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Resume Best Practices for Contract Workers

If you’ve worked in several contract or temporary roles, your resume may end up looking a bit different than that of your peers. Consider these tips and best practices to make your resume shine, no matter what your career history looks like.


Make Sure You Customize your Resume

Having just one resume is not recommended. As a contractor especially, you want to make sure you take the time to fine-tune your resume for the specific job you are applying to. Highlight key qualifications and skills that matter for the position in question. Make sure you are highly relevant to their search to make it to the next step in the hiring process. Pull in keywords from the job description to make sure your resume will make it through the search engine round of review before a real person even has the chance to look at your experience and evaluate you for the role. While you will inevitably end up with several resumes if you apply to multiple positions, it’s well worth the extra effort.

Skills vs. Traditional Resumes

You have likely already used a common reverse-chronological resume format that presents your skills and experience in terms of jobs held from most recent to least. But as a professional with several contracts under your belt, chronological resumes may bury your most relevant experience. Skills-based resumes do something different. With a skills-based format, the focus is on your specific skills and technical abilities as they relate to your work history. You can still provide an employment history, usually at the bottom of the page, but the main focus of the document is clearly the experiences and skills that you can bring to a new job.

While traditional resumes are perfectly acceptable, make sure you are highlighting the most relevant experience throughout your work history. Don’t let your resume get overly long through, as recruiters are not keen to go digging through several pages to find what they need. Skills-based resumes are a great option for candidates who have either a limited or expansive work history. In order to keep a resume at just the right length (neither too short nor too long), focusing on relevant skills and the experience to back them up brings a reader’s attention to the most relevant skills for a particular job. This format is a good option for candidates with significant gaps in their work history and those who are changing careers or industries.

Be Thoughtful with your Objective Statement

The objective line in a resume has risen and faded in popularity over the years. Stating clearly what sort of role you are looking to earn by submitting your resume can be helpful in some cases, but in many cases where resumes are sent in response to a specific job opportunity, they can be a bit redundant. For those times when you are sending in your resume to a staffing agency or to a company in hopes that they have an opportunity that would be a good fit, that’s when an objective can be very helpful.


For more tips on how to write a contract-friendly resume, connect with the recruiting team at Bergman Brothers today.