Temping in Chicago?
July 23, 2007 7:51 AM   Subscribe

Temping in Chicago

I'm planning on doing some temp work while waiting for interviews to pan out. Please recommend some temp/staffing agencies/head-hunters that service Chicago. Any general advice about leveraging future temping experiences into long-term career prospects would be greatly appreciated as well.

Thanks very much for any help!
posted by AceRock to Work & Money (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
It would help to know your level of experience, what type of work you're looking for and what you mean when you say "Chicago". Do you mean the Loop?
posted by MeetMegan at 8:17 AM on July 23, 2007

Response by poster: hi Megan, by "Chicago" I mean anywhere in the Chicago area that is reachable by El, Metra or bus (and a reasonable distance from the Near North Side). In terms of level of experience, I have a BA in psychology and have a year of experience in (psychology) research and some experience in marketing and sales.
posted by AceRock at 8:20 AM on July 23, 2007

Consider checking out BuzzCo and Paladin. I freelanced for both of them before I left Chicago.
posted by answergrape at 8:37 AM on July 23, 2007

I'm currently temping in the northern suburbs (bleh) via OfficeTeam. They have a few offices in the city proper that will likely be able to match you up with assignments that fit your geographical criteria.

I'd caution you to expect mostly low-level administrative work (or worse), but overall they've been courteous, honest, and prompt with me. I'd unreservedly recommend them.

PS-I think I get some kind of referral bonus if you mention me as a referral, check my profile for information if you're feeling generous. Yeah, I'm shameless.
posted by bdk3clash at 8:47 AM on July 23, 2007

Best answer: I am assuming you are looking for some sort of general admin work, rather than temping as an accountant or in a more specialized field such as a legal assistant.

Paladin is a good choice. I worked for Chicago Hire between the time I took the bar exam and I found the job I have now. They were pretty good but they couldn't seem to get their paychecks straight - they kept mailing them to the wrong address. I straightened it out by asking them if I could just pick up my check from the office during lunchtime. That worked out just fine, paricularly since I only worked for them for three months.

One tip based on my experience (since I'm a lawyer and it involves a contract, I need to say that this is not legal advice so please don't take it as such) - make sure whatever you sign with the staffing agency doesn't obligate you to them - you want to be able to sign up with multiple agencies so you have the best chance of finding a position. I signed up with three or four at the same time and Chicago Hire was the first to get me a position.

I'm not sure how easy it will be for you to get a position - I don't know what the market is now (I temped 2-1/2 years ago), and my experience was different than yours - I had been an admin for years and was therefore easier to place because I had more extensive experience.

Your resume should highlight your skills with various software programs - if you are intermediate in Excel, say so - if all you know how to do is put basic sums in, say so. The more you know about Word and PowerPoint the better, in my experience. I knew lots of graphic design programs which helped as well. Your temp resume should be way less focused than your dream job resume. Highlight anything you think a possible employer might be interested in.

Well, this is just how things worked for me. Good luck!
posted by MeetMegan at 8:55 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

I went with NewOffice temps for a while. Served the purpose, but if you tell them you have a car, they'll try and send you to every suburb known to man.
posted by corpse at 11:19 AM on July 23, 2007

Best answer: oof. i've been temping in chicagoland for about three years now. i'm registered with a couple of agencies, but what i've found is this: if you're a professional looking to temp until a job comes through, the agencies are a lot more interested in finding you a job then giving you the short term temp work you're looking for.

i've had moderate success with ProStaff, but they haven't produced anything for me in a while. i'm registered with a couple of other agencies, but they haven't placed me yet. the only agency that was somewhat consistent was telepro temps, but then i have telemarketing skills. It's a paycheck--a nice paycheck, since they pay above market rates for a typical temp.. i'm going on a telepro temps assignment tomorrow.

if you're still looking for work in a week or two, drop me an email--it's in my profile. i'm currently doing some temp work for a friend in the city ... hopefully, not too long. if i leave, he might be interested in you. mostly packing items for shipment, but not too bad. and he pays cash.

between the two, telepro has been much more profitable, and mass transit friendly.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 6:41 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

to add to my first paragraph: you might want to lie.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 7:12 PM on July 23, 2007

Best answer: I asked this question once a long time ago. Based on the suggestions in the thread, I did work for Mack and Associates downtown and they were terrific. Really pleasant to do assignments for. YMMV.
posted by jeanmari at 1:26 PM on August 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

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