How to List Contract Work on Your Resume

In our ever-changing world, more and more people are taking up contract positions which leads to the question, how to list contract work on your resume. Contract work includes jobs like freelancing, consulting, and temporary roles. If you have worked in these areas, it’s important to know how to showcase this experience on your resume. Just like any other job, contract work gives you skills and knowledge that can make you an attractive candidate to employers. This article will guide you on how to present this work experience in the best possible light.

Understanding Different Types of Contract Work

You likely are aware of the different types of contract work but below is a quick description.

  1. Freelance Work: This is when you’re self-employed and you offer your skills or services to different businesses or people. For example, you might design websites for various companies as a freelance web designer.
  2. Temporary Work: These are jobs you do for a limited time. Sometimes, companies need extra hands during busy seasons or for special projects. You might work in a store during the holiday rush, fill in as an interim while an employee is out on leaver, or help set up for a big event.
  3. Consulting Roles: As a consultant, you are an expert in a specific field. Companies hire you to give advice or solutions to problems they’re facing. For instance, a business might hire a marketing consultant to help improve their advertising strategy.

All these roles give you valuable skills and experiences. They show that you’re adaptable, a quick learner, and can handle different types of tasks. Each of these contract jobs should have a special spot on your resume. In the next sections you will learn how to list contract work on your resume and really make it stand out!

Freelance Work on Your Resume

Freelance engagements offer a unique perspective of your independent professional skills. These roles not only signify your ability to manage client relationships but also highlight your talent in delivering results across various projects.

For your freelance role(s), add this within your Professional Experience section. You will want to use the same format of including Company Name and Title to ensure this feeds correctly into an Applicant Tracking Software. For company name, you could use your name or even your name + freelance such as: John Smith Freelance Services. For the title, use one that would resonate in the industry, such as: Freelance Photographer.

Within this section, list the significant projects you’ve undertaken or notable clients you’ve serviced. For each project or client, provide a concise description of the work performed, the skills employed, and the outcomes achieved.

The emphasis should be on demonstrating how your freelance work has contributed to your professional growth and the value you’ve delivered to your clients. By outlining your freelance experiences in this manner, you can effectively showcase the breadth and depth of your skills and the diversity of your work portfolio.

If you previously were in a freelance capacity possibly as a second job and it doesn’t align with your career goals, do not include the freelance position unless it spans across a gap in your resume.

Including Temporary or Short Term Work on Your Resume

You might think that temporary and short term jobs, like working at a store during the holiday season or helping at a big event, are not important enough to be on your resume. In some cases this is true, however, if it shows career progression or removes gaps in your resume you will want to include them. Temporary and short term jobs show that you can quickly learn new things and adapt to different situations. It also may give you vital experience, such as, you are returning to workforce or are entry-level and you take a 6-month temporary position as a marketing specialist.

To include temporary work on your resume, list this in the Professional Experience section as you would a full-time position. You have a couple of options for how you display the company information. Take the following scenario – you went through a temp. agency like Robert Half International and worked for Amazon as a Marketing Specialist.

  1. Company Name: Robert Half International
    Position: Marketing Specialist
    Dates: January 2023 – June 2023
    Description: Oversaw short-term marketing project for Amazon during a 6-month temporary role.
  2. Company Name: Amazon (Robert Half International)
    Position: Marketing Specialist
    Dates: January 2023 – June 2023
    Description: Oversaw short-term marketing project for Amazon during a 6-month temporary role while employed by Robert Half International.

Additionally, you can modify your title to show: Marketing Specialist – Temporary

For each job, describe your main tasks, responsibilities, and your achievements. Additionally, highlight any new skills you gained or achievements you accomplished during these roles. This could be anything from learning a new system, improving customer satisfaction, or successfully completing a big project.

If you held multiple temporary roles with the same company (such as Robert Half International), you will want to list the positions as follows:

  1. Company Name: Robert Half International
    Position: Marketing Specialist – Amazon
    Dates: January 2023 – June 2023Position: Marketing Specialist – Walmart
    Dates: June 2022 – December 2023

An alternative example is if you were a Marketing Specialist for multiple temporary agencies. In this case you may opt to represent the information as follows:

  1. Position: Marketing Specialist – Temporary
    Company: Amazon
    Dates: January 2023 – June 2023Position: Marketing Specialist – Temporary
    Company: Walmart
    Dates: June 2022 – December 2023

For short term work, you can apply the same strategy as above without using the term ‘temporary.’ This may be helpful to hide gaps in most recent years but you may find that short term roles five years ago may be best to be left off the resume.

Adding Consulting Roles to Your Resume

Consulting roles present a unique opportunity to showcase your expertise in a specific industry or function. They provide proof of your ability to identify challenges, create solutions, and implement strategies. It is therefore essential to articulate these roles appropriately on your resume.

Similar to Freelance and Temporary work, you will want to include your consulting experience within your Professional Experience section. For each consulting role, provide the name of the company or client, your job title (which could simply be ‘Consultant’), and the duration of your engagement. Following that, furnish a brief description of the projects you undertook. This should encapsulate the nature of the problem you were hired to solve, the methodology you employed, and your key responsibilities.

Perhaps most importantly, highlight the outcomes of your work. This could range from quantifiable results such as increasing a company’s sales or reducing operational costs, to qualitative improvements like enhancing system efficiency or improving team productivity. These accomplishments bear testament to your capabilities and the value you bring as a consultant.

If you started consulting while unemployed and you did not formally create a company, consider using your last name (surname) with consulting. For example: Smith Consulting. Leverage a title that makes sense based on your career objectives. If you consulting on supply chain then use the title: Supply Chain Consultant.

Alternatively, you may have had multiple consulting engagements where you worked with multiple clients and were hired by multiple consulting firms. In this environment, you have a few options. Scenario: You worked for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) as an IT Project Manager for 5+ clients over 6 years.

  1. Company Name: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
    Title: IT Project Manager
    Dates: 2017 – Present
    Description: Led large-scale transformation projects for multiple Fortune 500 enterprises including Amazon, Walmart, Apple, and Microsoft. Client contracts ranged from 6 months to 1 year in duration.

If you moved to multiple locations, use your current city and state and show this information in the description, such as:

Led large-scale transformation projects for multiple Fortune 500 enterprises including Amazon, Walmart, Apple, and Microsoft. Client contracts ranged from 6 months to 1 year in duration throughout the U.S.