Are you ready to move from a temporary job to a permanent one?
Here's how to go after the opportunities that are out there.
The number of temporary jobs in the U.S. grew in March, and the sector remains strong as the economy continues to improve. The number of permanent jobs has also risen steadily over the past year, which means some long-time temp workers may now be looking for permanent jobs.
While you've loved your time working as a temp in one or more different roles — and you've made the most of your time at each job — maybe you're craving something different.
If that’s the situation you’re in, experts suggest you customize your approach based on whether you want to stay at your current company or land a role somewhere else. But you don’t have to limit yourself to one option or the other. These tips will help you pursue both routes.
How to turn a temp job into a permanent role
One of the best ways to stand out in a temporary role? Act like it isn't one!
“If you want to switch from temp to full-time, you need to act like a full-timer,” says Joseph Terach, founder and CEO of Resume Deli.
How can someone go about that? Here's how:
- Find ways to show you fit into the company culture. Hiring managers look for new team members who will work well with existing employees. Make a point of getting along with others and become “part of the fabric,” advises career coach Maxine Attong.
- Find ways to take the lead. Volunteer to manage projects and offer new ideas for improving processes and procedures, Terach says. This will help you differentiate yourself from other temporary or contract employees that may be working there.
- Come in early and stay late when needed. Just be sure to check your contract and talk with your manager to confirm that you are allowed to work extra hours, Terach says.
How to look for permanent jobs elsewhere
If you aren’t necessarily looking to land a permanent position where you’re temping, you’ll need to focus on creating a strong resume.
Here are some steps to follow:
- Highlight your experience. Temporary employees benefit from a wide variety of experiences, notes career coach Chris Delaney. Now more than ever employers actually value when a candidate has experience in a variety of roles or a variety of industries. Include all your relevant skills, employers and positions on your resume to establish yourself as a well-rounded employee who wears a lot of hats and does it well.
- But be judicious about what you include. Consider highlighting only the employers relevant to the role you’re applying for, rather than listing every position you’ve ever held, Delaney says.
- Show you do good work in any situation. When looking for a permanent job after temping for a significant amount of time, it’s important to demonstrate you’ve taken your temporary work seriously, Terach says. You can do this by listing not only what you did, but the clear and positive contribution your work made to your temporary employer, including data as evidence where possible, says Terach. This will help prove you view your temp roles as opportunities to bring true value to the companies you worked for — a mindset future employers will appreciate.
And of course, there's always the option to switch to a new temporary position. Many have begun choosing to take a string of temporary jobs to create a consistent income stream while also focusing on new challenges every few months or year. The good news for those who prefer that route: Many temporary jobs still abound.