How to be a good temp….? Part 1 – Look the part!

11 Feb 2014 | Naomi Marshall

The job market is starting to heat up for the new year and there are a lot of great candidates in the market place. Application volumes for both temporary and permanent positions are through the roof and it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. The temp market in particular is flooded not only with those seeking temp work while they wait to find the perfect permanent role, but also a lot of candidates on working holiday visa’s that are unable to commit permanently.

So what can you do to ensure you stand out from the crowd as a good temp?

Remember that your interview with the agency counts!

I can’t tell you how many times I have interviewed candidates that have come to the interview dressed in casual attire (jeans, thongs, unkempt hair etc.) and have then proceeded to tell me that they would never wear such attire for a temporary assignment or to meet a potential employer.

The attitude of “oh well… I’m only meeting the agency” just does not fly…

Remember that the recruiter you’re meeting with ultimately has the final say on whether you will be placed in a temp job. You need to impress them just as much as the employer. I would never put a candidate forward to one of my clients that didn’t at least make an effort to be presentable when they came in to see me.

The one exception to this rule is if you are called in for an interview on short notice and don’t have time to go home and change. In this instance you should always apologise for your attire. I would even suggest going so far as to ask the consultant if it is okay to come in wearing casual, because they may wish to reschedule to a time when you can come in corporately dressed . This is so that they can assess how you would present to their clients.

I must say, I love placing candidates on working holiday visa’s because they generally have a great attitude towards work and are often more flexible in terms of the assignments they will accept etc. However, those on working holiday visa’s are prime culprits for the above example. They often have the excuse that they didn’t bring any corporate attire with them… but I have to say… If you are coming to Sydney on a working holiday the first thing that should have hit your suitcase was not a bikini, it should have been a standard pair of black heals and a corporate work outfit (or the equivalent for boys).

Many candidates seem to be of the opinion that they will be able to buy work attire once they have a job (and therefore money), but it is very hard to secure a job without looking the part.

I can tell you that almost 90% of recruiters and employers will hire the candidate that looks the part over a slightly more experienced candidate that looks a bit scruffy or unkempt.

One of the most common short term temporary assignments is working on reception, and if you walk into an interview with a recruiter looking immaculate, and with a smile on your face (best fashion tip ever) then I guarantee they will think of you when those temporary assignments come through.

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