How to Dazzle Employers With Your Temp Work Experience

By Robert Half January 9, 2015 at 3:26pm

After working as a temporary professional for a while, you’re hitting the job market in search of a full-time job. The question now, though, is how exactly do you list that temp work on your resume and explain it well during interviews? Here’s what you need to know.

In an OfficeTeam survey, more than half (51 percent) of senior managers interviewed said when evaluating job applicants, they consider a long period of consistent temporary work as comparable to full-time work.

As valuable as your time as a temp may be, it can be confusing how to market this experience when finding a new job. Following are some tips that can help:

Keep it simple

List the temp agency as your employer on your resume, rather than citing every temporary assignment as a separate position. Include details about each assignment as bullet points in this section. This makes it easier for hiring managers to understand your background, and it’s accurate and honest.

Focus on accomplishments

What are some of your biggest contributions doing temp work? You’ll want to explain these on your resume similar to how you would for a full-time job. For instance, one bullet might be: “Managed the administrative needs for a department of eight salespeople, including updating PowerPoint presentations, coordinating business travel and maintaining the client database.” Then, the next: “Served as the executive assistant to two busy executives, managing calendars, screening calls, preparing reports and advising junior administrative staff.” 

Target your content

If you worked in the same industry as a job opening, point it out in your cover letter and on your resume. You’ll also want to focus on job responsibilities at temporary assignments that are most relevant to the job. Customized cover letters and resumes may take extra time, but they can make a real difference in helping you stand out.

Showcase new skills

Make sure you’re promoting all of your latest skills and expertise on your resume and when interviewing. As a temporary professional, you may have gained new talents worth mentioning. If you completed any training programs through your temp agency, be sure to cite those, too.

Point out your adaptability

Doing temp work, you no doubt learned to adapt quickly to new work environments and hit the ground running. Employers really value candidates who can make an immediate impact, so be sure to mention these abilities when marketing yourself in your job search.

Do you have additional tips for highlighting your temp work experience when finding a new job? Share them below.

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