Want to start temping but not sure if your CV is up to it?
The way your CV is formatted, and the specific information you choose to include, is often dependent on the type of work you’re looking for – so tailoring your CV accordingly is vital.
Doing so will help to create an attractive CV that’ll stand out to recruiters, demonstrate the attributes that make you a good fit for temporary work, and help land you the role(s) you want.
You don’t need to change your CV entirely, but shifting focus will undoubtedly improve the relevance of your details. To help you out, we’ve put together our own Temporary CV template:
Just here for the template? Click the link below:
Never underestimate the selling power of a personal statement. That is, if it’s done correctly.
Be clear about who you are, what you have to offer, and what you’re looking for – and make sure this matches what the employer is trying to find. In the case of temporary work, you’ll benefit most from placing emphasis on your ability to start work immediately, and your flexibility.
Always relate back to the type of role you’re applying for, and talk about real examples to emphasise your skills and experience.
Your skills can also be linked to your work experience, so it’s up to you whether you decide to include a separate section for them. Think about what paints you in the best light, and prioritise accordingly based on space and what really adds value.
Whatever you choose to do, avoid clichés, and use examples to highlight your skills accurately. Most importantly, place the highest amount of emphasis on the skills needed specifically for temporary work.
Although you’ll undoubtedly need a range of sills for the role, concentrating on your ability to adapt to different situations, communicate effectively with others, and work well under pressure (as many temp positions are to help with busy periods), will help to prove you’re a good fit.
Always order your employment history in reverse chronological order, and remember that it’s not a case of quantity, but of quality.
For example, if you’ve temped before, it’s likely you’ll have worked in a large number of roles. Instead of simply including every single one, consider their relevance to the role in question, and ask yourself, is it really adding anything? If not, you’re better off using the space for more useful information.
Instead of listing your daily duties in each role, talk about accomplishments or achievements you’ve experienced in those positions, focusing on what you’ve actually done to directly influence a successful outcome. This will quantify your skills and make you stand out.
If you haven’t got any work experience under your belt just yet – don’t worry. It’s perfectly acceptable to place more emphasis on your education or skills instead. And remember, temporary, part-time, and volunteer work are all suitable forms of experience, and will demonstrate your proactive attitude and eagerness to get started.
Some roles place equal or more importance on your education than your work experience, so it’s important to reference it appropriately in your CV.
Place the most recent qualifications first, and include everything from GCSE level onwards, but don’t overdo it with excessive detail.
But be selective. Simply highlighting grades, qualifications, and subject names for the most relevant topics (including Maths and English) is enough to represent your educational achievements – and including every single one will only clutter up your CV.
If you have a degree and don’t feel the subject name alone is enough to represent what you learnt, feel free to reference specific modules to demonstrate your wider knowledge.
Hobbies and interests
This section is often seen as a necessity, but it is in fact an optional part of your CV.
Unless you have unique hobbies that are likely to grab the reader’s attention, or relate back to the role, feel free to opt out of including them.
However, they can often be a good conversation starter if you’re invited to an interview. So if you do decide to include some hobbies, make sure you’re comfortable expanding on them, and are able to turn them into an interesting selling point given the opportunity.
Remember: generic hobbies such as ‘socialising with friends’ or ‘going to the cinema’ should always be avoided.
Unless the job advert states otherwise, there’s no reason why you can’t state that your references are available upon request.
Just be sure that when you do provide employers with references, that they’re a reliable source. Although this is often dismissed as something that interviewers don’t bother to check, they always will – and you could lose out if you don’t take choose a trustworthy and genuine contact.
So find a family friend, a teacher, or a career councillor to back you up on your credibility and suitability for the role, and your mind will be at ease knowing you’ve covered all bases.
Need more CV advice?
It takes an employer just seven seconds to save or reject a job applicant’s CV. This means creating a succinct CV is absolutely vital if you want to land that all-important interview.
To find out how to make your CV stand out from the crowd, buy James Reed’s new book: The 7 Second CV: How to Land the Interview.
Ready to try temping? View all available temporary positions now.