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Do I Need to Update My Resume With a Temporary Job?

Knowing what to include on your resume can present a tricky puzzle. You want it to be as thorough as possible…but also pithy and concise. You want it to be impressively broad…but also inviting and easy to read.

This balance is even harder to strike when you have numerous temp assignments under your belt. Do you need to update your resume with every temporary job?

In general, you want your resume to be as comprehensive as possible. For one thing, you don’t want any long gaps. Those unexplained holes in your work experience can throw up a red flag for employers. They don’t necessarily become deal-breakers, but they can get your resume moved from the “yes” pile to the “maybe” group.

However, you don’t want your work history to become confusing or overwhelming. Besides, jumping around to too many jobs can present its own red flag. Overstuff your resume with every temp assignment and you could end up undermining your chances.

These factors mean that creating a stellar resume requires balance and a discerning eye. You want to keep everything that matters while eliminating the clutter.

But how do you make those determinations? To figure out whether you need to update your resume with a temporary job, ask yourself the following questions:

Have You Had the Job Long Enough?

Not every temp assignment is substantial enough to list on a resume. You don’t want to overwhelm hiring managers with every minor position. Too many bullet points and their eyes will glaze over. What’s more, you’ll bury the more substantial experience you earned elsewhere.

For that reason, only include longer-term assignments. A two-week stint cleaning up some random company’s filing system doesn’t make for a compelling resume item. Similarly, if your position would list as “Dates Employed: February 2020 to February 2020,” then you should probably skip it.

Did You Earn Valuable Experience?

Imagine that you are writing your memoir. You are trying to explain how you became the person you are. You want to detail what experiences added most to your personality or to your overall breadth of knowledge. Would this temp assignment come up in that narrative?

To put it another way, what did you gain from your time at the temp assignment? You want your resume to provide an accurate description of your overall value as an employee. If a gig didn’t add to that value at all, then it’s probably not worth listing.

Does the Company Have a Good Reputation?

Your experience in a temp job isn’t the only test you should use. Also, look at the company itself. You want to associate yourself with well-respected organizations.

In some ways, this can act as a tie-breaker. If you had a short-term assignment at a big-name firm, you might consider adding it to your resume. The experience itself might not merit the mention, but you could get a boost from name recognition.

On the other hand, if you had an interesting experience with a shady company, you might consider leaving it off. You may have learned a lot, but you don’t want to be forced to make excuses for a company that you really had little to do with.

Would Your Boss at the Temp Assignment Give You a Good Recommendation?

Before we get into this one, start with an even simpler question: would your boss even remember you?

Some assignments exist as temp revolving doors. Workers come in…workers go out. These anonymous assignments usually don’t do much to improve your hiring appeal. In other words, if you’re only vaguely remembered as “mustard-stain shirt guy” or “girl who jammed the copier every day,” you probably shouldn’t add the position to your resume.

Beyond that, though, make sure your boss at the temp assignment remembers you fondly. Your prospective employer might check up on you. If you had any conflicts or didn’t put in your best work, best just to leave the line-item out of your work history.

Temp assignments provide a great way to fill out a resume. A strong staffing agency, like SmartTalent, can put you into ideal situations to compliment your work history.

Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.


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