March 6, 2014 by Walter Cogan
In the information technology business, it is very common for people to work on short-term or long-term contract assignments. People often work on contract assignments because they have a strong preference to do so. Sometimes however people work on short-term contracts as a way to earn income when they are in between permanent positions. In either case, if your resume includes a mixture of permanent and contract employment, you should “always” indicate on your resume when a position is contract after the job title. (i.e. Project Manager, Contract Position or Consulting Position.) The reason you want to let the reader know if the position is a short-term contract role is simple. There is an expectation that a contract or consulting role is temporary. When most of your employment, in the past, has been long-term permanent positions. You should not indicate 3 positions over a period of 18 months on your resume that do not mention they are contract. This will absolutely give the resume reader the impression that you are a “job hopper” and that’s never good.
Over the years, I have had numerous hiring managers question me about the frequency of a candidate’s job changes. Sometimes there are perfectly valid reasons, such as a lay-off or a restructuring. Everyone can relate to that especially during periods of economic decline. Too many job changes will always be a “red flag” or reason for concern, and are frequently cited by hiring managers as a reason “not to hire” an otherwise highly qualified candidate.
Most successful Information Technology Professionals have worked in a contract capacity at some point in their career. By indicating which positions were contract or consulting roles, the issue of being a “job hopper” is immediately dismissed as not being a major concern.