Out of Work?

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An unemployed worker’s solution to finding a full-time position could begin with a temporary job. A temporary position gives the company a chance to get to know you. The manager will see your work ethic and team-player abilities. If a full-time position opens, management would most likely put you at the top of the candidate list.

Accountemps, a staffing service, says that current temporary positions have a good chance of developing into full-time jobs. The temp work could help you get your foot in the door. “Many companies that cut staff too deeply or are not quite ready to hire on a full-time basis are bringing in project professionals at all levels to maintain productivity and keep initiatives on track,” says Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. “When a position warrants full-time status, businesses commonly look first to staff who have excelled in the role on an interim basis.”

Accountemps provides suggestions to turn a temporary project into a full-time position:
Pick the correct partner. Look into a staffing service that focuses on your field of work. With their connections, staffing professionals can most likely get in a good word about you to hiring managers.

Figure out your objective.
Tell staffing firms and company managers that you want to find a full-time position. If managers know you want a permanent job, they might be able to help you achieve your goal.

Look to the long term.
When working on a project, treat the temporary assignment as if it were a full-time position. Become a part of the company’s culture and stay positive. Managers will see how you deal with constructive criticism and workplace difficulties.

Be aware of both written and unwritten regulations. Follow the office etiquette and be sure to ask questions when you aren’t sure. Look for feedback on how you are adapting to the workplace culture. Learn how you should improve your role.

Come out of your shell and show some personality. Speak up in meetings and participate in events with co-workers. Managers want to see how you interact with the other workers.

“Temporary assignments allow professionals, in essence, to audition for an employer, while at the same time determining if the situation is right for them,” says Messmer.     

Hiding your education
A reader of my column asked the following question: My husband and I have become empty nesters (our two children are in college) and would both like to return to the work force after years of retirement. We do not wish to find high-profile jobs, but jobs with less responsibility. Our dilemma is that we each have a vocational, a bachelor’s and a master’s degree — one of those is a master’s from an Ivy League school.

Should we omit our education so as not to frighten potential employers? We understand that some employers might not like to hire overqualified employees.

Here’s my answer: Never remove your education from your résumé. That education is not only what you have accomplished but also part of who you are. If the truth about your background comes out — and it will eventually — you would not want to tell a boss you omitted the information because you thought you were too intelligent for the job.

To get your message across to potential employers that you do not want to continue a high-powered career, add a brief and straightforward objective to your résumé. Objectives are passed on higher-level résumés, but they are often included on résumés where people have little experience in a field, are changing careers or are looking for specific types of jobs. An example might be as such: “Seeking a full-time job in retail sales.” Also, explain in your cover letter that you have retired from your field of expertise and are seeking a (name the job you want).
Even if the job requires no formal education, you may be surprised at the number of businesses that would prefer to hire you over someone without experience or an education.        
Lindsey Novak