By James Rubec
Canadians are taking more temporary work than ever before, with more people seeing high value in adding skills, references and experience to their resume’s. With increased flexibility and with a greater availability of work, temporary jobs can either link you to new skills you need, or keep you in work during times of instability.
In our recent Workmonitor survey 84% of respondents agreed that temporary work was an important stepping stone. Four times a year we ask 405 employed Canadians to discuss their happiness at their jobs, their perception on mobility and questions that are topical to the public discourse; asking Canadians about the value of temporary work falls into the latter.
You can read more about this study and its results in our press statement.
It isn’t just Canadian employees who are driving this change; Canadian companies are finding innovative ways to work with temporary workers. Companies have greatly shifted their perspectives on the people who have less long-term experience. It used to be frowned upon to have a resume item of under one-year; now it might even be a benefit – with some writers and HR managers seeing ambitious potential in someone with a varied resume.
Three Creative Ways Employers Work with Temporary Employees:
Contract workers to helping companies meet shifting contract demand:
The reality for many Canadian businesses is they grow by the contracts they win or lose. In every sector from manufacturing to finance, whether contracts or orders are coming in consistently defines whether they can keep staff on – full-time or otherwise. Temporary workers provide a smaller risk to small or medium sized employers – knowing that their commitment to the worker ends in a shorter period of time gives them more flexibility to grow.
They are trying before they buy:
Permanent placements are a business investment; with any investment they it comes with risk. Hiring temporary workers is a great way to test out potential candidates, or scope out preferable skill sets to hire for. Increasingly organizations of every size, public or private and in every sector are hiring for temporary positions.
When businesses are looking to test new markets, pulling successful efficient team members from programs that are already profitable is a dangerous. Who will replace my success team member? What if the new program isn’t successful? Are there problems that we haven’t been worked out yet? Hiring temporary employees and starting them on a new project is a way to prevent the loss of institutional efficiency, while still experimenting with a new line of business.
Three Ways to Highlight your Experience:
Show the diversity of your skills:
Just because you are applying for a position in one field doesn’t mean your experience in other fields doesn’t apply. The full breadth of your experience is your career story – you might have achieved a great deal in a previous position that has helped your development into the professional you are now. To be clear, how you shape your career story depends on what you’re applying for and the experience you have. Why are you the best for this job and what have you done learned that has made you so?
Detail your results:
A lot of your previous work experience will can be made relevant by detailing what you achieved, not just what your responsibilities were. You should discuss your results, what did you achieve, who did you help, how did your work contribute to the corporate goals of the organization you worked for? If you aren’t sure what you’ve achieved, this might not be something you want to include on your resume.
Be prepared to discuss your history and your projects:
Your experience is only as valuable as your ability to communicate why it is important. Where you worked is important, but what did you there is of higher value. Always be prepared to discuss the jobs you’re including on your resume and other experiences that shape your abilities. What are your proudest moments? What were the greatest challenges you’ve had in your education or work experience? What are some examples where you’ve creatively adapted to a negative situation? If you are looking for work this is the time to really examine what you’ve already done – go beyond a job title and get into your personal experience – you’re not a list of accomplishments you are a creative, interesting person.