As the holiday season draws to a close, so too will many seasonal jobs. Some say that you shouldn’t list seasonal jobs on your resume, but in fact, there are a number of benefits to including these positions. Seasonal positions can be especially important to your resume if you are a student, recent graduate, career changer, or looking to get back into the workforce. Successfully holding a seasonal role indicates that you are adaptable (because you were able to learn quickly how to do a job well), reliable (after all, you can’t miss much time when working a seasonal job), and a hard worker (preferring to take a seasonal job over not working).
Once you decide whether to include seasonal work, your next task is deciding on the right resume format. Resume advice for seasonal work can typically be applied to internships, temporary work, or contract roles as well.
One of the most important things to do is to make sure to include “seasonal,” “seasonal position,” or something similar in parentheses after your job title to indicate that the position had an end date established from the start. Otherwise, a short-term role can reflect negatively on you and make you look like a job hopper, particularly if you have several short stints on your resume. Noting that your role was intended as short-term one will help you avoid those assumptions.
Multiple seasonal roles
Holding a series of seasonal or other short-term roles doesn’t have to cast you in a negative light or make you seem like a job hopper. There are numerous industries, for example, where contract work is the norm. And some fields, such as accounting, have well-established busy seasons. Because of this, some professionals can choose to work for only a few months per year in temporary, contract, or seasonal roles.
If you’ve had more than one seasonal role, there are different ways you can go about including them on your resume. While a resume objective is outdated (employers care about their own objectives, not those of job seekers), a professional summary can come in handy. In this section, you can tie your seasonal and permanent work histories together, addressing your skills and experiences. This also gives you the opportunity to use some carefully chosen resume keywords.
If you’re using a functional or combination resume format (instead of chronological, which is the most common resume format), it’s up to you whether you list your seasonal work with the rest of your work history, or give it a section of its own. If you do decide to put your seasonal work in a separate section, be sure to give it a very clear section header. Some applicant tracking systems can’t recognize section headers that aren’t standard.
As you advance in your career, and your resume is pushing recommended length limits, you might later decide to stop listing your prior seasonal work. Omitting a seasonal role would typically leave only a short gap in your history, and employers will always be more concerned about recent gaps than ones that happened five or 10 years ago. Another reason to choose to leave off a seasonal role you held is that it may no longer pertain to your field, or your desired field.
Ultimately, listing seasonal work can be to your advantage in a number of situations. Don’t forget that seasonal roles can lead to full-time opportunities, and provide you with a broader skill set, a deeper network, and an additional reference. If you include seasonal work on your resume, make sure to use a resume format that highlights it to suit your situation.
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