With the nation’s unemployment rate still around 10%, many out-of-work job seekers are facing, or already experiencing, many weeks or even months without a steady paycheck.
To generate cash to pay the bills, they may be forced to look for temporary work. Companies that employ this kind of work do it for projects that simply can’t wait, but without adding to their payrolls.
If you're in the middle of a potentially long layoff, consider a temporary or contract assignment. You’ll still be technically unemployed and most likely won’t wind up on the company’s health insurance plan, but there are several benefits (not the least of which is the money):
- You’ll be busy, and it can get you out of the house;
- You can make new connections and expand your network of contacts;
- You might pick up new skills that you were seeking anyway;
- You can add the experience to your resume, and;
- You might impress them enough that they’ll hire you when economic conditions improve.
So, how do you start looking for temporary work? You can try staffing agencies that fill positions in your field. Many of them look specifically for certain types of workers, such as accounting, administrative support, technical, or creative positions. Companies hire the staffing agencies to find temporary workers, and the staffing agencies hire you.
As with all jobs, your network can also be a valuable resource. There’s always a chance you know or will meet someone who knows a hiring manager who needs temporary help. And when you network at a live event, it’s a good idea to have copies of your resume, as well as business cards that you can hand out easily to new contacts.
THE RESUME. If you meet someone who is looking–or knows someone who is looking–for temporary help, it’s best to hand out a 1-page resume since it eliminates the chance the recipient will lose a second page. It should highlight the value you bring to your target role, along with the most relevant skills and background. If you need to abbreviate your resume to fit on one page, consider creating a resume web page with the complete version, and indicate the URL (web address) on the resume handout.
THE BUSINESS CARD. Also called calling cards, these job search tools are like mini-resumes, and can come in handy when you meet any contact. But use both sides of the card. The front should include your name and contact information (especially a link to your web page or social networking profile), plus a headline that describes you, such as Experienced Web Developer. On the back, list four to six key skills and accomplishments that you believe will draw employers’ interests.
If you’re unemployed, have you had any luck landing temporary or contract work? What tips and advice can you share below in a comment?
How to Find Your Value Proposition
Get What You Want Out of Part-Time Work
Networking Plays a Critical Role in Your Job Search