6 Top Tips for writing a noticeable resume for agency work

young doctor looking at the camera

When you're applying for an agency or casual position it can be confusing knowing what your recruiter may be looking for. A lot of causal or temp staffing agencies continually recruit for employees throughout the year and when advertising there are multiple positions available which can work in your favour. Whilst this could be interpreted as less competition for the role, the reverse is often true. Generally agencies have an oversupply of candidates putting them in a position to select the best candidates for the role.

Getting noticed does not mean going to extraordinary lengths. Paying attention to these 6 simple tips will help get your application to the top of the list.

1. Do not over do the summary

Making sure that your CV is personalised to the employer that you are applying to is imperative. Resume's that have long winded, irrelevant or summaries written for a competitor indicate that your commitment or interest in the position you have applied for is low. Temp work may only be a footnote in your long term career goals but showing that you at least took the time to modify your CV for the company you have applied to will gain you extra points.

Do's and Don'ts
* Make sure your summary is short, concise and relevant for the position you have applied to. Recruiters are generally time poor and will not read long summaries. We recommend 1 or 2 paragraphs at the most.
* Do double check you have included the correct company name (if you have included it - we recommend you do)
* Don't write a long summary or overdo the content

2. Make your CV easy to ready

Making your CV easy to read by highlighting important information such as your name, employment details and references as well as ensuring the layout is easy to read will work in your favour. Recruiters spend a large part of their day skimming through CV's looking for the relevant information to make an assessment on your application. Difficult to read or resumes missing information will go to the bottom of the pile to be dealt with when time is available for follow up. This mistake can delay your application for weeks.

Do's and Don'ts
* Do make sure that your CV's layout is simple, clean and well-spaced. Also use a clean font that is large enough to read.
* Do ensure that you have included your contact details, employment history including start and end dates, qualifications and referees
* Do highlight headings
* Don't use hard to read or comical fonts, unnecessarily large font sizes or too many colours

3. Include your professional referees

When applying we recommend that you include the contact details of two professional referees so that the recruiter can conduct those reference checks quickly. In order to reduce the cost of hiring staff many organisations will conduct reference checks to qualify applicants for an interview. This is the reverse to most positions you will have applied for in the past.

By including your referees on your resume when you apply, you give yourself the best chance of being at the top of the list.

Do's and Don'ts
* Do make sure that you have asked permission from your referees before including them on your CV
* Do make sure that you include their preferred method of contact and note it on your CV if necessary
* Don't use friends or family as referees even if they were your manager, unless there is no other option
* Don't use "references available on request" unless your situation is genuinely sensitive. If you're applying for a casual or temp position most employers will not mind that you are looking for extra work as long as you assure them that they come first

4. Include only relevant job details

We get it, you're proud of your work accomplishments and you want the world to know!. However less can be more when it comes to tailoring your CV for an agency. For example, including your first job at McDonald's or the Bar you worked in during college on your resume for a causal nursing position is not necessary.

Unless you have never worked in the industry before or you're just starting out, we recommend that you only include work history relevant to the position you are applying for .

Do's and Don'ts
* Do include employment history relevant to the position that you are applying for including detail on your role and duties
* Do include jobs in other industries if the skills that you gained are transferable and relevant to the position you are applying for
* Don't include jobs in the past with no relevance or informal positions

5. Keep your CV short

Applying for a new position can be daunting and you may feel that you need to include as much information as you possibly can cram into the space. And whilst ensuring that you have covered the bases including the recruitment criteria, shorter resumes are often the first to be read. We recommend as a general rule no more than 1 to 2 pages for an agency position.

Do's and Don'ts
* Do keep your CV to a maximum of 2 pages
* Don't be tempted to write a small novel about your life and working history. Whilst it is necessary when applying for a corporate or government position to go into lengthy explanations, less is definitely more in this situation.

6. Demonstrate that you meet the position or selection criteria

Our final recommendation is that you make a last check over your resume to ensure that all of the qualifications, skills and employment history to meet the selection or position criteria are included on your resume.

Good luck with your search