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Top tips on seeking contract work

Paystream News

Michelle Derungs

Thursday 12th Feb, 2015

It is important for any contractor to plan ahead and be as proactive as possible when seeking new contracts in order to avoid unpaid gaps.

Contractor roles are filled quickly so to get ahead of the game, you as umbrella or limited company contractors, must be proactive and tactical in your approach.

As such, PayStream provides 5 top tips on how to find that next contract.

1.  Keep your CV fresh and up to date

Although an obvious point, it is nevertheless an essential one. You should highlight the key skills and attributes that you have carried out in previous roles which are directly relevant to the role you are applying for.

This may mean creating several versions of your CV for different roles. However, doing this will give you an edge over fellow contractors applying for the same vacancy.

2. Make use of keywords in your CV

It is important to bear in mind that when recruiters do a CV search on a CV library they use select keywords that are specific to your industry. By making sure that you include industry specific keywords in your CV you can dramatically increase the chance of your CV being noticed by recruiters and clients.

3. Promote yourself on industry related job boards.

It is estimated that around 80% of contract roles are obtained via agencies. Therefore it is important, as a limited or umbrella company contractor, that you register with an agency that suits your needs. When consultants have placements to fill they will also visit jobs boards so it's important to have a presence on any that are relevant to your skill set.

Jobs boards have the added benefit of email alerts when new vacancies specific to you become available, this means you can always maintain a proactive approach when it comes to seeking your next contract.

4. Network

This includes both online and offline networking.

Online networking on social media channels such as LinkedIn, are essential. It acts not only as a virtual platform to host your CV, but it's also a way of promoting your skills and experience to industry contacts including agencies who will all be able to view your profile.

It also acts as a perfect networking tool allowing you to speak to industry contacts that you may not be able to meet in person.

Networking face to face can also be useful but always remember to chase them up with an email or LinkedIn message after you've met in order to maintain contact and build upon the professional relationship

5. Chase up job applications

Chasing up vacancies that you have applied for will highlight you as a proactive and enthusiastic individual however it's a fine line between chasing and hounding.

Try and telephone the agency or client direct to keep you at the forefront of their mind. This also speeds up the process of knowing where you stand during the application process, so if you are unsuccessful you can devote more time to seeking alternative contracts.

These top tips are designed to give you a head start when it comes to seeking new contracts. Remember, being proactive and planning ahead may help to avoid unpaid periods of time in between contracts, which can for some be a financial cause for concern.

Have you reached the interview stage with a potential new contract? Then why not read our top tips on contract negotiation

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