7 Tips to Make the Short-List with Preferred Employers

More and more employers are looking to build a "go-to" contingent workforce made up of gig workers they can count on to do a great job. They don’t want to spend unnecessary time and money “retraining” newbies when seasoned gigsters can do the job quicker and get better results. To accomplish this, companies build a preferred “short list” of reliable workers they can send the job request to before sending it to an entire pool of workers.

If you’re a gig worker who wants to take it to the next level, you’ll want repeat business. You can do that by getting on the hiring manager’s short list. The more you prove you’re one of the best gig workers for the job, the more likely you are to make their short list. And while not guaranteed you’ll land the gig, you are guaranteed that your chances will drastically improve.

Once your name is on the short list of candidates, the hiring manager will select a final (or a few final) winners. Getting on employers’ short list creates a pipeline of opportunities for you. The best way to make the short list is to kill it each and every time you are on a job.

Here are seven tips on how you can do that:

  1. Be professional – Being professional is a lot more than just dressing right, arriving on time, and getting the job done (although all three are important!). It’s more about how you conduct yourself while working and the impression you make on coworkers and managers. If you want to be viewed as competent, you’ll need to strike a healthy balance between being friendly and leaving your personal life at the door. Nobody wants to hear about your problems, your political views, or what’s wrong with the gig. Carry yourself with confidence, integrity, and respectability.
  2. Be punctual – Everybody knows (or should know!) that getting to work on time is important, but punctuality is even more vital for gig workers. Forbes explains why: Gig workers often work unsupervised and should know how to manage their time properly. Showing up on time is a key indicator you’re taking the work seriously.
  3. Pay attention! – Busy managers don’t want to have to repeat themselves again and again. So when you’re getting trained for the job, listen up! Make sure you understand your responsibilities and know where any required supplies are kept. If you’re unsure of something, ask! It’s much better to ask a question than it is making a mistake that can be held against you.
  4. Don’t be a no-show – Think about it. As a gig worker you’re often filling in for employee no-shows and last minute cancellations. You don’t want to be a no-show for a no-show. That’s just bad for business and bad for you.
  5. Maintain a positive attitude – A positive outlook can make a big difference when it comes to getting on a short list. Co-workers and bosses both like gig workers who bring a positive outlook to the job. Show your best self and chances are hiring managers are going to call you first.
  6. Put down the cell phone – As part of a contingent workforce, you’re there to fill a vacancy and to help keep business running smoothly. You can’t do that if you’re chatting it up on your phone. If you need to make a call, excuse yourself or do it on your scheduled break. Follow this one simple tip, and you’ll stand-out as a stellar temporary staffer.
  7. Play well with others – Because gig workers are more focused on doing the job rather than the work environment, seasoned gig workers know how to get along with coworkers without getting pulled into company drama. If you want to see your name on the short list, make the most of your time there by remaining friendly, but avoid any office politics.


Treating a gig like a job interview and following these seven tips will help you make a strong impression with employers and expand your gig opportunities. If you liked the gig, considering asking the manager to keep you in mind for future opportunities. Building strong personal relationships will expand your network and help you transition from gig worker to permanent employee when (and if) you want.

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