Make Sure Your Resume Highlights the Benefits of Your IT Contract Work
Moving from one job to the next is the norm for IT contractors. For those of us who have a great appreciation for the work you do, we see your extensive and varied experiences as a tremendous advantage. We recognize that by settling into a comfy job at a company for several decades, you would never have the opportunity to be exposed to so many different technologies and projects.
Still, as recruiters we often find ourselves explaining to hiring managers that just because a great candidate has a lengthy history of previous short jobs/projects it does NOT mean they are job hoppers. Often if short-term projects are noted on a resume, hiring managers can perceive them as a problem.
Remember that a hiring manager may give each resume just a cursory review and not spend a lot of time in the details. Imagine you’re the hiring manager and you take 20 seconds to skim a resume before deciding if it’s worth any more of your time. Look at your own resume. What do you see?
Here are a few tips to help you make the necessary adjustments:
- If you have a string of short-term projects or consultant roles, consider categorizing them this way. Use a heading like Relevant Consulting Experience – or simply list each role and title – along with the responsibilities, but be sure to include a bold CONSULTANT behind your title. If it was a contract position – note that in your job title. If that doesn’t make sense for your situation, simply include the dates and note that it was a short-term contract position.
- Consider only including relevant contract work on your resume. Hiring managers don’t have time to read pages of information – especially if isn’t pertinent to the role they are looking to fill.
- Demonstrate where you’ve made an impact and showcase your accomplishments. Make it clear that projects were completed successfully and you didn’t leave a wake of uncompleted projects and angry managers in your path. A hiring manager will want to see that you were committed to and followed through on the assignment(s) you were hired for.
- Make sure your resume shows a history of learning new skills & technologies. Emphasize all skills, but most notably those applicable to the role you’re applying for.
- Keeping the relevant skills & experience in mind, consider that it may not make sense to use a chronological resume. It may be to your advantage to start with relevant skills & accomplishments and then follow with the projects & employers that relate to those skills & accomplishments.
By putting these tips to use and focusing less on the number of different roles and more on the skills, experience & accomplishments, you’ll look like a hiring manager’s dream!
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