How do you work with temp agencies to benefit your job search without getting into an ethical dilemma?

Some organizations will lead you to believe that you are only to register with one company. Unless that organization is starting you on an immediate temp-to-hire job for which you interviewed, there is no reason not to sign up with a few different agencies. Different recruiters/organizations have different relationships with hiring managers throughout different markets. With that in mind, you may not need to register with every organization in your local market. Have an honest and open conversation with the recruiter who interviews you. Find out what he/she feels is the chance you will be placed based on their knowledge of the market in relation to your skill set. With that in mind, this is not a chance for you to become argumentative and feel you can convince someone to use you and only you. (I have had that happen many times!)

Identify the specialty of the staffing firm and how you may be able to be a good fit. Don’t call your recruiter repeatedly, no matter how badly you need to work!! They will find you to be needy and annoying, and will not want to work with you! Similarly, be available or call back quickly when you receive a call. Don’t play recruiters against one another, or you will wind up “blackballed” from a variety of firms. Be ethical both in your search and in your business practices, and people will be excited to work with you.

If you are flexible on your hourly pay and location, more recruiters will regularly reach out to you for employment. If you won't leave the green grass in your backyard for under $100/hour, you will be looking for a job for a long time!

I can’t tell you how many employees come to me unprepared. They have old resumes, forgot their resume, dog ate the resume, dog peed on the resume. And my first thought is: will this person be more prepared for a presentation?
Today, I was meeting a student for a scheduled appointment to review his resume. I rushed my lunch in order to meet with him on time. He “thought I emailed the resume to myself, but I guess I didn’t.” I thought you’d potentially be a good candidate, but I guess you aren’t? What’s the deal? Why are you unemployed? Let me count the reasons...

Be ready for an interview, job fair, or networking event. It isn’t as though it fell out of the sky. I am sure you knew it was coming! Take time to run your interview answers off a friend, think about what you are going to wear, how you are going to present, and what you are going to bring in your portfolio to make you look like a superstar. Otherwise, all you are doing is cutting into my lunch hour or my productive time that I could be spending with someone else, and I don’t like that!

People screw up. We are humans, and as such, we make mistakes: some little, some big, and some pretty overwhelming. Perhaps you didn’t finish college. Do not lie on your resume. Companies who have their fair share of applicants to choose from complete educational, reference, and background checks.

Case in point: I worked very closely with a fantastic temp who was assisting me at a Fortune 500 organization. She had all of the qualifications for the full time opening and did an outstanding job while temping. When it was time to offer her the full time role, my client verified her 4 year degree, and she had falsified it on her resume, thanks to bad advice she received from a relative. The offer was rescinded, and I refused to work with her again, because I was unable to trust her. Once you break trust, it is much harder to rebuild than just being transparent.

I would have still sent her to the job knowing she did not have her degree. The organization would have hired her, and even worse, they offer tuition reimbursement, so she would have been able to complete her degree while working. It never got to that point.

Whether a legal issue, credit blip (and after the last few years with the economy, who doesn’t have a problem there), or any other weakness, just be honest and share what you have done or can do to improve. Mom is right on this one!

Due to a number of personal choices, including stay-at-home parenting, caring for an elderly relative, and layoffs in the marketplace, many candidates are faced with a very uncomfortable dilemma: how to best represent yourself to compete with candidates who have been working consistently for the last few years.

To start, outline what transferable skills you have, whether from a stay at home parent or caretaker. Some of these may include: budgeting, negotiation, multitasking, organization, and scheduling. Apply how the skill would work with the job to which you are interested.

A second idea is to take a refresher course on industry specific software. There are many inexpensive community courses (like at your local middle or high school through Continuing Education) that will assist you in brushing up on your technical expertise.

Additionally, consider the volunteer experience which you have obtained, such as PTA work or school volunteer. Many of those roles offer the same transferrable skills as paid employment. If you have not volunteered, perhaps now is a good time to start, while easing yourself back into the professional world.

Lastly, a great way to get your foot in the door is to temp. There are agencies specializing in a variety of clerical, industrial, and professional roles. That is a great way to showcase your talents to hiring managers! In fact, when I ran a highly profitable temp desk as a recruiter, I converted over 80% of my employees through temp-to-hire! Many of them made more than they did while temping. And even if your first temp employer does not provide you with an offer, being exposed to a variety of organizations and software will assist you in becoming more marketable! Happy hunting!!!

1.     Get to the point. Today. I have other people to interview.
2.     As lovely as the 3 packs of cigarettes you smoked today smells on you, I think it’s time to wrap up this conversation.
3.     If your resume was any longer, you could subtitle it “War and Peace, part 2” and get a publisher to print it out
4.     Sorry you don’t want to drive more than .3 miles outside your door but I don’t have active job listings inside your subdivision.
5.     If I don’t pick up the phone the first time you call, leave a message. That’s what voice mail is for. Restraining orders are quite time consuming and I can’t believe you just called 18 times in a row. while I was wrapping up a call with a potential client because you don’t have 5 seconds of patience. I don’t want to work with you anymore.