How to List Contract Work on Your Resume Why is Listing Contract Work on a Resume Tricky? How to List Contract Work on a Resume How to Reinforce Your Resume as a Contract Worker Conclusion
How to List Contract Work on Your Resume Why is Listing Contract Work on a Resume Tricky? How to List Contract Work on a Resume How to Reinforce Your Resume as a Contract Worker Conclusion
Updated 08/12/2020

How to List Contract Work on Your Resume

Want to make a good impression on your future contractor? Do you dream about having a regular job in one company? This article will guide you on how to list contract positions on your resume to increase your chances of getting hired.

Want to make a good impression on your future contractor? Do you dream about having a regular job in one company? This article will guide you on how to list contract positions on your resume to increase your chances of getting hired.

Contract work is a great way to discover new opportunities, gain new knowledge, and try new activities. However, to further move up the career ladder (after all, a contract does not mean a lack of career development), you need to know how to list contract jobs on a resume to make the right impression on your future contractor or regular employer. We will share some actionable tips to polish your contract worker’s resume.


Why is Listing Contract Work on a Resume Tricky?

There is nothing bad about contract work. And according to recent studies, your chances of getting hired are still good despite the lack of permanent work experience. The following graphic from a Statista research study shows that the proportion of contract workers has remained fairly stable over the past 20 years, except during the 2009 crisis.

A recent study by the BBC revealed that, in the future, there would be more job-specific and contract-based roles. However, mentioning your professional contract position on a resume can be alarming for your employee for several reasons.

Unfortunately, frequent job changes create a certain sense of instability in your preferences and your life in general. Most employers prefer to see stable and dynamic development within one company, so your progress is visible.

In addition, some employers may mistake contract work with you being fired or quitting your job every six months. In this case, the employer is worried that the money they spend on onboarding and introduction would be wasted on you, bringing them zero ROI.

As you can see, there are still some complications, but they shouldn't stop you on your way to your desired position. Your main task is to understand how to put contract work on a resume correctly to avoid misunderstandings. We will break it down for you.

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How to List Contract Work on a Resume

Some employers immediately indicate that they are looking for a person to sign a short-term contract. Others immediately say that they need to strengthen the office team with a person who will work full time. Therefore, before submitting your resume, think about whether this vacancy is suitable for you. Are you ready to leave your previous customers for one new one? If so, here is how to write contract work on a resume step by step.

All in all, it is not as difficult as it may seem at first glance. The most significant difference is that you will have to talk about your experience in more detail.

List Your Jobs in Chronological Order

Of course, as always, you need to start by arranging your jobs in chronological order - from the most recent job backward to the first. As with full-time jobs, a contract worker's resume also allows the prospective employer and HR manager to track progress and evaluate overall work experience.

As for the specific formatting, unlike full-time and permanent employees, which mention only the company’s name and years worked, you will also need to specify the months.

Show the Most Relevant Experience First

If you are a contractor with ten years of experience, you will most likely have a huge number of projects in different industries. When submitting your resume to various job openings, you need to show the best and most relevant experience first.

For example, if you are looking for a job in game development, it is better to show relevant software development experience in one of the first lines. Every time you submit your resume for a specific job, you will need to customize it and make your resume display the most relevant experience first. There is undoubtedly a lot of manual work to be done, so we'll hint at ways to streamline this process.

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Mention the Outstaffing Agencies You’ve Worked With

There is nothing bad about revealing the names of the outstaffing agencies you have worked with. However, in this case, you should mention the agency’s name as your employer, not the name of your real customer, especially if your contract obliged you not to discuss the details of your previous jobs.

Use the following scheme.

The name of the company (the dates of your contract in year-month formatting)
The name of the project (if it is not NDA protected)
1. Your duty 1
2. Your duty 2
3. Your duty 3

Highlight Your Achievements

To make your resume even more visually appealing without losing valuable content, try to diversify the list of responsibilities with your achievements. Given that this list should contain no more than five items, select at least one to show how you succeeded in your previous position. This will help you establish yourself as a desirable expert.

Also, try to use quantitative evidence. For example, "Led the sales department and increased the overall sales level by 25%." Also, use the past tense instead of the present.

Add “Skills” Section

It is important to make a list of your skills after you have listed your positions and responsibilities. The skills section makes it easy for the prospective employer to find your resume on job boards using keywords.

You also need to research the skills required in the vacancy and compare it to the skills you have. The shared skills are the ones you should highlight in the Skills section of your resume. What’s more, you should do it each time you apply for a new position to allow the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to consider you as a worthy candidate.


How to Reinforce Your Resume as a Contract Worker

Indeed, it is crucial to know how to include contract work on a resume; however, two other documents can significantly enhance your self-presentation and increase your chances of getting a job.

Start with Your Cover Letter

Now you know how to mention contract work on a resume. But it is worth remembering that a resume is not the first document that an employer receives. Your self-presentation still starts with a cover letter. Given that this paper does not have strict content requirements use it as an effective way to clear up any potential misunderstandings and allay the employers' concerns we talked about earlier. It is especially crucial when switching to a regular job and attracting the HR manager and the company owner's attention.

In this case, your cover letter may help you clarify the reasons for your choice. Try to do it correctly. For example, if you say that you are looking for stability and calmness, this is not the best option. It is better to say that you are looking for the perfect place to grow or want to work in a well-coordinated team and create value for a company that appreciates your talents and knowledge. What’s more, your cover letter is an excellent chance to answer the following questions:

  • Why do you fit a particular position perfectly?
  • How can you be useful if there is a short-term contract offer?
  • Why did you decide to land a temporary or regular job?
  • Why do you want to work with this particular company?
  • Why are you interested in working on a specific project?
  • What skills do you have to do well in your new regular or contract job?
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Take the Final Shot With Your Portfolio

If you have many successful projects worth showing to a potential employer, it is better to create a portfolio. There are tons of ways to build a portfolio online with dedicated builders, so be sure to do this to improve the impression of you. What’s more, you should tidy it up before applying for a position. Make it as logical as your resume and show your skills development from one project to another.



Employers looking for a long-term employee are not always ready to consider a contract worker. But your chances of getting the job of your dreams are still high if you take the application process seriously and do everything in your power to dispel employers' doubts and establish yourself as a suitable candidate for the position. In this guide, we showed you how to add independent contract work on a resume. Now you know how to structure your “must-have” application document, placing your experience, responsibilities, and positions correctly. Strengthen this document with a cover letter and start delivering your hiring package to the best available vacancies.

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