Employment agencies, or staffing agencies, help candidates find short-term as well as temporary work (even long-term in a lot of cases). Hiring managers consider these positions credible and noteworthy work history so if you have worked these types of assignments, you should include them on your resume. This can be tricky when trying to determine who you list as the employer, deciding how to list multiple assignments and how to include who you worked for while still keeping the focus on your experience and achievements. Here are a few tips on how to list agencies you have worked for in an appealing way.
Step 1: Getting Your Formatting Right
When listing temporary work on your resume, ensure they are included in reverse chronological order. Generally speaking this should be the case with all jobs you list on your resume unless you have held a position that is directly relevant to the position that you are applying for and the other positions you held aren’t. Listing jobs you have held in reverse chronological order (with the most recent at the top of your resume) makes it easy for potential employers to review your recent work history without having to piece together a timeline.
Step 2: Add the Staffing Agency as your Employer
In a temporary contract agreement, you are working on behalf of the staffing agency, not the company you are assigned to for the duration of the contract. You can still include the name of the company you were assigned to but if you worked multiple assignments this can become too much on your resume. List the employment agency as your employer, put the positions you worked, skills you acquired and accomplishments you had. You will have an opportunity to go into more detail about where you were assigned during an interview if the hiring manager interviewing you is interested in that information. If you were assigned to work for a company that you feel carries more weight or is directly applicable to the position you are applying for, you can include it.
Step 3: Add your Temporary Jobs
If you have worked multiple assignments with a staffing agency, list the agency as the employer once, then list the different positions you held underneath. Be sure to include the dates of each assignment next to the job title. You may have worked for an agency for two years but held four different positions. If you list each position as a separate job, your resume will quickly become too long but it is still important to put the different types of jobs you had. The focus of your resume should be on your employable skills and qualifications rather than a list of different jobs and employers. If you worked multiple assignments for one agency, consider using the space to details what you did rather than who it was for.
Step 4: Reference your Roles
Under your temporary jobs, list the roles you have undertaken and the main duties you were responsible for in each position. This will allow you to succinctly state what you have done, learned and accomplished without overwhelming the reader. Positions through staffing agencies can often have more generic titles so it is important to include the specific responsibilities and job duties you had. Again, the goal of your resume is to highlight your employable skills so put more focus and dedicate more space to those.
Step 5: Highlight your Achievements
It’s important to highlight your key achievements in each role you have undertaken, and explain how they’ve helped you gain the skills to provide value to your potential employer. Try to include 2-3 accomplishments for each job. Even short-term work can offer valuable skills that you can apply to future jobs.
Temp Jobs Belong on Your Resume
Listing your work through a staffing agency will benefit you in many ways. Employers usually don’t like to see gaps in employment and if there are gaps, they want you to have a good reason for it. Work through an agency is still work and shows that you were motivated to stay employed. There are many reasons why people take temporary work or work through an agency and it is becoming more and more common. Employers are familiar with seeing it on resumes and will typically treat it like any other kind of work. It is also an added opportunity to demonstrate your employable skills and how you have used them. This includes soft skills as well such as flexibility and adaptability.
Always make it clear that you worked through an employment agency or staffing service, not as an employee of the employer. You should always be very careful to make sure that your resume doesn’t come across as a misrepresentation of you or your work history. You don’t want to have to clarify something that comes across as untruthful. You can still speak to the specific employers and positions you were placed in.
Arrange temporary work assignments by date, especially if you are using a format that details work history, such as a chronological format. Resumes that are well organized are always easier to read and will not be looked over as easily by hiring managers. Almost all employers will want to know the dates of the jobs you have held. It is important for them to be able to see how long you were employed, how long ago it was and if there are gaps in your employment history. It is better to include this up front rather than leave them wondering.