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I have been offered a full time job with a tech company that urgently needs a new product brought to market. They require a software engineer with quite specialised experience, and so a friend there reached out and asked if I could help.

I am interested in the work - it is building systems from scratch, and implementing some quite unique technology with no prior art - but am worried how I would later 'sell' a six month role on my CV. At first glance it might look like I was a 'job hopper'. But in this instance both parties are aware this would likely be a short-term arrangement. How can I make that clear on my CV?

A further note: it is not, at least in UK terms, 'contract work' - I would not be self-employed during this period and my employer would still be paying my NICs.

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    Regardless of how you're being paid, it's still what I'd classify as a contract. It has a fixed term and/or fixed deliverables with the expectation that once the job is over, that the role won't exist any more. Here in Australia it's common for contractors to be paid via PAYG employment. – Jane S Feb 5 '17 at 10:45
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    @JoeStrazzere - probably a subtle bit of UK/US language difference. This would be a temporary or limited term employment in the UK. – HorusKol Feb 5 '17 at 21:59
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Is this wise to take, and how would I best present the work afterwards?

While we can't answer the former, the point is to make it clear that the job was intended to be short-term. It doesn't matter whether the job officially meets the definition for "contract work" or not in your location, that's still what you're doing if you agree on a "definitive term" job. Obviously you still want to make sure that your employment contract is legally sound and kosher from a tax perspective.

As Alison Green put it, "Job hopping means that you've had multiple short-term stays that weren't designed to be short-term stays.". The way to make that clear on your resume is to simply list them as "contract work", "six-month contract" or any variation thereof.

So as I mentioned we can't tell you whether this is a logical next step for your career. A greenfield project like this certainly sounds interesting and like a valuable addition to your resume, but there are risks associated with this kind of work that don't come up with normal indefinite term employment. If you want to know more about those I'd recommend asking a separate question if none of the other questions on the site cover that topic.

  • This is a good answer. I normally just add (fixed term role) in brackets after the job on my CV in cases like this. As I have had 6 month and 1 year fixed employments before and nobody has batted an eyelid over it – Vality Feb 5 '17 at 19:49
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You could style it on your resume as an 'assignment'. One or even two short-term assignments, if you're in a highly-specialized field, wouldn't ring alarm bells:

Interim Special Software lead, CVS, Feb 2017-July 2017 - delivered system from scratch in short time frame to meet market needs - created documentation for future developers - six month assignment resulted in quality system for client

Something like that.

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