Temp jobs can be fantastic work experience, but many of us get tripped up when it’s time to put them on a resume. After all, traditional resume advice articles don’t always tell you how to format your numerous temp agency assignments, nor do they mention how employers may perceive these types of roles.
The truth is, discussing your temp jobs can be an excellent way to demonstrate your skills and experience, especially if you use the right resume formatting and focus on your achievements. Here are some tips to help you make your resume as professional as possible:
List the Temp Agency As Your Employer
Many temp workers make the mistake of putting the wrong employer name on their resume. When you get a job through a temp agency, your employer is technically the agency rather than the organization you provided services for.
You should only list the organization where you worked as the employer if you were directly hired as an employee, without any involvement from a temp or recruitment agency.
Check the Formatting
If you’ve been assigned multiple temp jobs through the same temp agency, format them as multiple roles under a single employer (the temp agency). For example:
LG Resources, West Valley, Utah (2020-Present)
Contracted by staffing agency LG Resources to work on a temporary basis to assist with warehousing assignments for a variety of organizations throughout the Salt Lake area.
Production Associate, ABC Company (May 2020-November 2020)
- Processed incoming stock and materials
- Filled, packed, and shipped orders from stock
Picker, DEF Company (November 2020-December 2020)
- Selected merchandise from shelves
- Prepared items for shipment
Pallet Sorter, XYZ Company (January 2021-Present)
- Sorts pallets, RPCs, boxes, and other materials by hand
- Inspects items to ensure criteria were met
- Maintains a clean work environment by sweeping debris and following safety procedures
Discuss Your Most Relevant Temp Roles
Your resume will be most effective if you write it with the specific job you are applying for in mind. When you optimize your resume for a job, you can make sure it highlights the experience most relevant to that job and boost your chances of being hired.
If you’ve done many different jobs, you will likely have too many to fit on a single- or double-page resume. The best way to decide what to include is usually to choose the most recent roles and focus on the ones where you used the skills required for the job you are applying for or worked in a similar environment.
Emphasize the Skills You Learned While Temping
Did you learn any new skills while temping? Did you gain experience with a new type of machinery or software? If so, be sure to include those things on your resume. Discussing these skills not only shows that you are a valuable candidate but also proves you can learn new things and adapt to new roles.
Highlight Your Achievements
You might not think of it this way, but you achieved something in your past jobs. Whether you boosted production speed by 10%, helped assemble thousands of products every day, or accurately typed dozens of letters, you had a tangible impact that potential employers will appreciate.
Be sure to highlight these achievements in your resume (as well as your cover letter, if you are submitting one.) You can list achievements or discuss the impact you had in the description sections for each job.
Bonus Tip: Be Proud of Your Temp Job Experience!
Your temporary work experiences are an asset! In the time you’ve worked for a temp agency, you’ve likely learned new skills, gained valuable experience, and shown that you can quickly learn and adapt to different processes and management styles. Be confident in your work and the value you gained from each assignment.
If you are concerned that having a lot of short-term jobs on your resume could make you look like a job hopper, know that perceptions of temp jobs have changed significantly over the past few decades. Staying at the same job for many years is no longer the norm, and temporary and freelance work have become increasingly popular. Far from being a red flag, your temp work experiences are an asset because they show you are adaptable and have a variety of skills and knowledge.
Looking for more resume tips? Check out our recent articles on common resume mistakes to avoid and what to do if you’re frustrated with your job search.