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3 tips on how to stand out when going after your next contract

Alex Bentley

Alex Bentley | Marketing Assistant

Wednesday 29th Jun, 2022

Working as a contractor can be competitive, with lots of contractors all fighting for the same contract. So you need to make sure that you and your personal brand stand out from the crowd in order to demonstrate to clients that you are the person who can add the most value to their business.

So, how exactly can you do this? Here’s our 3 top tips…

  1. Be clear and concise, but don't hold back details

    Candidates should make sure they are being clear and concise in their CVs, applications and cover letters to ensure they are getting straight to the point without too much fluff. However, it needs to be about striking the right balance between cutting to the chase and providing enough detail to make sure you're saying the right things in the best way to capture the recruiter's attention. Check out our advice on creating the perfect contractor CV here.

  2. Show off your skills

    Recruiters may sift through hundreds of CVs and job applications in a single day, and it's no longer enough to simply present yours on fancy paper or in an unusual font to make it stand out from the crowd.

    Instead, you need to use this as an opportunity to truly showcase your skills. Specialise in graphic design? Then present your CV as an infographic, with statistics about your experience, pop-out boxes highlighting your qualifications and a few fun 'about me' facts to give it an even quirkier edge.

    If you're looking for a contract in animation, using your skills to create an animated CV, cover letter and e-portfolio would be a great way to catch a recruiter's attention. You want to present yourself in a way that sticks in their mind for a long time to come, meaning they'll be more inclined to want to invite you to an interview to see what else you can do.

  3. Create a strong personal brand

    When working as a contractor, you are the face of your brand. An increasing number of people are focusing on creating their own personal brand these days, with this concept all about marketing yourself and your career as one and the same.

    This means you need to live and breathe what you do and demonstrate your passion for your job in every aspect of your life. Prospective clients may not necessarily be able to see this at all times, but they will be able to see your social media profiles, so it's important that you keep your pages as professional as possible at all times. If you're unfamiliar with LinkedIn or just need help check out our advice about the power of LinkedIn for contractors here.

    More and more recruiters check out candidates' social media channels before inviting them for an interview, so it's worth remembering that drunken photos and inappropriate or negative-sounding content could damage your reputation.

    Creating a distinctive personal brand is also another opportunity to show that you really know your stuff. Help out with other people's queries online, offer your services to companies that are struggling and continue to nurture and develop your skills in order to gain as much varied experience as possible.


Of course, once you’ve secured that contract it’s important to establish whether or not it falls inside or outside IR35. This will dictate how you are able to work, whether it be through the likes of an umbrella company or your own PSC. PayStream specialise in both as we've been supporting contractors for over 20 years. 

If you'd like to receive more information about this, you can request a take home pay calculation right now by clicking the button below or you can call us on 0161 923 0201

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Related article - Common pitfalls contractors face

Like in any job, there are often challenges that contractors face, not only at the start, but throughout their career. Some pitfalls are much more common than others, but, with the correct knowledge, can be easily avoided. Here we take a look at difficulties contractors face.

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