How To List Temporary Work on Your Resume (With Examples)
Updated June 30, 2023
Temp work is becoming more and more common for today's employees and employers. No matter how long you held a temporary position, you should include it on your resume to provide a complete and accurate representation of your work history. What is most important is that you impress hiring managers with the relevant skills you used and the success you achieved while in these roles. In this article, we provide steps and tips you can use to create a compelling list of temp work on your resume.
What is temp work?
Temporary work, or temp work, describes a time-limited employment arrangement. Companies often hire temporary employees through a staffing agency to provide support for a specialized project, a full-time employee's absence or during a high-traffic period. The duration of temp work varies on the employer's needs but can last from days to up to a year.
How to list temp work on a resume
If you have temporary work to include on your resume, use the following steps to format your professional experience section effectively:
1. Use a reverse-chronological format
If you have one to two instances of temp work in your history, then you can list those jobs separately as you would any full-time job. Start with the most recent position you held and move backward from there. Using this format will provide a clear timeline of your work history to the hiring manager.
2. Group similar experiences
If you were employed by a staffing agency to perform at least three temp jobs, then you will need to group these items. You will first list the name of the staffing agency, its location and the duration of your employment. Underneath that heading, provide a brief description of your employment, such as the type of work assignments you completed. Depending on how many temp jobs you held during this time, you may list each company, your position and dates of employment.
Related: Q&A: How Do Temp Agencies Work?
3. Label your temp work
You need to label temp work on your resume to make it clear to the hiring manager why the position was short-lived. As a result, this is especially necessary when listing temp work separately, as opposed to if you are grouping temp work under a staffing agency. Remember, your employment description under the staffing agency should make it clear that they assigned you to temporary jobs.
You can choose to label the experiences as "temporary," "temp" or "contract." Be consistent with the label and place it next to the title of each temporary job.
4. List relevant responsibilities
When listing temp work separately, include at least three bullet points describing the significant duties of the job. If you grouped your temp work, you can similarly list each job and its responsibilities. However, if you held many temp jobs, save space by listing three to five of the most relevant responsibilities across those roles under the description of your staffing agency employment. Your bullet points should demonstrate that you have the skills that the hiring manager seeks. If you need clarification on what the job requirements are so you can tailor your list accordingly, review the job posting.
5. Showcase your achievements
Along with responsibilities, you should include one to two bullet points describing an accomplishment from each position you listed. These accomplishments should prove that you created positive results at work. Use these achievements to demonstrate how you will add similar value to your potential employer. These details will be especially impressive when describing temp work, as it shows that you can solve problems or make an impact within a shorter employment time frame.
Tips for listing temp work on a resume
You can use the following tips to make your list of temporary work experience more compelling:
Align your experiences to the job description. Tailor your resume to each job you apply for by using keywords taken from the job posting. Not only can this help you pass applicant tracking systems, but it will also capture the hiring manager's attention. You want to prove that you have relevant experience to perform the requirements of the job. If the job responsibilities do not align perfectly, focus on how you used the required skills to carry out previous tasks.
Use quantifiable data. Including numbers when describing your responsibilities or accomplishments is an effective way to impress hiring managers. These numbers do not need to be results you created and instead can refer to the number of times you had to complete a specific task, such as greet clients, within a day. These details can provide a clearer sense of your environment and the amount of work you contributed.
Tailor your temp work when necessary. If you have a long list of temp experience, you may want to include only the most relevant roles. This is also beneficial because hiring managers are most concerned about your applicable experience, and you may need to trim your list to ensure your resume stays on one page. Highlight the jobs that match the skills or responsibilities of the one to which you are applying.
Always include the staffing agency. If a staffing agency assigned you to perform temp work for a company, you must list the agency as your employer. This clarification is important because you do not want to misrepresent your work history.
Be proud of your temp experience. Listing temp work on your resume is a great way to show your motivation to work and continue building your skills. Hiring managers will appreciate your willingness to take opportunities that demonstrate your professional abilities, whether it is in a long- or short-term position. Be sure to showcase the value of these jobs in your career and the value you brought to them.
Examples of how to list temp work on a resume
If your professional history includes temp work, you can use the following examples to help you list this experience on your resume:
Limited temp work experience
The following sample will show you how to format your work history section if you have just one to two examples of temporary work on your resume:
Northfield Law Group — Northfield, IL
Receptionist (Temporary) — July 2020-October 2020
Handled confidential information related to cases for over 35 clients.
Provide excellent interpersonal service when greeting clients and answering calls.
Scheduled and confirmed over 50 appointments per month and coordinated catering and other services as needed.
Farrer Law Services — Chicago, IL
Administrative Assistant (Temporary) — January 2020-June 2020
Reviewed over 40 documents each month to support a legal review project and performed redactions to ensure the confidentiality of information.
Performed and managed data entry related to motions, trials and arbitration.
Handled over 25 client calls and inquiries per day.
Temp work experience through a staffing agency
The following sample demonstrates how to format your resume when you have been employed by a staffing agency for multiple instances of temp work:
Super Staffing Company, Chicago IL — January 2019-Present
Contracted by the staffing firm to perform multiple assignments related to administrative duties on a temporary basis for multiple medical facilities and practices in the Chicagoland area.
Front Desk Receptionist, Heckman Medical Center (April 2020-October 2020)
Made over 40 calls per day to confirm appointments, give post-appointment follow-up instructions and provide other assistance.
Filed and maintained records of over 800 patients, ensuring the accuracy and confidentiality of information.
Greeted over 25 patients per day and prepared them for appointments by providing necessary forms to fill out and verifying insurance.
Medical Receptionist, Waukegan Health Group (January 2020-March 2020)
Scheduled and coordinated daily appointments for eight physicians across two offices.
Maintained and digitized records for over 1,000 patients.
Greeted and checked in over 50 patients per day while providing friendly and efficient service.
Medical Receptionist, Chicagoland Pediatrics (November 2019-December 2019)
Answered over 50 calls per day to confirm and schedule appointments, using agility when needed for rescheduling purposes.
Helped register first-time patients by using the practice's digital record system and supplying necessary forms to fill out.
Ensured maintenance and organization of the reception area, performing hourly check-ins and clean-ups.
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