Writing a Resume to Highlight Contract Experience
Contract experience can be vital when it comes to growing your skills and moving your career forward. However, highlighting that experience on a resume can be difficult and intimidating for many IT contractors. Will hiring managers understand the short-term nature of your positions? Will you be labeled a job hopper? These fears are valid as a contractor’s resume can span easily span several pages. However, if you approach your resume with a strategic eye, you can stand out to hiring managers for all the right reasons.
Make Your Contract Experience Clear as Day
Hiring managers scan resumes quickly, looking for key skills and experience. They cannot simply infer from such a scan that a candidate is an experienced contractor. In order to make it clear, be sure to use the word “Contract” in the job title and include the length of your contract for each position. For example instead of writing:
Database Administrator, ABC Corporation, New York, New York (January 1 – June 30, 3015)
Opt for this wording instead:
Contract Database Administrator (6 Month Contract) | ABC Corporation, New York, New York
This makes it clear that you were hired as a contractor for a set period of time and eliminates the assumption that you simply hopped to the next job after six months.
Create Concise Job Descriptions
Contract positions can make a resume look like a manuscript. If you held four contracts per year over the last five years, that adds up to 20 positions you must describe on your resume, not counting any previous long-term employment.
To cut the list down to size without leaving out any critical skills or experience, rework each description down to a simple summary of the project you were hired to help complete and the role you filled. Be sure to include a statement that highlights the value you added to the project.
Craft a Skills Summary
Start your resume off with a summary of your skills, rather than listing them out under each contract position. This puts all of your relevant skills in a single list that hiring managers can scan quickly, and will also help you to meet the search criteria of any electronic resume scanning software an employer may use to weed out unqualified candidates.
Discuss Your Contracting Experience in Your Cover Letter
IT contracts are a great way to increase your hard skills, improve your soft skills, and develop you into a well-rounded candidate. In your cover letter to an employer, be proud of your contract experience and explain how it has made you into the rock star employee you are today. Whether your goal is to continue contracting or to transition into a full-time job, your previous contracts are an asset, so wear them like the badge of honor they are.
If you are an IT contractor looking for exciting new opportunities to grow your career, reach out to the recruiters at INSPYR Solutions today. We can help you tailor your resume to highlight your contract experience, and we can connect you with forward-thinking employers who understand the value that you bring to the table.