How to Put Temp Work on a Resume

Knowing how to put temporary work on your resume can be the difference between landing a job and getting stuck with a black guy on your resume.

Every week, TopResume’s career counseling expert, Amanda Augustine, answers user questions like the one below from Quora And ours Ask Amanda form. Amanda, a Certified Professional Coach (CPCC) and CV Writer (CPRW), has been helping professionals improve their careers for almost 15 years. Do you have a question for Amanda? Post it here.

Q: How can I make my temporary job look good on a resume?

For the past 8 years, all of my jobs have been temporary work or contractor through an employment office. How do I put “achievements” in my resume when all my work seems like just “doing?” – Gail

Knowing how to put temporary work on your resume – and make them look impressive to hiring executives – can be the difference between landing a job and getting stuck in a black guy resume. It may seem impossible to list your temporary jobs in a way that would portray you as “achieving” versus “doing,” but there are things you can do with this work experience to prove your worth to a potential employer.

How to write your temporary job in a resume

First, you will need to decide if it would serve you better to list each temporary job as a separate appearance within your work experience or group them together. This is one of those judgment calls that a professional resume writer is particularly good at helping his clients do.

How to Register Temporary Jobs in a Resume: Example 1

In general, if you only have a few short-term or contract positions throughout your work history, then it is best for you to list each position in a separate entry. Be sure to include the word “temporary”, “temporary” or “contract” next to the job title to explain to the reader why your employment with this company was so short. In addition, this is one of the times when it is probably best for you to write down your start and end dates using both month and year. No matter what format you decide to use for temporary jobs in your resume, make sure you are consistent.


Medical Receptionist – Reception Desk (Temporary) | March 2018 – July 2018

  • Answer…

  • signed up…


Office Receptionist (Temporary) | September 2017 – February 2018

How to Register Temporary Jobs in a Resume: Example 2

If, like Gail, your employment history is dominated by temporary work and a contract, then your best bet is to group your temporary jobs together. This works especially well if all of your temporary roles were arranged through the same agency, if you had similar degrees, or if you performed similar roles during each assignment.

When you group several temporary jobs in your resume, list the agency as your employer, write an advertisement explaining the types of tasks you were given during that period, and then include a list of bullet points that draw attention to the tasks you performed that are most notable or best at demonstrating your skills. Depending on your situation, you may choose to list in relief any temporary contract agreement and dates of your employment with the company or not.


Medical Receptionist – Reception Desk (Temporary)

Was contracted by the Personnel Agency Robert Halff to work on a temporary basis as a receptionist for many medical facilities, including hospitals, private physicians and medical laboratories, throughout the New York area. Performed a variety of secretarial roles including, but not limited to: scheduling appointments, welcoming and auditing patients, maintaining files and filing systems, and managing office equipment inventory.

  • Northwell Health Labs, New Hyde Park, New York (March 2018 – July 2018): Answer more than 60 phone calls a day at one of Long Island’s busiest medical labs. Checked 30-50 patients each day, often working with three or more people at any given time.

  • North Shore-LIJ Medical Group, Iceland, NY and North Babylon, NY (September 2017 – February 2018): Schedule management for 10 OB / GYN physicians working from two locations, and often reschedule appointments on instant notice. Helped keep records of more than 1,200 patients and digitize vital medical information.

How to make your temporary job look impressive

Look, do not tell

When recruiters evaluate candidates during the job search, they look for proof of relevant skills. After all, it’s one thing to say you’re a great multitasker or you thrive in a fast-paced work environment, but it’s another thing to be able to back up those claims in your resume with job examples.

Once you have made a list of the soft and hard skills required to perform the job you are looking for, look again at each position you have held and identify where and how you used these valuable skills to benefit previous employers.

Find the drama

For some professionals, such as those involved in sales or finance, it can be relatively easy to position yourself as “successful” versus “doing” in recruiting executives. Instead of listing responsibilities, these professionals should focus on sharing the results they have achieved for each employer while performing their responsibilities. Click the following link for more information on how to position yourself as “successful” versus “doing” in your resume.

If you are working at a beginner level or if much of your experience is temporary work, you will need to be creative if you want to describe your seemingly boring temporary work in a way that will make it interesting to recruit executives. In an article written by my friend, Danny Robin, on how to make any job look extraordinary, he advises job seekers to ask themselves the following questions:

According to Robin, every job has moments of stress or high emotion. Use these opportunities to demonstrate how You have the skills required to perform the job you are looking for. Your goal is to provide proof of your skills and describe them in a way that recruiting managers will find them interesting.

Consider which of these sentences sounds better to you:

  • Schedule management for 10 OB / GYN physicians working from two locations, and often reschedule appointments on instant notice.

  • Scheduling appointments for patients on time.

Recruiters think so too.

You quantified your temporary experience

Any job on your resume will look more impressive when you can add numbers. If you are unable to talk about how your work has led to more revenue, less costs or an increase in customer satisfaction, use numbers to give recruiting managers a better sense of the work you have done and the environment in which you have worked. It can include, but is not limited to:

  • Calls you answered or made on a given day.

  • People you have supported, checked in or sent questions to.

  • Emails you sat on.

  • Products or product categories that have helped replenish inventory on the shelves.

You taped the idea. Make a list of your work responsibilities. Next, look for places where you can add numbers to provide a clearer picture of the work you have done.

Find out if your resume positions you as a “doer” or “achiever” with our free resume review.

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