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Does Temping help or hinder your CV?

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

As digital transformation has sparked cultural evolution, the traditional career path that was once hailed as the only logical choice has been called into question. Eager to reclaim control of their work-life balance, workers are increasingly taking advantage of the current environ-ment to take on Temporary contracts. Meanwhile, Employers seeking to hire more efficiently and reduce overheads are creating short-term roles strategically, recruiting Employees on a Temporary or project-by-project basis.

Today, a series of short-lived opportunities on a CV don’t necessarily indicate a Candidate’s inability to hold down a long-term position. Yet, certain hiring managers still hold preconceived notions of Temp work; the myths and outdated facts that still cling to the reputation of Temping play into their recruitment decisions despite the potential benefit it could have for their business.

But short-term work should not be a stain on your CV, nor should it limit your opportunities. In fact, a Temp worker can boasts qualities that their Permanent counterparts do not. If you’ve spent time in Temporary roles, your experience will enrich your CV in a number of ways:

1. A proven track record in problem solving

Without context, it’s understandably hard for a hiring manager to know why you have opted for brief stints of Employment rather than committing to one long-term role. If you’re panicking about how a series of Temporary contracts may look on your CV, use the space in your cover letter and opening statement to address this.

You need not justify your choices, but rather draw attention to the natural knack you have for problem solving and the diverse range of challenges you’ve tackled during your time in Temporary positions.

2. Wide-ranging experience

If you are applying for a Permanent position following a series of Temporary opportunities, it’s natural to worry about how this could come across to someone who doesn’t know you. And, in truth, a hiring manager could conclude from your Employment history alone that you aren’t the committing type – even if it’s not necessarily true.

With this in mind, listing names and dates won’t do you any favours: instead, you should focus this section of your CV on the valuable experiences you have had through these contracts, the responsibilities you have taken on board and the skills you have gained from your time in Temporary jobs.

3. More adaptability than most

While the more traditional manager might not see the value of short-term contracts, most modern business leaders recognise the unique strengths that a former Temporary worker can offer. In a fast-paced landscape characterised by constant change, they seek Employees who can adapt to new circumstances and thrive when thrown into an unfamiliar situation.

This is where Candidates boasting a list of varying, short-term roles can gain the upper hand over Employees in Permanent positions: after all, the ability to be flexible and take to new challenges with ease is practically a pre-requisite for anyone entering choosing the Temp life as a career. Highlight this in your CV and there’s no reason a hiring manager shouldn’t see you as a safe pair of hands.

4. Valuable insight

With the experience gained from Temping comes industry insight and fresh perspectives that those who have stayed with a company for a long stretch of time simple won’t have access to. Every business has a unique strategy and a different way of doing things; their structure, culture and approach will naturally come with their own advantages and drawbacks.

Having moved between companies through Temporary contracts, you are uniquely placed to take inspiration or learn valuable lessons from the methods you have seen in practice – perhaps it’s a particular tech tool that enhances collaboration in project management; perhaps it’s a checklist system that proved successful in driving efficiency or even an industry event that you discovered was not worth the time or investment.

These unique insights can make all the difference to a growing business, but it’s how you present this in your CV that will determine the outcome of a job application. Should you need help finding the perfect role, get in touch with our team today.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 have opened our first London office, to service Clients in the capital.

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