IT contracting and consulting is an extremely popular career choice for tech pros today. It offers flexibility, the opportunity to work on exciting projects, and often delivers a bigger paycheck. However, it can also turn your resume into a long and confusing document. Resumes should be concise, but they also must provide a snapshot of your career without making you look like a job-hopper at first glance. Use these tips to list IT contract experience on your resume.
Make A “CliffsNotes” Resume
A concise resume is necessary to get yourself past the screening phase, so it pays to develop a full resume that you take to interviews or send along before an interview and a shorter resume that you submit online.
Your shorter, “CliffsNotes” resumes should include as much relevant information and as many keywords as possible on page one to get you past automated screening software. This can be achieved by creating a section called Relevant Skills, listed under your professional summary and before your work experience. Include keywords from the job description in this section.
This shorter resume should include an active link to your LinkedIn profile. When you are called for an interview, send the hiring manager a longer, more detailed resume to review.
Ditch The Chronological Resume
If you’ve been contracting for a long time, a chronological resume may not effectively communicate your fitness for the role. Change your Experience section to “Relevant Experience” and organize it by that criteria, rather than simply by date. Under each job, include a concise summary of the project and list of bullets that outline your skills, contributions and achievements to that project.
Make Contract Experience Clear
If you do not make project and contract work clear, hiring managers could mistake you for a perpetual job-hopper rather than a professional contractor. First, address your contract experience in your cover letter so the hiring manager understands what he or she is looking at on your resume.
Then, on your resume, make sure each contract role includes the word “contract” in the job title and list the length of your contract term. Also include the name of the company the project was for and the recruiting firm you worked with. For example:
Developer, 8-Month Contract, ABC Recruiting | XYZ Corporation, NY, NY, January 2-August 30, 2019
This makes it clear that you worked a six-month contract through ABC Recruiters at XYZ Corporation rather than looking like you left a full-time job after eight months.