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Hi, I have a resume with a large history of temp work experience (currently, that’s what I am).. my question

is should I list the names of client sites I’ve done temp work for, or leave this info out, and just leave my title, and the description of the work done at these places. I think I have an uphill battle in getting a position because some hiring managers frown on candidates who are temping and have been doing that for almost a decade. I think they think (when they see the names of companies I’ve temped at) why he couldn’t get a job offer at one of these organizations. I don’t know which is better, listing the companies or leaving them out. I’d really love to land a full time permanent job this year – that’s a New Year’s resolution of mine I’ve yet to fulfill. I’d appreciate your feedback. If you think I should keep the names of the sites I’ve temped at, what type of format would you suggest I use? If you know of websites linking to samples of resumes of temp workers seeking full time jobs, please post them. Thanks.

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10 Responses to “Hi, I have a resume with a large history of temp work experience (currently, that’s what I am).. my question”

  1. certified_political_hustler says:


  2. teamlessbear says:

    If your temp jobs have been via 1 or 2 differnent temporary staffing companies, its better to list the time with the temporary company than each individual company. This is mainly due to 2 things (1) being you technically worked for the temp company (2) you do not want to innundate some HR person who briefly looks at your resume and sees 15 – 20 jobs, they will pass you right over.

  3. Still reading says:

    One problem employers will have when you show all the names of all the companies you temp’d at, is that those companies won’t have any record of you. So, you need to make it clear that you’ve been working for “XYZ Services” or whoever your temp agency has been. Then, you can go into some detail about the kinds of work you’ve done. These companies weren’t your employers, the temp company was.

    If you had long term experience at any of these companies, there’s nothing wrong with indicating that during the interview.

    Temp agencies hire many people in every job type on a permanent, full-time basis. So, there is no way that an employer will absolutely know that you were temping all over during these 10 years.

    You need to prepare for an answer to questions about this during the interview. I have always been leery of somebody who never wanted a full-time job in the past, wondering if he/she will make the required commitment to this position. So, if there is some reason why temping worked so well for you for so long–maybe you traveled all over, or maybe you were fulfilling family responsibilities (no need to go into detail), or, maybe you were a student. Being a student is probably the most inocuous answer you can give, but, don’t give it if you weren’t, or, worse, if you still haven’t completed your degree program.

  4. Caffiend says:

    If you have temped through an agency, list them as your employer. Do not attempt to list all the places you temped at. You only have to list the employers whom you consider important, and do not have to have a full sequential history of employment. In this economy hiring managers are aware that people may be unemployed or underemployed for various reasons outside of their control. Stress the fact that you have been working, and list your accomplishments.

  5. fojimo says:

    in the previous employment history try filling it out as such.
    previous employer= Temp agency
    length of employment= 1997 to 2007 (use your beginning and ending dates for the entire time you worked for agencies)
    job description=list the ones similar to the job you are applying for first
    reason for leaving=still registered at agency and currently looking for a permanent career

    don’t list each company seperately it will look like you are unstable with your jobs

  6. JC says:

    No matter what you do, employers are going to be searching as hard as they can to find a reason why they shouldn’t like you. That’s my first answer, to just get that out in the open and clear the anxiety for you. Learn how to talk about what you have done and your strengths, the capacities in which the work was performed should be a minimal factor in the consideration of the actual work.

    Second, you need to show the names of both. The way you do that is you say Penske Automotive Company, via Randstad Temporary Services” and then list as you would normally the dates in which you worked for the companies. It may be a good idea to list the names of the temp agencies and then “itemize” the places you have worked under them with the dates beside.

    You have lots of options in formatting. Please try to be professional, but don’t just copy the same dam style of someone else generically. That is so boring to a recruiter and you get filed away with everyone else who’s resume looks just like yours…with the same blah blah blah about focus on customer and the expectations of the organization…blah blah blah.

    You’ll be fine. Don’t try to find things wrong with yourself, find what’s good and tell everyone. Network your ass off and keep trying. Good luck!!

  7. jypcee3000 says:

    I had this same issue…when I first finished college, the only jobs I could get were temp jobs…but you know what? It’s still experience…make it work for you by showing how diverse you are in your field. I put down the name of the agency then the name of the client. Next your title and list your job duties. make sure next to the client name you put the word contracted so they know you weren’t an actual employee. Also list any software you have used and have been trained on..Look at the bright side…when they ask why did you leave…you can always say the assignment or contract ended, no matter how long you were there…Good luck.

  8. rustytrashcan says:

    Try using a functional resume, highlighting the achievements, skills and experience that u have gained instead of a chronological resume.Chronological resume are usually used for fresh graduates or job applicants that have a short career history.

    You may try consolidating the temp positions into a short paragraph. Don’t have to put in too many details. Just a short write up will do.

    here are some samples:

  9. G says:

    a resume is for showing what makes you special — its not supposed to be a list of tasks. in temping that could be tough because i don’t think they issue temp “employee of the month”. you are really better off networking your way into a company than using the submitting a resume method. if you have time get a copy of what color is your parachute. it has lots of creative ways to get jobs since the resume submitting thing isn’t working for anyone — don’t think its just you. its the cattle herd in hr that graze on donuts instead of actually looking at resumes. statistally you have about a 8% chance of landing a job if your only contact with the company in hr. so you got to learn to work your way around them. if you can find the name of someone doing a job similar to a job you want email them — ask them what skills and qualifications they need for their job and who to contact. the worst they could do is not reply. usually you get a lot better information from the inside on how to get hired.

    good luck.

  10. The world is spinning!! says:

    Im in the same situation. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but what I do is put the company I am working at (currently) put that it is a contract position. You can put the temp agency down if you want but they cant get a reference from them. They may be your employer but they are not your supervisor. If they have question explain to them in the interview.