How to list contract work on a resume + examples

Andrew Fennell photo Andrew Fennell

If you’re currently a contractor or you’ve done contract work in the past, you might be worried about how this will look on your resume.

You want to show all the good work you’ve done, without looking like a serial job hopper.

Well, the good news is that contract work can be a great addition to your resume and help you to secure interviews – no matter how many jobs you have done.

This guide will show you everything you need to know about listing contract roles on your resume, in a way that will impress recruiters hugely.

I’ll walk you through which roles include, how far to go back, and how to structure each job with real-life examples.


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Current/recent contract role

List contract work on resume


If you’re current or most-recent job is a contract role, then it will be thing that recruiters will be most interested in reading.

Therefore you need to place it at the top of your work experience section and include plenty of details in short, sharp bullet points.

You also need to structure it in a way that is easy for recruiters to read, and highlights the important information about your contributions and achievements.

Go for a simple but effective structure, broken into 3 key areas:

  1. Job outline –Starting each job with a brief summary of the organization, your position within it, and the primary goal of your role can help recruiters quickly understand the context of your work.
  2. Key responsibilities –The bulk of the role description should be comprised of bullet points that explain all of your duties in the job. Keep the sentences short and simple to make them easy for recruiters to digest.
  3. Key achievements – Show employers the value you can bring to them by adding a few achievements to your jobs. Whether you’ve saved the company money or improved an internal process, let recruiters know. Add some numbers to give readers a real scale of the impact, e.g. “reduced call wait time by 10%


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A group of old contract jobs

Lots of contracting jobs on reusme


If you’ve got a group of contract roles that were similar positions or held with the same company or agency, it could be beneficial to group these together – this will save space on your resume, whilst still giving a good demonstration of your experience.

In this case, give the title of the jobs and a brief outline of the roles, but leave out the bullet points or huge amounts of detail.

Still ensure that you show the impact you made within the jobs to prove why hiring managers should choose you.


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Multiple clients under one contract

Multiple clients in one contract job on resume


If you’ve worked for the same company but handling multiple different clients or contracts, you can format this like one job.

To do this, give your job title and a brief description of your different experiences or contracts within the company. You could also list some of your key responsibilities and achievements during that time.


Very old period of contracting

“1997-2007 | Multiple IT engineer contract roles across the US insurance industry”


If you want to include an old period of contracting on your resume from many years ago, you should keep this short and concise.

The idea with this, is to show recruiters your industry background, without using up much space on the page.

Give the dates that you worked as a contractor and a sentence that sums up your job title and the industry you worked in.


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Tips for listing contract work in your resume

There are lots of great reasons to add contract work to your resume, and to help you effectively showcase these experiences, here are our top tips for listing contract roles.


Keep your resume under 2 pages

You’ve got a list of contract roles as long as your arm and they’re all relevant to the role, you’d need 5 pages to fit them all in!

But unfortunately, busy recruiters don’t have time to wade through 5 pages of content, so it’s vital that you find ways to consolidate or prioritize your experience and stick to the recommended 2-page resume.


Shorten older roles

In most cases, potential employers are going to be more interested in your most recent contract roles, because that’s how they assess your current capabilities.


Work experience


So, it’s best to shorten older roles and only give the top-line summaries of them.

Often a short sentence or two is enough detail for a job you did many years ago.


Batch multiple old jobs into one entry

Much like the example we shared above, grouping multiple old jobs into one entry can be a great space saver, whilst still allowing the recruiter to get a feel for your experience.

This allows you to go into a little more detail about your key responsibilities or achievements, without having to write a huge list of different jobs, and risk repeating yourself.


Highlight in-demand skills

Both in your employment and core skills sections, it’s important to highlight the most in-demand skills related to the jobs you are applying for. Wherever possible use keywords and skills outlined in the job descriptions you are targeting.

You should also highlight the transferable skills you gained as a contract worker, for example, flexibility, adaptability, and communication.


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Focus on impact and achievements

No matter whether you’ve had 1 job or 21 jobs, employers always want to know how you can add value to their business.

So throughout your resume, you need to focus on the impact you’ve had in past contract roles and share your biggest achievements.

Try to make these easier to understand by quantifying your accomplishments with tangible facts and figures wherever possible.


Example achievements for a contract resume

  • Hit and exceeded sales KPIs by 35% every month of my contract (April to August)
  • Through detailed data analysis, managed to understand customer trends and reduce customer churn by 25% in a year
  • Hired, trained, and oversaw the daily activities of 25+ cleaning and maintenance staff
  • Increased the company’s revenue by 15% in just three months by collecting and converting data from Google Analytics and transforming this into action insights
  • Helped {Company Name} not only stay within their budget, but to cut unnecessary spending 4 years in a row
  • As part of the internship, created social media content and up to 5 articles a week, whilst working closely with the SEO team
  • By successfully overseeing 5 major projects from start to finish, generated a total of $300,000 in revenue over a 4 year period
  • Took full control of the company’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and improved user engagement by over 40% in 6 months
  • Worked as the single point of contact for over 20+ clients, always answering their emails, calls, and queries within 24 hours
  • Worked with the IT team to update {Company Name’s} continuity plan, whilst also introducing a 5-year disaster recovery plan at the same time


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Example contractor resume

Contractor resume example


Hopefully, by now, you feel more confident about creating an impressive and engaging contractor resume that effectively showcases your contract work.

But just remember that once you’ve decided how to list your experience, be as clear and concise as possible, grouping jobs together when you need to save space.

And, more importantly, make sure your resume highlights the key skills and achievements you’ve gained during your various contract roles and how you can add value for the employer.