 appointments per day working alongside two or three more receptionists at the busiest medical lab in New York. Answered over 80 calls each day.

  • Acadia Medical Group, Islandia, NY (January 2017 — May 2018): managed the schedules of 10 OB/GYN specialists, often fixing appointments at a moment's notice. Assisted to digitize medical records and manage health records belonging to over 1,300 patients.

Tips for your contract work resume listings

Here are some general tips to help you list contract work on your resume:

  • Quantify your experience**.** The more numbers you can add, the better. This can include fewer costs, increased customer satisfaction, more revenue or even individual role details such as calls answered, clients handled per day and so on.

  • Show your skills. Identify the skills your employer seeks and showcase how you applied them to benefit your past employers. The work examples you give serve as proof that you can be a valuable employee.

  • Be creative. Find creative ways to showcase your achievements and dedication to your work.

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