Contract Positions & The Umbrella Format

How to strategically display short-term positions on your resume.

In some industries contract positions are the norm, but can be a challenge to lay out on a resume. Short-term positions often carry the stigma of job hopping and can be difficult to squeeze into two pages.

A great strategy to use for displaying contract roles is the “umbrella” format. Suppose you have freelanced, worked for the same parent company, or been employed by the same staffing organization since 1995, however traveled extensively across the country to complete projects for a variety of clients. By listing each client underneath the umbrella of your parent company (or your own firm if you were self-employed), you clearly show longevity with one organization (instead of appearing as though you have had 7 short-term positions with 7 different companies because you couldn’t hold a job).

Depending on the amount of assignments and scope of responsibility, you may also opt to include specific details for only your top projects. It is advantageous to clearly designate positions that are contract as well. Don’t force the reader to draw their own conclusions about why you were in a specific role for a short period of time.

Umbrella Format Example

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