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As of now, my situation is the following:

  • I have no job.
  • I have a contract for a permanent position at company A ready to be signed.
  • I would like to work for company B.

The problem:

  • To work for company B, I would have to make interviews and the hiring process could last up to 4 months.
  • I absolutely do not want to start working for company A and then leave after a few months if I get the job at company B.

Here's what I've planned: right now, I could seek for a temporary job at some company C. While working there, I would be doing interviews for company B. If the interviews go well and I get the job, I can start working for my beloved company B as soon as the temporary work contract expires. If I fail, I can start working for company A.

Now, my question is: what should I tell company C's managers and recruiters? If they start asking questions such as "why a temporary job?" or "what will you do when the contract expires?" or "are you interested in getting a permanent job with us?", what should I tell them? And what should I write in my cover letter?

If they offer a temporary contract, probably they already know that I'm going to leave at some point. Otherwise they wouldn't be offering a temporary contract, am I right? If this is the case, should I be honest and tell the truth from the beginning?

In case it's not obvious enough, I have never signed a temporary contract in my life.

  • 1
    Is short term contracting / freelance work an option in your industry? – Philip Kendall Sep 13 '15 at 18:06
  • @PhilipKendall: I work in the IT industry as a software engineer. Short term contracts are not frequent, but looking around it seems there are a few offers. – user1807 Sep 13 '15 at 18:28
  • @JoeStrazzere: yes, I am sure. Long story short: I have worked with those people in the past and they would be happy to see me again. – user1807 Sep 13 '15 at 19:18
  • What happens if the job with company B doesn't pan out? You say the process of getting this job could take up to 4 months. But then again, 4 months later the answer could be no, and you may regret not having taken company A's contract offer. – Brandin Sep 15 '15 at 14:19
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what should I tell company C's managers and recruiters? If they start asking questions such as "why a temporary job?" or "what will you do when the contract expires?" or "are you interested in getting a permanent job with us?", what should I tell them?

Start with the truth.

Something like:

  • I'm looking for something short-term as I pursue other permanent opportunities.
  • If my contract expires before I have found another job, I'll re-up for another short-term contract here or elsewhere
  • I'd be happy to talk with you about a permanent job with you, but I can't make any commitment at this time

And what should I write in my cover letter?

Again, the truth.

Write that you are seeking a short-term temporary position. Then write why you would be a terrific fit for the short-term contract they are offering.

  • Are you sure I should be explicit about the fact that I'm looking for other opportunities? I'm asking because being honest about this fact is the reason I'm without a job now :| – user1807 Sep 13 '15 at 19:20
  • Personally, I disagree. Tell the truth, yes, but do not overshare. In software engineering, temporary jobs go to the job applicants who are willing to stay on permanently. Temporary jobs in software engineering are a way for a company to test a potential employee and not commit to him/her until the company is sure. Only in the rarest of cases, are they for a one-off software project that they know for sure is going to end. Also, you're assuming that company B is going to hire you for sure? How can you be so certain? Have they said as much? Putting all your eggs in one basket is just too risky. – Stephan Branczyk Sep 14 '15 at 1:52
  • @user1807, You should really be asking this question on a more anonymous job board. The only reason you haven't been getting an alternative answer on here is because most of us are not anonymous and we all expect potential employers to read what we've written. – Stephan Branczyk Sep 14 '15 at 2:00

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