Temporary positions are important in today’s workforce for a variety of reasons. Not only can temp jobs be used to fill in gaps between full-time employment, but certain temporary jobs can even add valuable career experience to your resume. The challenge, in this case, is portraying your temporary employment in a positive light when writing a resume meant for a full-time position. While you certainly don’t want to paint yourself as a job hopper, you also want to provide as much detail as possible of your past achievements – even those from temporary assignments.

Show Your Temporary Experience in a Positive Light

Although some job seekers may shy away from listing any temporary jobs on their resume, such positions can actually be helpful to your cause. Not only does it show professional versatility as well as the ability to adapt to new work environments and learn new concepts, it definitely displays a certain amount of initiative and self-motivation on your part, too.

During the interview process, try not to downplay your temporary experience. Instead, try to maintain a positive and upbeat attitude when discussing your prior temp jobs with the interviewer or hiring manager. Showcase what you’ve learned from your experiences, including any solid skills, work ethic or life skills. Doing so can go a long way in portraying your temporary experience in a positive light.

Identify Individual Companies Over Staffing Agencies

While it is always a good idea to denote temporary employment, most career counselors agree that you should always list your experience according to each individual company as opposed to the temp agency that hired you.

However, professionals do reiterate the fact that the actual longevity of a position should be used to determine how it is listed on your resume. Assignments that last only a week or two can certainly be described in a bullet point under the temp agency’s title, but any temporary jobs lasting more than a month should be listed as their own separate listings.

Some temporary jobs, especially those which carry the same title or daily responsibilities, can even be lumped together under one entry. Not only will this save space on your resume for detailing your long-term jobs, it can also take the focus away from longevity and toward actual experience.

Use a Functional Resume

Those who have relied on numerous temporary positions throughout their career, or those who have learned most of their skills through temporary assignments, may consider opting for a functional resume instead of the traditional chronological approach. The functional resume provides a tactful way of downplaying the temporary status of your previous positions while focusing the spotlight on the skills and knowledge you’ve learned throughout your career.

Instead of listing individual achievements in bullet points underneath their corresponding company listings, the functional resume separates your achievements according to the skills or expertise used. Your exact positions, including company names, specific job titles and dates, are all listed in a separate section and typically at the end of the resume.

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