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Should I Add Temp Jobs To My LinkedIn Profile?

temp, jobs, temporary, job search, resume, linkedin, walgreens, temporary jobsThis question about temp jobs arrived via LinkedIn this week:

“A question for you if you don’t mind! I have not been able to secure full time employment, but have accepted a couple of temp jobs, should I post that in LinkedIn? Or should I just not say anything?”

Here’s the quick answer I gave:

“It depends on the temp jobs – if in retail, I would hesitate. If at a related (in function or industry) for profit company or non profit company, I would consider including it – make sense?”

After providing that answer, though, I felt like I could have provided more detail. This is hard to do for every question I get, but some questions just need more effort to answer properly.

So here’s the rest of the answer:

LinkedIn profiles, like resumes, are a common tool for recruiters and hiring managers to evaluate your readiness and fit for a job. And since so many are picky these days, there are a number of fears in the minds of job seekers:

1. I don’t want them to see too many jobs in the past few years. I might be seen as a job hopper.

2. I don’t want them to see a job history that don’t look like a good fit with the job opening.

3. I don’t want them to see recent jobs in my history that seem well below the level of the job opening, such as some temp jobs.

So job seekers struggle to decide whether recent temp jobs help to fill the gap (to solve #1) or if a reviewer would see temp jobs as a mistake (taking a temp job vs. holding out for a real job).

Should I consider temp jobs if things get difficult?

I guess the first question is “should I take a temp job if things get difficult”? My answer to that is you do what’s necessary to take care of your family. I’d like to always say “never take a bad job or job offer“. Of course, you should avoid settling for something below you. But taking temp jobs can be a good solution for some.

A friend of mine took a job at Walgreens so that he could have insurance coverage for his family. Would you ever do that?

Here are the types of temp jobs I think you can put on your resume or LinkedIn profile:

1. Temp jobs working for a well known nonprofit doing substantial work related to your core profession- this can be a pro bono role – it doesn’t have to be paid.

2. Consulting work within your industry or a related industry – doing your core function in a paid role.

3. A temp or contract job within your industry or a related industry – doing your core function in a paid role.

Why do these work? And why will they be seen as a positive on a resume or LinkedIn profile? Primarily because it shows you are still in demand. It also shows that you are keeping your skills fresh.

If you decide to take a job at Walgreens (or in any job that might be perceived as a left turn by employers), I wouldn’t include it.

While it fills an employment gap, it might negatively reposition you at a lower level than your most recent professional position. And makes people wonder whether you are risky hire.

And when people ask you questions during job search, what will you say (and how will you feel) when people ask “how it’s going”?

What do you think? Would you answer this question about temp jobs differently?

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Thanks yugenro for the photo via Flickr

Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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