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The lowdown on temping

The lowdown on temping

PKL Personnel manager Fiona Coles says concise resumes are vital for temping success. Picture: MILAN SCEPANOVIC

Temping is a great way for "return-to-work mothers'' and those looking for a change in the admin sector to try different work cultures before committing to a full-time job.

According to temp specialists, the market in Sydney and Melbourne is strong for several roles right now, including senior executive assistants and personal assistants, legal secretaries/legal assistants and admin roles in finance, HR and general business.

Some temps find job-jumping a breeze, landing one good assignment after the other and Fiona Coles, temporary division manager of PKL Personnel, said there was no mystery as to why.

Coles said temps who were always in work were flexible, had strong resume presentation skills, and knew how to get the best out of a recruitment consultant.

She said the perfect temp's resume was two pages long and designed to provide a consultant with vital information at a glance.
"For example, after providing contact details in bold, list your skills in bullet points,'' Coles said.

"These would include computer programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, phone systems used and so on. Also list past roles and sectors such as `secretary Fast Moving Consumer Goods'. Indicate when you would be available, for example `immediately'."

After work history, candidates should provide two referees with their landline switchboard numbers not mobiles.
The more flexible a candidate in terms of the assignment he or she will accept, the faster the candidate would be placed.

Also, candidates could register with more than one agency but building a relationship with an individual was important to landing good assignments.
Coles warned that a candidate's first interview started from the moment a consultant picked up the phone.

"Be polite and professional. Communication skills are very important,'' she said.
Coles said it was also a good idea to follow up emailed correspondence with a phone call.

"If you submit a resume in the morning, then, allowing time for processing, it would be fine to follow up with a phone call mid-afternoon,'' she said.

HOW THEY COMPARE
The top five wage rates for temporary personnel in Melbourne and Sydney.
ROLE .....................................................................................MELB ...... SYD
Senior EA/PA investment banking ....................................$27-$32 ... $28-$22
Executive assistant general ...............................................$23-$26 .... $24-$27
Legal secretary/ assistants ................................................$24-$27 ... $23-$28
Finance/accounts assistant ...............................................$22-$25 ... $22-$27
Specialist co-ordinators (HR/marketing/ recruitment/ operations co-ordinators ... $19-$21 .... $20-$26

By Kate Southam, Editor of careerone.com.au

For more useful tips read the other stories in the Job Hunting Strategy section.