How do I show contract work on my resume?
February 24, 2014 9:23 PM   Subscribe

I need to quickly update my resume, and I'm not sure how to list some of my recent work history (along with the next phase once it starts). Who was I working for? How do I list that? Details inside.

I'm trying to honestly and accurately list my work experience, but today's employment techniques confuse me. Let describe what happened as succinctly as I can.

Several years ago I worked at an agency whose client was Company C. The agency closed, and my clients still wanted my services without interruption.

Phase 1: Their short-term solution, which lasted for seven months, was for me to submit invoices to their vendor Company E, who would turn around and bill Company C. I received a 1099 from Company E. All of work was done at Company C, on their equipment, under their direction, etc.

Phase 2: Eventually Company C hired me using an annual contract. I received a W-2, and they paid the employer contribution to my taxes. So obviously this time was spent working for Company C.

Phase 3: Company C is now changing the arrangement for me and many other people in the same position. I will be going through a Company T, a contract house that provides them with many workers. I will be getting a W-2 and benefits (yay) from Company T - but I will continue doing the same work in the same location and using the same equipment at Company C.

Question 1: Who did I work for during Phase 1? Company C? Company E? Was I self-employed? How do I list this? (This is the more urgent question at the moment.)

Question 2: Who will I work for during Phase 3? Company C? Or Company T?

On one hand, it seems like all three phases are working for Company C. But if a potential future employer contacted Company C, their records would not agree.

What is the correct way to depict all of this on my resume?
posted by pmurray63 to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The "phases" are a bit hard to follow for me, but I'd recommend just communicating in the way that makes clear what work you did and for whom, which seems like it was always "Company C."

A resume is not a legal document that people are going to try to "Gotcha!" you on. If you totally lied about working somewhere or having a degree you never got, yeah maybe. But if you're telling the basic truth, they're not going to sit there and line it up against sort of background check. And if they did, you could just explain then.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:38 PM on February 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

If you want you could add (Contractor) in a parenthetical after the company name. I do this, but mainly just to head off questions about why I was at a certain gig for a relatively short time.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:39 PM on February 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding that you just indicate it was for Company C via contract. What I do is state Company Name, Title (Contract) as opposed to just Company, Title for direct employment.

If it's the sort of job that requires an official background check, they usually give you a separate work history form and ask for exact start and end dates; that's when you should worry about listing the precise entity that issued your paycheck. That kind of background check is usually postponed until the end of the hiring process, as part of a conditional offer, so congrats and relax if you get that far.
posted by ceribus peribus at 10:48 PM on February 24, 2014

I have done contract jobs, luckily the contract company history was never as crazy as yours.

I would put company c and sub title contacted through and list contract companies. Or maybe just indicate that it was through 3rd party contractors.

You want your experience to show without lots of distractions and who you were contacted through was just a technicality of how you were paid. It it's good to reference it so that it doesn't look dishonest, but a simple mention that you were on contract through 3rd parties should suffice.
posted by Jaelma24 at 5:06 AM on February 25, 2014

List the company that you did the work for as the employer. Use the dates you first started working for the company through the present. Within the body of the short description, explain:

Contract employee for X years, managing X projects.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:32 AM on February 25, 2014

I would put something like this:
Chief Widget Maker, Company C (contract), 2001 - present

My reasoning is that nobody really cares who processed paperwork and payroll. They care about your experience. Your experience (minus timesheet work) came from your work for Company C.
posted by Houstonian at 7:38 AM on February 25, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for the feedback, everyone, I really appreciate it. I'll do something along those lines.
posted by pmurray63 at 8:57 PM on February 25, 2014

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