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The Importance of Updating Your Skills for Temporary Work

The Importance of Updating Your Skills for Temporary Work
Jill Wells
For Candidates

In today’s increasingly competitive job market, updating skills for temporary work is critical for success.

With the job market tightening across industries, the significance of temporary employment has dramatically increased for both employers and employees.

Staying competitive in the temp job market requires a high level of flexibility and a broad range of skills. You never know when you may be required to transition between different roles and industries. This is why continuous skill updating and development is essential. Updating your skills helps you to navigate these transitions with greater agility and helps you become a more valuable asset in the temporary job market.

For many, temporary work is simply a stopgap to provide financial security until they find permanent employment. However, it can be so much more. You could actually be enhancing employability through temp work. The many career benefits of temporary work can lead to overall advancement. You can actually think of temp work as a strategic career move. In our previous blog post, we explored the concept of temporary work and the challenges it can pose. In today’s article, we dive into why keeping your skills updated is so vital for temporary work.

What are Employers Looking for in Temporary Workers?

Companies need temporary workers who know how to hit the ground running. Most of the time, employers have a pressing need for a specific set of skills that they may not require from their permanent employees. Focus on developing “transferable skills” for temp jobs. These are skills that can be used in a variety of roles and positions and are not necessarily technical in nature. Examples of significant transferable skills include the ability to work well under pressure and second-to-none time management skills. Below, we break down the specific areas to focus on when enhancing skill sets for temp job opportunities.

Skills Employers Look For In Temp Workers

1. Flexible Mindset

Temporary workers are often required to jump right into brand-new situations and adapt accordingly. The importance of flexibility in temp roles is quite clear. Permanent employees can take time to adapt to their roles. By contrast, temps don’t have the time. It’s critical to be able to hit the ground running. In interviews, on your profile pages, and on your CV, emphasise your ability to pick up new skills and knowledge rapidly. This is especially true for temporary roles where the learning curve is steep and time is limited. Employers don’t want to have to hold your hand as a temp worker. They want you to be able to tackle tasks yourself.

2. Good Social and Communication Skills

A temp worker is often brought in as a temporary replacement for a permanent position in the team. This may occur right in the middle of a project, requiring the new worker to quickly connect and get up to speed with their team members in a matter of days. It’s not enough to have the requisite technical skills if you don’t have the ability to seamlessly integrate into the existing team. When speaking to potential employers, be sure to mention any experience that required you to communicate with diverse groups of people.

3. Ability to Ask the Right Questions

You’ve heard the expression, “There are no bad questions.” When it comes to temp workers, that’s not exactly true – there are bad questions that you shouldn’t be asking. Let’s look at some tips for temp workers on asking questions. Good temps don’t ask questions because they constantly need help with their tasks. On the contrary, the ideal temporary worker only asks the questions necessary to get a clear understanding of what their manager or colleagues want to achieve. Again, it’s all about emphasising your independence and your ability to fill in the gaps yourself without having everything explained ahead of time.

4. Proactive

When a manager looks to hire a temp worker, they are looking to either get results or at least keep the productivity of the team at the same level that it was before the absence of the permanent employee. One of the key skills employers look for in a temp worker is a commitment to being proactive. It’s vital for temp employees to always offer their help to team members.

5. Resilience

When a team loses a valuable employee mid-way through a project, stress levels can be high. This is often the environment that temp workers are required to step into. This is why resilience is another key skill in order to deal with temp work challenges and solutions. Resilience is the ability to deal with difficult situations with an optimistic and practical mindset. Demonstrate that you understand how to adapt to changes while still maintaining your work schedule and tasks.

6. Adaptability

The importance of adaptability in temp jobs is clear with every job posting. Along with flexibility in mindset, adaptability is also critical. Highlight experiences where you quickly adapted to new work environments, tasks, or teams. When interacting with potential employers, mention any instances where you had to learn new systems or processes on the fly.

7. Diverse Skill Set

Another key aspect employers will look for is whether or not you have demonstrated a diverse skill set. In some industries, past work experience outside of your main area of expertise can be irrelevant. However, when it comes to temporary work, a variety of industries and different roles can actually be a point of strength. Use it to demonstrate your versatility and ability to contribute in different settings.

8. Problem-Solving

Temporary workers are often expected to navigate unfamiliar situations and solve problems on their own. Be sure to highlight examples where you identified and solved problems without extensive supervision.

9. Teamwork

A strong ability to work with a team is a must for temp workers. Temporary workers must often work closely with existing teams. Be sure to highlight any teamwork or collaboration skills, especially in diverse or changing teams.

Showcasing Your Skills

Updating your skills is vital, but you must also demonstrate the connections between those skills and what employers are looking for in temp workers. Often, tailoring your CV and professional image for temp work requires you to broaden your overall skill set and not just focus on one job. You may need to rethink how you word your CV and the examples you provide. Take a look at your job profiles and CV, and ask yourself these questions:

• Am I effectively demonstrating my adaptability on my CV?

• How can I better showcase my strong ability to quickly learn new skills?

• What strategies am I using to emphasise my problem-solving skills on my CV in a clear and impactful way?

Demonstrating Adaptability on a CV

When it comes to crafting an effective temp worker CV, demonstrating adaptability is of the greatest importance. Use specific examples and highlight specific roles or projects where you successfully adapted to new environments or challenges. It’s not just about facts and details; you need to be able to tell the story of what happened and how you were successful.

Another part of streamlining your CV for temporary positions includes a range of roles, industries, and projects you’ve worked on. This is great for demonstrating an ability to thrive in diverse settings.

Finally, under your “Skills” section, add “Adaptability” or “Flexibility and pair it with real-life examples in your “Experience” section.

Showcasing Quick Learning Ability

Among all the essential skills for temporary job success, the ability to quickly learn may be at the top of the list for what employers are looking for. It is truly one of the key skills for success in temporary jobs. On your CV, be sure to mention learning on the job – detail instances where you had to learn new software, tools, or methodologies quickly to meet job requirements or improve processes. When it comes to the role of certifications in temp work, they are highly desirable. List any relevant certifications, workshops, or courses you completed. Finally, in your “Skills” section, include “Quick Learner” or “Fast Learner.”

Emphasising Problem-Solving Skills

Highlight the challenges you’ve overcome. Describe challenging situations you’ve faced in previous roles and how you addressed them. Focus on the process and the outcome. Quantify your results. Use numbers to quantify the impact of your problem-solving efforts, such as cost savings, time saved, or revenue generated.

Add “Problem-Solving” to your “Skills” section.

By integrating these strategies into your CV, you can create a compelling narrative that not only showcases your skills but also paints a picture of a well-rounded, versatile, and valuable candidate.

Focus On Making The Most of Temporary Work Experiences

Keeping your skills up to date and adapting your CV for temp work is evident. Doing so enables you to navigate the complexities of the job market, seize diverse opportunities, and forge a path of continuous professional development. In a world where change is the only constant, the readiness to learn and adapt is the hallmark of a resilient and successful career.

Here at WellsGray, we are dedicated to helping you find work that is both fulfilling and financially rewarding. When it comes to professional reputation building for temps, overcoming challenges in temporary jobs, or navigating the temp job application process, we have your back.

Speak with our Office Support Recruitment Experts