Why building up your skills set as a contractor is crucial

Thursday 24th September, 2015
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Contractor Info

As a contractor, it has always been advantageous to tailor your CV for every role you apply for. However, do you find that you are still struggling to secure that next contract even though your CV has been customised to each specific opportunity?

The reality is that in the fast paced industry of contracting a recruiter can receive an average of 200-300 CVs for each role, which would take them hours to get through even if they only skim read each one.

That is why many consultants use CV scanner technology to filter through hundreds of CVs automatically highlighting those that have a matching skills set. The downside of this technology is that it is unlikely to recognise your experience as it is only looking for a matching skills set. Therefore if your skills set isn't up to date, you are likely to fall at the first hurdle.

As an umbrella or limited company contractor, building up your skills set is important if you want to continually secure contracts, because the harsh reality is, if you don't someone else is likely to be chosen over you.

The good news is that you can always build on your skills set, no matter where you are in your career. Short-term training courses, industry seminars and events and even online courses that offer video tutorials on a wide array of subjects such as Lynda.com, are ideal tools to do this.

The ideal time to start your training would be just after you've finished your contract. You'll have the time to devote yourself fully to your study and you may know where your skill gaps are as they may have been highlighted in your previous contract. You should also regularly check job vacancies within your chosen industry as they will also give you an idea of what skills are in demand so that you can give yourself the edge.

If you, as an umbrella or limited company contractor, prefer the flexibility of training whilst you work, there are a growing number of training courses that offer weekend training or compact 'boot camp' courses.

Most people don't relish the thought of spending money on training courses but it's worthwhile to remember that doing so could increase your odds of securing that next contract by giving you the edge over your competition.



The good news is that you can always build on your skills set, no matter where you are in your career. Short-term training courses, industry seminars and events and even online courses that offer video tutorials on a wide array of subjects such as Lynda.com, are ideal tools to do this.