How to explain in a resume and cover letter the reasons for your decision to choose a temporary job for the time being, rather than aiming for a permanent position.
Resuming your studies at the start of the next academic year, consolidating your professional experience in a given sector, having newly arrived on the Quebec job market… Temporary jobs are ideal for people seeking flexibility or finding out about different workplaces. More than two million Canadians chose this type of assignment in 2017, according to figures from Statistics Canada. Since 1997, their numbers have increased faster than those of permanent workers.
Temporary work has therefore been increasingly highly rated for workers. “When applying for this type of job, it is important to explain the reasons for this decision so that the employer does not have the impression that you are lazy or an unambitious person,” explains Diane Legault, president, counsellor and writer at CV-Plus.
To explain the reasons for your choice in an application, there are only two places for this: in the resume, at the summary, and in the cover letter, in the first paragraph. “This information must be succinct,” advises Diane Legault. “In the resume, it is sufficient to write “Temporary work” in the summary, following the brief presentation. For the cover letter, it is important not to give a long explanation of your reasons, but simply say where you are in your career.”
Subtlety is therefore appropriate when mentioning your intentions. For example, the candidate can write: “In my career, I now aspire to discovering a new sector of activity,” or “Considering certain changes in my professional life, I want to work on a temporary basis.”
Accumulating temporary positions
Even if holding a temporary position is “trendy”, listing several temporary contracts on your résumé doesn’t always give a good impression to employers. “In some fields of business, job stability is the measure of consolidated experience,” explains Guy Samson, senior consultant at Conseil Pro. When you collect a number of jobs of this type, I recommend that my clients group the main positions by indicating only the start and the end of the cumulative period of temporary jobs. In this way the impression is given that they are clients, as if you are a self-employed worker.”
That said, the most important thing is to be yourself, advises Diane Legault. “The applicant must feel comfortable with his resume. If he is uncomfortable with an entry, the recruiter will sense it. It is absolutely necessary for the applicant to be proud and comfortable with every word. Otherwise, it is better not to mention it…”