Are you a consultant (contractor or freelancer) to companies, taking on limited term projects without being a full-time employee?
In the view of the Internal Revenue Service, consultants, in general, must meet a few criteria such as the following: they are not economically dependent on one company, control the manner of doing their own work, do not receive benefits from the company, and pay their own social security tax.
Resumes for a consultant are the essentially the same as for any other job. The biggest difference is in the length of time that a consultant is associated with any given company. A consultant’s resume must avoid the appearance of job hopping, and you can accomplish that in two ways.
- Identify yourself throughout your resume as a Consultant (or Contractor or Freelancer), including in the heading of your resume.
- Give yourself a “company” name (your name and a keyword are fine: Smith Engineering or Jane Doe Financial Consulting). That way, when you write your resume, you can group many projects under your company name without appearing to change employment every few months. This approach is particularly helpful if consultancy is a stage between full-time employment.
If you worked on hundreds of short-term projects as a consultant, your resume does not need to list every company and every project. But it should definitely list any well-known companies you have worked for; any major achievements (“brought in project 15% under budget”); and any of your skills that may not be available to a company in-house. After all, one of the main reasons that companies hire consultants is to fill a gap in their in-house capabilities.
Consultants perform a valuable service and companies are aware of this. Your resume should celebrate your ability to quickly come up to speed on a project, work with a wide variety of peers and managers, assume control of your work, and produce results that motivate other companies to hire you.
Having served as a consultant myself during my long career as an engineer, I know the value of a strong consultant resume. Please contact me today.