Recruiter POV: Best Resume Tips

Blog written by recruiter Samantha Scott and her colleague Koreena Geisler-Wagner. Though Contemporaries is typically able to get you into a job without your resume based on our relationship with the client, your resume is ultimately the driving force behind marketing yourself for any job (temp or perm). Your resume is a snapshot of your experience and skills, and is meant to give a hiring manager a very quick impression of you.

In her article titled “Want An Unbeatable Resume? Read These Tips From A Top Recruiter“, Kerry Hannon outlines her best tips from her point of view as a recruiter on how to craft the best resume. We’ve taken the liberty of highlighting the tips we think are most applicable below.

The interviewer asks Kerry what she thinks makes an unbeatable resume. The most important thing she notes is this: keep it simple. A resume ideally shouldn’t be longer than a page, but no longer than two pages. Your objective should be clear, and it should be organized well; a typical resume is read in 10 seconds.

A good resume can get your foot in the door, but what really makes an impact is networking and hard work. As Kerry says, networking is key and persistence is important. Call friends, family, former colleagues, and beyond. It’s important to keep your LinkedIn profile current as well.

Kerry says the key ingredient to landing an interview is this: guts. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call. Your resume can only get you so far without an in-person meeting, so be diligent in obtaining that.

A Precocious Kid Can Teach You a Lot About Finding a Job

Blog written by recruiter Samantha Scott. You’ve probably heard about the young girl from Hereford, England who submitted a unique job inquiry to the CEO of Google. As adorable as Chloe is, we can learn a lot from her approach to getting a job at the company she wants. In her article, Allison Hirschlag outlines the tips you can take from Chloe in her attempt to get a big head start on her career. She made her intentions and reasons very clear while setting herself apart from the rest of the candidate pool, as well as a few other important steps too. Read her tips in the article here.


Emotional Intelligence: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Blog written by recruiter Samantha Scott. At Contemporaries, we know that one’s emotional intelligence (“street smarts”) can make or break you when you’re placed on an assignment. Having high EI has numerous benefits that can help you succeed in your job. Studies have shown that EI can give you an edge in the workplace. On the other hand, it can impede you as well. Having high EI can make one prone to excessive sensitivity and avoidance of conflict. In her article Emotional intelligence. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Ladders digital copywriter and blogger Pamela Lewis outlines how to capitalize on your emotional intelligence to succeed in the workplace and avoid missteps high EI can cause.

Do You Have What It Takes to be Successful?

Blog written by Recruiter Samantha Scott.

At Contemporaries, we’re proud of the fact that we’re responsible for the success of so many of our current and past employees. Our jobs are opportunities to advance one’s career, as they offer excellent experience and the vast majority can eventually turn into permanent jobs. That being said, once we place you the job is yours to be successful in, and that takes certain traits, skills, and disciplines.

In her article, Michelle Hawley outlines some tips on what it takes to be successful. These traits can be honed and perfected with time and effort, and will always make a positive impact on your success both professionally and personally. Read the article here.

10 Tips to Nail the Interview

Blog written by recruiter Samantha Scott. Most of the time, we’re able to send our candidates to a job without any interview, based solely on the recommendation of our CEO Donna. That being said, we are sometimes must send our candidates on perfunctory interviews with our clients.

Though our candidates are able to get right in based on Donna’s relationship with the client, they still need to shine in any interviews. It is important to hone your skills, fine-tune your body language, and do your research beforehand. The job is yours to get based off of Donna’s recommendation to the client, so it’s important that you’re prepared when you head in.

Jessica DiLullo Herrin outlines some great tips you may not have thought of before to nail your next interview. Read her article here.

How to Navigate a Temp & Staffing Agency Partnership

Blog written by Contemporaries Senior Recruiter Sarah LeGrand.

Lately I’ve seen many articles regarding how and why to develop the successful balance of a working relationship between temps and staffing agencies. When managed correctly, a strong partnership between a temp and a staffing agency can be extremely beneficial to both your professional growth and your career goals. As the communication and clarity between both parties increase, the margin for error and misunderstanding greatly decrease. At Contemporaries, clear communication and consistent follow through are extremely key pieces of our foundation. As a result of the strong relationships our CEO, Donna Fitzgerald, has with our clients, the majority of our temp-staffing agency partnerships result in a permanent position at a great company that our candidates oftentimes would have been unable to get into on their own as they are relying solely on their resume.

The following are a couple helpful highlights all temps should know about the best way to navigate a temp-staffing agency partnership from “How to Work Successfully with a Temporary Staffing Firm”, written by Chris Mitchell and Brian Beaudry.

