Of all the obstacles resume writers face, how to address the issue of temporary work or short term positions seems to be the most common.

Should you list a position you only held for a few months?

If you exclude these short term or temporary positions, could this hurt your chance of employment during the background check stage?

Ask yourself the following questions before making your final decision:

Was the work experience gained relevant to your desired position?  If you gained experiences in the position which makes you more competitive for the job or industry you are pursuing, you should absolutely include it on your resume.  As listed in part 1 of this series on Effective Resume Building, be sure to fully list your key accomplishments, job roles and responsibilities.  Especially those which best align to your desired position’s job functions.

Was the position intended to be temporary? Maybe you worked at UPS during their busy Christmas season to make a little extra money for the upcoming holidays, or perhaps you contributed to a political campaign for the few months leading up to Election Day.  Additionally, I see many consultants with several short term positions on their resume as this is the nature of a consultant’s “work style”.  Jobs which are intended to be short-term can absolutely be included on your resume and may actually work in your favor by showing your versatile experience.  Just make sure to indicate on your resume that the internship was only supposed to last six months, the job was seasonal, or the position was a consulting role and intended to be short.

What were your intentions in accepting the position? Due to the economy, millions of people have been laid off and have had to take any job they can get just to feed their families and pay their bills. You needn’t worry about hiring managers looking down on you for taking a temporary job in order to make ends meet; hiring managers are just as human as the rest of us and find it honorable that you did what you had to do to provide for yourself and your family. They realize that no one is immune to a sluggish economy and will appreciate your “do whatever it takes” attitude.  Just be sure to clearly label these types of positions so the Hiring Manager understands why you deviated from your career path.

So what happens when the position wasn’t intended to be short term and you left under “less than desirable” circumstances?  Stay tuned for the last article of our 5-part series on Effective Resume Writing which will handle this unfortunate, yet common, problem.

Written by Katie Fidler

Investing in a Lifetime of Success,

Angela Roberts


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