So you’ve done everything you can to find a job and still no luck? Not a problem. We’ve all been there.
One great idea is to work with a temp agency to get you through the tough economic times, while you continue to look for a job at a company you really want to work for. The best part is that you may end of working temporarily at a company you really like, and through networking, may be hired for a long-term contract or full time job!
The first time I used a temp agency was after I was laid off from a company that was downsizing. I’d heard through friends that Office Team (http://www.officeteam.com) was a reputable agency, so I thought I’d give them a try. At the time I was just looking for administrative/reception work, which was exactly what they needed. For most agencies, you’ll give them a call, schedule an appointment, interview, and then, hopefully, be placed in a job arranged by your agency contact.
Here are a few tips to help you if you decide to use a temp agency:
1) You should never pay an agency to find you a job. Companies pay a large percentage of your negotiated hourly rate to the temp agency. If they ask you to pay a fee, politely decline and walk out.
2) When asked to come in for an interview, dress in business attire (neatness counts), have several copies of your updated resume handy, and bring your list of current references!
3) Most temp agencies who place administrative staff will ask you to “test” your aptitude with different computer programs. Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are always good to know. For more creative placement agencies, Photshop and Illustrator are useful. Not sure? Just ask!
4) Many agencies offer benefits depending on how long you work for them.
5) if you’re not happy with a temp assignment, you can always let your agency rep know and they can try to find you a new opportunity. Be flexible, friendly, and open to new jobs.
6) Never accept a temp assignment if you know you won’t be happy. For instance, if you don’t like answering the phone and talking to people, a receptionist position won’t be ideal.
7) Never ask the company you’re working for if they’re hiring when you first start your temp assignment. It might rub someone the wrong way and they might ask you to not return.
Some of my temp jobs (to give you an idea of what’s out there):
1) Receptionist at a large property management company: field phone calls and emails
2) Senior Copywriter for Banana Republic: wrote men’s and women’s copy for company website
3) Executive Assistant for the president of a large hotel chain: creating PowerPoint presentations, answering phone calls, scheduling, various writing assignments, etc.
4) Receptionist and administrative assistant at several law firms: answering phones, fielding incoming phone calls, sorting and delivering mail, typing memos, and much more!