TEMPORARY IMPRESSIONS

Survey Shows Executives View Steady Temporary Experience as Equivalent to Full-Time Work; Expert Offers Tips for Tailoring the Resume

MENLO PARK, CA -- When listing your work history on a resume, do temporary assignments count?  Fifty-six percent of executives recently said yes.  According to OfficeTeam, a specialized staffing firm for administrative professionals, managers want to see that job applicants have the relevant skills for the position, and one way to gain this experience in a tight labor market is through project work.

The national survey was developed by OfficeTeam and conducted by an independent research firm.  It includes responses from 150 executives -- including those from human resources, finance, marketing, information technology and operations departments -- with the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.

Executives were asked, “When evaluating job applicants, would you consider a long period of consistent temporary work as comparable to full-time work?”  Their responses:               

 Yes    56%
 No    43%
 Don't know/no answer      1%
   100%

“During a downturn, temporary assignments offer professionals the opportunity to maintain an income while building their experience,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam.  “As the economy improves and companies begin to add staff, many of these individuals may be able to transition to full-time roles.”

Domeyer adds that the skills required to succeed as a temporary -- learning quickly, adapting to change and communicating well -- are equally valuable to firms seeking full-time employees.  Job seekers should highlight these qualities along with the knowledge gained during specific assignments.

Domeyer offers the following tips for including temporary jobs on a resume:

  • List one employer.  Instead of entering assignments as separate positions, list the staffing firm as your employer.  Include responsibilities and accomplishments from these assignments as bullet points within this section.
     
  • Tailor the resume to the job opening.  Employers look for candidates with industry experience, so devote more space to describing your work in relevant fields.
     
  • Emphasize the nature of the work, not the duration.  Show positive results and describe specific activities.  Instead of saying you “covered administrative assistant duties during employee’s maternity leave,” provide details such as “supported a staff of 25, developed a new client database and updated the company’s intranet site.”

OfficeTeam has more than 300 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.officeteam.com.


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