  • Know Your Employer

    “When you take a contract or temp position through a staffing firm, the agency is technically your employer. Although you will report to a manager at the company, your paycheck, W-9 and benefits will come from the staffing firm. This can be confusing to many first-time temps. Many companies use staffing firms specifically because they are set up to handle the complicated pay and benefit structure of contract workers. You may be concerned that this arrangement may be a hurdle in turning your temporary role into a permanent one,”  but in fact, the clients that call us know that the person we send is a potential temp to perm and as mentioned, the great majority of our positions end in a permanent transition for our candidates.

  • Insist on Transparency and Open Communication

    “Recruiters can only do their jobs well when candidates are honest with them. Don’t accept a temp job knowing that you have two interviews for permanent roles the next week, or tell the recruiter that you have a 2-week vacation planned” after you’ve started the job. “You may be hesitant to share this information for fear that it will impact your consideration for a position, but if your recruiter knows ahead of time they can work with it. If they don’t, and have to tell employers after the fact, it can damage your reputation — and theirs. Tell them the whole story from the beginning so they can best manage that information and assist you in finding the right position.”

In closing, please see the next few highlights from “Why Job Seekers Should Work with Staffing Agencies”, written by Kathy McAuliffe, which detail some additional insight into the benefits of this type of partnership.

  • “Staffing employment grew 5.4% in 2014, with US staffing companies employing 3.2 million temps and contract workers every week.” Staffing is a constantly growing solution for companies throughout the US and will only further increase as employers continue to recognize and embrace its many benefits.
  • A study done in 2015 by CareerBuilder “…notes that temporary help services were some of the first industries to add jobs when the recession finally ended, growing 57 percent between 2009 and 2014.” Even when times are tough, employers continue to need the same level of  support for their businesses, but must be much more cautious. When it comes to cutting costs and ensuring you’re making the right staffing decision before investing the bulk of your resources, employers partnering with staffing agencies is often the surest bet; this serves as a great benefit for temps who need to work and cannot wait for hiring freezes to be lifted or positions to be made available after extensive budgeting.
  • Temping is a great way to learn about company culture, exercise the skills you have and gain additional experience. Not only does a temp assignment provide you with a job and get your foot in the door at a great company, but it also puts you right in front of our client so you could be effectively “interviewing” each day for an eventual permanent position.
  • “[Staffing agencies] have lots of jobs. Busy employers depend on them to fill many positions on a temporary or temp-to-hire basis; sometimes even direct hire opportunities…Recruiters at staffing agencies have their fingers on the pulse of the job market every day. They see change coming. They know what to advise you about skills in demand, and finding and keeping work in the current economy.
  • The staffing agency that decides to work with you wants you to land the job and will do its best working with you, to help show you are a good fit for the job and the company culture. The high quality agency has both your and the employer’s best interests at heart.”


Happy 2017!

Blog written by Contemporaries CEO Donna Fitzgerald.

As our 19th year begins, I want to thank our great employees and our valued clients. We had a very profitable year in 2016 and as we do every year, we shared the profit with our employees in monetary and gift card year-end bonuses. At Contemporaries, we enjoy giving back to the people who have helped us to have another successful year and are proud to say we are the only agency to do so.

It has been a great year, many of our employees moved from temporary to permanent positions with the companies we placed them with, because of our relationship with clients who continue to trust us to send them the right people, people who had the right skills and aptitude to succeed. As you may know, most temporary agencies send multiple resumes and candidates to an employer for interviews, so their candidates are competing against each other. Contemporaries does not do this; Contemporaries always predetermines which candidate is most likely to succeed at a position, based on our experience and knowledge of the needs of the client and the skills of the candidate.

We will continue to grow in 2017. We have expanded our footprint in the non-profit sector and with universities and start-ups as well, and continue to fill those last-minute requests with a sense of urgency. We will be adding new services and staff in the coming year in order to maintain our high level of placements with our clients. I also want to thank our clients for the recent increase in referrals.

Finally, I want to thank Janet, Sarah, Michael, Samantha and Larry for their contributions in making 2016 so successful for Contemporaries.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017 for you all. I want to leave you with a quote from Eckhart Tolle.

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

Best to you all,

Donna Fitzgerald, CEO

28 Things You Should Never Say to Your Boss

Blog written by Contemporaries senior recruiter Sarah LeGrand.

