I am looking for work and registered with some consultancies. They called me for two week jobs, but when I met them, I told them that I am looking for permanent or temporary work for more than three months' duration. I'd like to put these assignments on my CV. I always tell them I am not interested when they call with short assignments.

I want to know whether it is good taking short jobs, and how it affects my CV and my career. Why do employers offer such short-term employment? How can gaps on the CV be explained to a potential employer?

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    Perhaps to do with festive work. Just do the job. Do not have to put it on cv as it is casual employment – Ed Heal Dec 1 '15 at 18:07
  • I've edited your post for language and retitled it. Please note that you shouldn't ever use two spaces after a period. It's a minor thing but I suggest making an effort to untrain yourself of that affectation. – Lilienthal Dec 1 '15 at 18:47
  • @Lilienthal: The extra spacsmay not be necessary in a wordprocessor, but a wider soace betsedn sentences remains correct typography... and does absolutely to har . If hou don't like it, don't use it, but critcizing it boes past nitlick into more-wrong-than-right. – keshlam Dec 1 '15 at 23:09
  • @keshlam Double spacing is an anachronism dating back to manual typesetting. Every major manual of style recommends single spacing and the only practice that screams "oldfashioned" more is using an objectives section on a resume. I criticized it because it will result in a bad first impression for many hiring manager when they receive a double-spaced resume. Following industry standards is a good, arguably necessary, practice when you're looking for work. – Lilienthal Dec 1 '15 at 23:57
  • I honestly don't think most folks who are hiring will notice, and most of those will not care, any more than they'll care exactly what your margin widths are, unless they're hiring specifically for document rendering. If you've got statistics which say otherwise, I'm interested (as a past letterpress operator). – keshlam Dec 2 '15 at 0:13

Taking a two-week job doesn't harm your resume and puts two weeks of wages in your pocket. On the other hand, it might be enough to make you no longer eligible for unemployment insurance or similar programs; we can't answer that untill you tell us where you are.


I want to know whether it is good taking short jobs, and how it effects my CV and my career.

What if in taking the short-term job, you then have access to the internal job postings that can be applied as you are a temporary employee of the company? What if you could see the jobs that don't have dozens of applicants as it is intended to be filled internally? Just something to consider for a potential positive here.

Why employers take such a short term employees?

Because if the receptionist is away for a few days, someone may be called in to take over for that time period. Do you have a solution for what a company should do when the receptionist wants to take her week long vacation and everyone else is already busy with projects?

Note that receptionist here is just a specific example. There can be others where temporary workers may be used on short-term placements because something has to get done that may not last more than a few weeks.

How gap can be explain on CV or to the potential employer when asked?

If the person is using this as a way to get some experience, they may well list months or years on their resume so that a gap isn't necessarily that apparent for one point. Secondly, who is to say that the gap has to be brought up at all? Some employers may not focus too much on gaps if they need people for shifts to keep things running and don't want the bosses to be the ones coming in to do the work.


I want to know whether it is good taking short jobs, and how it affects my CV and my career.

The effect of temp work on a career depends heavily on the role and the type of positions as well as their length. It's different for every industry and profile. Very short-term work is usually reserved for positions with less experience required and less glamorous work: admin work, receptionist duties and secretarial and clerical work. Such positions often don't have the same career progression as other office work but as an advantage their experience counts in full on your resume. One downside is that once you establish a history of temp work it can be easy to get pigeon-holed into that type of work by recruiters and you'll want to make an effort to confirm that you're looking for full-time work.

Why do employers offer such short-term employment?

To cover short-term absences and other types of leave. Temp workers with renewable contracts are also much cheaper and easier to replace, though this is a much greater concern in countries with very long notice periods.

How can gaps on the CV be explained to a potential employer?

By grouping all short-term work in one header and summarising it:

  • Management Assistant (2015-02 - Current)

    Company X (2015-02), Company Y (2015-03 - 2015-04), Company Z (2015-04), ...

It'd be best to check with someone at an employment agency in your area to find out what the conventions are. You might give a single date range for instance and drop the dates for individual companies (especially for very short-term assignments). You might list the temp agency as your employer instead. The one caveat here is that you want to avoid padding out your resume: if you were fully unemployed over the summer, you probably can't list temp work as "May 2015 - Current" but if you've worked in these types of positions for multiple years and been mostly employed during that time it would be fine.

Have someone with experience hiring check your resume to figure out what the best format would be and to avoid misrepresenting yourself.


I am assuming this is not a long term strategy and considering it is xmas. I assume you are not in employment. So the money will help. You do not have to put it on your cv. You get some feelers out as well


Temporary work often leads to longer term employment. A temporary worker that stands out by working hard, showing up on time and getting along well with others will be noticed.

I don't think temporary work hurts a resume either, although it probably won't make sense to list every temp job you had. Pursuing temporary work between longer term jobs shows motivation and energy.

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