How Do I Include Temp Work in My Resume?

Dear Work Coach,

I have a resume that need tons of help! I am recently graduated with a BA in Psychology and I used to do temp work on vacations. I have almost four years of experience with several companies, but I don’t know how to attractively convey that on my resume. Do you know how I can incorporate my temp experience without seeming totally disjointed?

Appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks!

Chrysa

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Hi Chrysa!

Good question. Many of us, including me, have temped at some point in our careers. And having an attractive and well-constructed resume can make all the difference in getting a great job.

So how do you handle it?

Basically, I think your resume should lead with your education at this early stage of your career. The temp jobs are then handled as plain old jobs, with clear dates for all so anyone can discern that you temped while going to school. Totally normal. As a person who has screened many many resumes, I can assure you we expect to see part-time and temporary work on the resume of someone who went to school.

If you worked for an actual temp agency, you can make that the main company (just as you would with any other) and then use bullets to talk about the companies you temped for and/or roles you held. If the companies were separate engagements, list them that way. They’re simply jobs.

More importantly…really show where you took initiative and mention any problems you solved or projects you managed, even small ones. Emphasize those skills that match skills needed for the job you’re looking for now (adjusting that as you go along to requirements in specific job ads), either exactly or by drawing on similar, transferable skills.

But first…please look at those samples I mentioned or get some professional help. In a tight market, a resume that not only looks great but knows how to sell YOU can get you past the dreaded screening stage – and into the dreaded interview stage. ;-)

Oh…and don’t forget the all-important cover letter while you’re at it. That can make or break you. Those absolutely need to be tailored to the specific job.  And never use the oh-so-annoying “insert company name into form letter” method. Those stand out like sore thumbs!

For more information, here’s one of my posts with some good resume and cover letter tips:

How a New Resume and Cover Letter Got Her the Job Interview!

Good luck, Chrysa! Would love to hear how it goes.

Ronnie Ann

 

About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.

Comments

  1. Nice advice Ronnie Ann! Anyone who’s just out of college should stress his or her education first — unless you have practical work experience in the field in which you’re looking for work. If you don’t, at least show the employer that you have work experience with notable accomplishments. Some employers will at least take a chance on you as long as you’re willing to learn and demonstrate passion for the work you want.

    Good luck Chrysa!

  2. Thanks, Rick! You know I’m a fan. Always appreciate any thoughts you want to add. :)

    Ronnie Ann

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