Today's Thought: “A medicine cat has no time for doubt. Put your energy into today and stop worrying about the past.” -Erin Hunter, Rising Storm

How to Market your Resume with Short Term Contracts

Harsh Mangal

How to market your resume? Let’s Explain with an example.

The Scenario:

One of the top clients that I used to find the talents for, released one month’s contract job for a technical support role at their headquarters. Generally we did not work on finding the talents for such small contracts, as it would be hard to find the people available locally with the required set of specialized skills, who might be willing to work a month’s contract.

Despite that, as the delivery head, I assigned the role to one of my recruiters, only to keep the scorecard ratings up with the said client (say xyz). And, because the amazing recruiter as she was, she came up with an excellent profile of a local candidate (let’s call him Bob), who was willing, excited, and extremely competent for the role. He was actively searching for a role, as his previous project had ended three months ago.


Bob was a perfect fit for the role in every way. We briefed him about the role, and the company, took his details, formatted his resume, and submitted him to xyz’s recruiter. He got shortlisted for the role initially, but then rejected, after the manager assessed his profile.

As my sales head had a good contact with xyz’s manager for this particular role, she enquired about the reason for the rejection. It turned out that the manager was unimpressed with the extensive short term contracts on Bob’s resume. “17 jobs in last 7 years?!” was the quote I got from him.
When I delved more into it, I was informed by the manager that the companies that he had previously worked with, generally didn’t have such short term contract roles.
Hence, the apprehension for hiring Bob. Perhaps the candidate just wasn’t good enough, he thought (remember, as this was just a one month contract, the manager was looking to find someone who could hit the ground running, without the need for any training or supervision).

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That gave me an idea. I called up Bob myself, told him not to worry, and bear with me till I present his case in a slightly better way. I spent 15 minutes on the phone with him, jotting down the details of those 17 projects, asking him about the reason for leaving in all the cases. It turned out there were only two reasons.
Most of the jobs were just plain short term contract work. If not, then the company that he was working for, either relocated to a different location or shut down its business. It wasn’t his fault, in any of the cases, just the fact that he’d been unable to find a stable job.

I also noted two of his references, called them up, took down the notes, and attached those while resubmitting Bob’s profile, along with his updated resume, over the hiring manager.

It turned out that the manager ended up shortlisting his profile for the in-person round, and also giving him the offer thereafter.

This was almost a year ago, and Bob is still working on the same project, which has kept on getting extended.


My goal is not to tell you that you are going to land the job, if you do this simple thing. But rather that if you present your resume in the best possible way, knocking down the details that you think might hamper your chances of scoring a particular job, before you present your profile to the recruiter, you can really have a shot at each and every job that you apply for.

Remember, the most important thing will be to follow up with the recruiter for every job that you apply to. Ask for the feedback. Take the negative feedback with grace, and an open mind.
Albeit recruiter is only a messenger, she/he can give you tips on the negative feedback that you might receive. Apply that knowledge while reaching out to the next job.

They need you! They need the talent, the skills and the experience that you have. They will give you the call. But, given your resume is the first way of communication with the hiring manager, remember to anticipate any questions that she/he may have, and have the answers for those questions already listed in your resume.

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Happy Hunting!

Harsh Mangal

9 AM - 6 PM recruitment professional, working as a Delivery Manager at Modis. Constantly yearning to learn for the individuals that I come in contact with every day. 6 PM - 9 AM A photographer, and a bibliophile.

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