Although Contemporaries’ candidates all have excellent skill sets and potential, many do not necessarily have an extensive work history. As a result of this, we’ve found that it’s often helpful to provide advice regarding professionalism and certain do’s and don’ts of the work place in order to supply our employees with their best chance at success. Similarly to the article we found this week, titled, “28 Things You Should Never Say to Your Boss”, written by Jacquelyn Smith, much of the advice we give our temps has to do with what should not be said to their on site supervisors.

Although we agree with the majority of this article and have often recommended similar sentiments, we would like to say that we believe it’s better to say, “I don’t know,” and offer to find the answer rather than just offering your best guess; offering no answer at the time is better than the wrong answer. Check out the aforementioned article for some other key phrases to cut out of your vocabulary in the work place.


The Pros of Long-Term Partnership with a Staffing Agency

Blog written by Contemporaries senior recruiter Sarah LeGrand.

One phenomenon that has been hard to ignore in recent years is a too-common mindset that staffing agencies are a “necessary evil” for both candidates and clients in the job search process; this couldn’t be farther from the truth (although we can only speak for Contemporaries). The following are some positive benefits of partnering with a staffing agency for the long haul from both a client and a candidate standpoint, and I believe you’ll find that they far outweigh any lingering doubts or hints of negativity.

For Clients: The unemployment rate in Massachusetts is currently the 6th lowest in the United States, which means that finding the right candidate is extremely difficult and can be draining on both company time and resources. Contemporaries is not only able to step in and cut out the difficult parts of the sourcing process; but, as our clients continue to disclose to us their specific needs, concerns, goals and company culture, we are able to operate with a clear picture and identify the best candidate for the company, and the role, the first time around.

Unfortunately, not all staffing agencies are consistent about the quality of their candidates. Once the first Contemporaries candidate is placed and proven, a long-term partnership with our staffing agency ensures that future placements will continue to yield the same rate of success. A long-term partnership with an agency is almost always going to be the right way to go, but the partnership is only effective if it’s the right agency; an effective relationship between hiring managers and recruiters should be built on respect, communication and reliability. Quality (provided by a company-culture-focused staffing agency like Contemporaries) should never be compromised for quantity (provided by a large, fill-in-bulk staffing agency) and we’ve found that not all that glitters is gold.

For Candidates: As I’ve mentioned recently, the job market is currently incredibly competitive and trying to claw your way into a great industry (even with that college degree) can feel next to impossible. We realize there are excellent and capable candidates out there becoming discouraged by a low success rate with the application process and getting nervous about that rent check that’s coming due. Thankfully, our CEO’s relationships with our clients cuts through the application and interview process the same way Contemporaries’ staffing expertise cuts down the sourcing process for our clients. Due to our CEO’s proven record of the highest quality placements, Contemporaries has relationships with hiring managers that surpass the resumes and countless interviews. Our goal is to make the right placement not only for our client, but also for our candidates, as we strive for the right long term fit.

A long term relationship with a great recruiter is always beneficial to your end game. If you are looking for a great, permanent job, having a strong and communicative relationship with a recruiter will fast track you to finding the best fit. The clearer a candidate is about their preferences (while maintaining flexibility), goals and any potential obstacles (upcoming vacation plans, etc.), the easier it makes it for your recruiter to know when and where to place you. Once we place a candidate with one of our clients, the majority end up going perm once both parties realize it’s a great fit. Our prerogative is to do our best to ensure you succeed in your assignment and, if possible, negotiate your transition to a permanent role with our client.

In short, a long term partnership with a staffing agency  for a client can be the final relief of endless hours swamped with job posting bills, resumes, interviews and failed hires. A long term partnership between a candidate and a recruiter will streamline the job search, offer a direct introduction to a premium company and (hopefully) help you find that permanent fit without all of the trial and error. We’re here to help.

4 Tips for Leaving Stress at the Office

In order for our best performance potential to be maximized and maintained, it’s necessary to create a healthy work-life balance for yourself. Stress can be an excellent motivator in small doses, but if you don’t allow yourself adequate space free of stress to recharge, it will be much harder to approach the situation again with new eyes in order to obtain the best result. Stress, if allowed to run rampant, can negatively affect your energy levels, processing and even physical health. Although a “stress-free” environment is entirely a myth and some measure of stress is to be expected (and even embraced) in every workplace, it is possible to take measures to protect yourself from becoming overwhelmed and even burnt out.

We liked the ideas suggested in the article, “4 Tips for Leaving Work Stress at the Office”, written by Brit + Co, which, if implemented, can help you to take time to step back, relax and rejuvenate yourself once you’ve left work for the day.

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