May 25, 2018

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The Changing Face of Temporary Work

Routinely asked if temporary work should be listed on a resume, I always give the same answer: YES! Temporary work is a great way to fill the gaps between jobs or after being laid off. It can also serve as a gateway to re-enter the workforce, enable a career change or help you get a foot in the door to the corporate world. Long gaps between jobs may prevent you from getting an interview; temporary work will fill the gaps, help keep your skills current and allow you to meet people and network while making your resume more attractive to potential employers.

Temporary employment isn’t just answering the phone or typing up letters anymore. Temporary employees work as accountants, paralegals, dental hygienists, x-ray technicians, human resource representatives and in many other skilled professions. Harvard grads, MBAs, ex-dentists and lawyers, real estate agents, musicians, aspiring actors and teachers are just a few of the candidates in the temp pool today.

Janae turned to temping when an injury prevented her from working as a dentist. She was placed as a temporary Administrative Assistant at a prestigious medical center where after proving herself, was hired as a Special Project Analyst. This position involved creating and analyzing databases to determine future satellite locations as well as regional advertising campaigns. Janae credits this success to temping.

The face of temporary work is changing. It’s time to get noticed – consider temping!

Temping is a personal choice. Whether you temp to explore career options or to get your resume noticed amidst a multitude of candidates or to just build experience and skills, it’s up to you. There are Career Temps who enjoy the flexibility of short-term assignments and the extra money for travel and leisure as well as Transitional Temps who may be moving, want to further their studies while temping or change careers completely. Once you figure out how temporary work may benefit your particular situation, it’s time to consider how to get noticed by an agency!

Dave, who admits he stumbled upon the idea of temping at a career fair, says “…temping turned out to be the best thing I could have done.” A former music teacher looking for steady income and work, Dave was exposed to various jobs by temping until landing his current permanent position at an architectural firm where he works as an Architectural and Engineering Designer. Dave is responsible for drafting, 3d rendering, marketing materials, graphic design, IT support and much more.

Temporary work isn’t always easy to get! Candidates with college degrees are competing with those that entered the workforce right after high school and offer real world experience. Computer knowledge including email, Internet research and MS Office skills are now requirements to get temporary work. Additionally, recruiters want to see soft skills including personality, presentation, attitude and other “fit” factors as well as flexibility on pay and location.

Letters of recommendation, excellent references and continually building your skill-set will set you apart from the competitive pool of talent as well.

Kristen decided to explore the idea of temping after being a stay-at-home mom for 12 years. She states, “I lacked a steady, progressive work history. I thought I would have a better chance temping at a company, letting them see my work ethic, capabilities and personality first hand and then hoping it would lead to a permanent job offer.” Kristen, formerly an Operations Analyst before staying at home with her children, was hired as a Human Resources/Payroll Administrator after temping for just over a month.

Once you are in the door - make a recruiter work for you! Many times recruiters are able to help job seekers get an interview or assignment they never thought possible. Working with an agency recruiter instead of going directly to a company has its advantages. A good recruiter will have solid client relationships. While your resume lacks the ability to reflect what’s not written on paper, a recruiter can speak those hidden words, get in your corner and pave the way for you to showcase your talent in person. There are occasions where clients have asked to hire temps after only a week of temping and temp-to-hire assignments are becoming increasingly popular – it can happen to you!

- Jennifer Barrett

Jennifer, a New York native, has been in the staffing industry for more than ten years and has experience in sales, recruiting and management. Currently, Jennifer is responsible for planning and strategy development as Director of Recruitment at Lauren Staffing. In her recruiting, she uses a consultative approach and strives to make the perfect matches for her candidates and clients by understanding their individual needs and aligning them to benefit both. Jennifer utilizes her Masters in Management to understand the needs of executive level hiring managers, as well as her degree in Spanish to recruit and place bilingual Spanish-speaking professionals.

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