How To Address Contract Employment On Your Resume

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Resume tip: In the information technology business, it is very common for people to work on short-term or long-term contract assignments. People often work on contract assignments because they have a strong preference to do so. Sometimes however people work on short-term contracts as a way to earn income when they are in between permanent positions.

In either case, if your resume includes a mixture of permanent and contract employment, you should “always” indicate on your resume when a position is contract after the job title. (i.e. Project Manager, Contract Position or Consulting Position.)  The reason you want to let the reader know if the position is a short-term contract role is simple. There is an expectation that a contract or consulting role is temporary. When a lot of your employment in the past has been long-term, permanent positions however and then you indicate 3 positions over a period of 18 months on your resume that do not mention they are contract, it will absolutely give the resume reader the impression that you are a “job hopper” and that’s never good.

Over the years, I have had numerous hiring managers question me about the frequency of a candidate’s job changes. Sometimes there are perfectly valid reasons such as a lay-off or a restructuring. Everyone can relate to that especially during periods of economic decline.  If there are too many job changes though that will always  be a “red flag” or reason for concern and is frequently cited by hiring managers as a reason “not to hire” an otherwise highly qualified candidate.

By indicating on your resume that one, two, or three positions were contract or consulting roles, the “job hopper” issue is immediately addressed and dismissed as not being a concern. Most successful information technology professionals have at one time or another worked in a contract capacity at some point in their career as well. By indicating which positions you worked at that were contract or consulting roles, the issue of being a “job hopper” is immediately dismissed as not being a major concern.

By: Walter Colgan