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8 top tips for a first time contractors

Paystream News

Michelle Derungs

Friday 12th Sep, 2014

Making the switch from working on a permanent basis to contract work can be tough. So, with that in mind, we have provided 10 top tips for those who are new to the world of contracting...

  • Do you have the expertise to become a contractor?
    The answer in this case will always be yes. The growing demand for contractors is driven by the need for a flexible workforce, not for highly skilled experts. Of course there is a growing need for highly skilled contractors too, but it's essential to remember there is a demand for contractors for every skill set.
  • Evaluate your CV
    Before you start your search for new vacancies make sure you update your CV, especially if you've been in a permanent role for quite some time. You should ensure your CV contains all of your skills and experience even if that means adding back in any short-term, ad hoc jobs you may have previously left out when seeking permanent employment.
  • Upload your CV onto Job Boards
    The fastest way to distribute your CV is to upload it onto a jobs board where companies and recruitment agencies will be continually looking for potential candidates. However make sure that your settings show that you are looking for contract specific roles.
  • Be specific with recruitment agencies
    Don't scatter your CV around to every recruitment agency out there. Make a list of recruitment companies that target the role you're interested in and send your CV out to them. LinkedIn can also be a great tool to connect with recruitment consultants.
  • Be an active member on contractor forums
    Contractor forums can provide you with essential help and advice and can be an excellent way to network with fellow contractors. They can also give you a clearer idea of what skill sets are more in demand along with the average industry pay rates you can expect. This will give you leverage to negotiate the best rates when it comes winning that contract.
  • Update your social channels
    There is no doubt that a well managed set of social profiles can set you ahead of your competitors when it comes to searching for vacancy opportunities. Recruiters are gradually relying on the likes of LinkedIn to identify if a contractor has the right skills set for the role. Make sure you treat LinkedIn like you would your CV making sure it promotes your skills set and previous experience. Building up your endorsements can be an added bonus.
  • Stay ahead
    Make sure you're always one step ahead when it comes to contracting. Have you got your next contract lined up or is there opportunity to extend your current contract? These should be the kinds of questions you are always asking yourself.
  • Get you finances in order
    When you become a contractor you have the added opportunity to maximise your take-home pay by either working through an umbrella company or setting up as a limited company contractor. Each option has its own benefits so it is key to decide which is best for you, please see here for further information. Using a reputable contractor payroll and accountancy service provider, such as PayStream, will give you the added peace of mind that you are operating in a compliant manner.

These quick tips will help you hit the ground running when entering the world of contracting.

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