Tech & Work

Resume tip for tech contractors

The resume for a tech contractor shouldn't look like a resume for someone looking for a full-time position. Here's how to make yours different.

If you were a hiring manager looking for a contractor who can write C+ code, would it matter to you that one of the candidates has lots of tech contracting experience or whether he or she has specific experience in C+ coding? I would say the latter.

That's why a contracting resume should look different than a normal chronological resume.  Instead of organizing your resume chronologically by the companies you've worked for, arrange it by individual project, with the projects that contain the wanted skill set first.

Continuing with the C+ analogy, let's say that your last contracting job was actually migrating a small office to Windows 8. Since that's not relevant to the direct needs of the hiring manager, you can push that down further on the resume.

The first project you list will be the one where your C+ skills were most in use.

Project title: Creating Desktop application for Windows Duration: You can write this in hours, weeks, or months Technology used: Lead with C+, but list all other technologies that lent themselves to project Description: This is where you can describe the level of complication of the project (without, of course, giving away proprietary details), what project milestones had to be met and what intervals, etc.

This gives the hiring manager the information he or she is looking for right off the bat. And, once you have delineated all of your contracted projects this way, you can then copy and paste the order as needed when sending out future resumes for gigs that ask for different specialties.


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.


Sorry mjd420nova but Toni is not presenting a functional resume. What Toni explained is a project resume - somewhere between a chronological and functional resume Functional resumes are used when you have so much experience - many employers, projects, positions - that your skills and experience get lost across many pages. Functional resume goes one step higher than project by grouping your skills and experience into [i]functions[/i]. For example, in my functional resume, I have project management, technical management, and business analysis.


Many times I've had to submit names and background employment history to clients in final stages of closing. The functional resumes only contain the home city and project history relevant to the job at hand. I and many co-workers have six or seven different versions. We don't require any security clearance, but most have had in the past and subsequent employment contracts require it. In the past some seeking a particular job would cherry pick from different sources but it usually spelled trouble. My co-workers also don't go outside our group and some have even been instrumental in landing some important jobs as they did the selling before the salesforce even knew about it.


At least in my area is to convince recruiters and HR to accept functional resumes (which is what you are describing). While it may make sense to the client and the provider, the gatekeeper/wholesaler is locked into a different paradigm.

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