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Should You Include Temp Jobs on Your Resume?

In today's world where autonomy and freedom are on the top of the list for individuals, many are turning to gig jobs, sometimes referred to as temp jobs.

Companies such as Uber and Lyft use independent drivers in cities throughout the US, for part-time and even full-time income. Airbnb, a platform allowing individuals to rent out their extra rooms, sofa, or home to travelers, is another option that individuals are turning to for extra income. I know some people that pay their rent using Airbnb! Postmates is a courier service gig that hires independent contractors to courier food and other goods to clients. The options and opportunities for gigs such as these are endless. For more information, you can refer to "Ways to Earn Extra Cash Outside Your 9 to 5" for an extensive list of gig-type jobs and part-time opportunities.

The types of jobs mentioned above all allow you to create your own schedule and work as much as you would like, giving you the opportunity to make money while essentially working for yourself. This is great for people who need freedom and autonomy in their schedules, like single moms and dads who need to work with their children's schedules, or artists and musicians who need to work around gigs they might get.

When I was in grad school for the second time around, I had friends who considered Uber and Postmates for extra income due to the flexible schedules that could be worked around class schedules. Further, many entrepreneurs and business professionals are also turning to such gigs to bring in some extra cash. In fact, according to Jobvite, 19 percent of people they surveyed have held a "gig-type" job like Uber and Airbnb. The question is, are gigs like these valid resources and work to include on your professional resume?

Should you use a gig-type or temp job on a resume?

I say you should. Many might feel that adding a gig-type job like Uber or Airbnb on their resume looks unprofessional. However, if you position it right, especially if you're in-between jobs or just starting out and looking for your first job, it can add value to your resume. Including temp jobs on a resume can help you:

  • highlight positive skill sets and personality traits, like being a self-starter and having initiative

  • highlight accomplishments as a result of the gig (discussed more below)

  • avoid having to discuss the gap in employment on your resume, or can at least make the conversation easier during the interview process  

Early in my career, I had to take some time away from my corporate work due to health issues, so I ended up working several gigs, like independent direct sales and independent promotional work, to bring in some income. I was able to use these temp jobs on my resume to fill in the gap between "traditional" jobs by highlighting my accomplishments the same way I would highlight my work accomplishments for my conventional jobs. More detail on how to do this is highlighted in the next section.

What's the best way to position a gig-type job on your resume?

If you were laid off from your last job, employers understand that you need to make money, and finding a gig-type or temp job can show initiative and determination, which are qualities employers look for in candidates. The same holds true if you're new to the workforce and have landed such a job before landing your ideal dream job.

The trick here is to focus on the opportunity and experience you gained from the gig. For example, you want to represent the position correctly while also identifying all the skills that you utilized during the gig on your resume. There is a lot or responsibility that comes with holding any gig where success falls completely on your shoulders. With any independent service type of work with companies like Uber, Airbnb, Postmates and Direct Sales companies, you likely:

  • Managed money

  • Created and kept a timely schedule

  • Provided top customer service with a high rating

  • Dealt with problem clients and troubleshot issues

  • Received bonuses for extra work and referrals

  • Trained other independent drivers, consultants, hosts, etc. (depending on the gig) if you made it to that level

  • Managed other independent consultants depending on the gig

  • Received rewards for meeting certain quotas

  • Served as an interface between the client and parent company

This list could go on, but you get the picture. All of these accomplishments should be included on your resume just as you would highlight your accomplishments with more traditional work positions. Be as quantitative as possible when it comes to the amount of work, goals met, rewards received and so on. If you have high reviews and ratings, include that on your resume, as well.

Also, when creating your title for a gig-type job, you want to be clever, but honest. For Uber, you'll probably just use "Independent Driver" or "Independent Driver and Trainer" if you were a trainer for Uber, as well (an option they have). For Airbnb, you might use a title like "Hospitality Consultant" or "Independent Host." All of these positions have an entrepreneurial spirit that's required for success, so you might tie that into your title or description in some way, as well.

For more information on how to maximize your resume, read "How to Make Any Job Look Remarkable on a Resume" or hire a professional resume writing company, like TopResume for assistance.

Part or full-time gigs can add value to your professional resume with the right perspective.

Gigs aren't typically forever, and they're not for everyone. For many, though, they can be a great way to make some extra cash while in between jobs or to supplement income. They can also provide some fun experiences and new opportunities. When you look at it as a way to advance your professional career, you can find ways to use it to add value without it holding you back or feeling like it's something you should hide from your resume.

There might be cases where you feel you shouldn't include a temp job on a resume, and if that's what your intuition tells you, then trust that.

As an HR professional, I wouldn't turn down a resume simply because of a gig listed on it, especially if the candidate is smart about how they reference and represent the gig. The same holds true for many managers and other HR professionals I know. With that said, do what feels and works best for you, as you're the one who has to speak about what's on your resume.

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Write your resume like a pro.

TopResume's resume worksheet is just like the one our pros use. Download it now for free and start getting more interviews!