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Creating that perfect contractor CV

Tom Sweeney

Tom Sweeney | Marketing Executive

Monday 1st Mar, 2021

As an umbrella or limited company contractor you use your CV far more than that of a permanent employee. This means it’s crucial that you get it just right. So here are our top tips on how you can nail your perfect contractor CV.


  1. What should your CV include?

    Much like a standard CV you should include a summary of key skills that will help you succeed in the role you are applying for. Highlight not only your most recent roles, but pay particular attention to those which will demonstrate your ability to do the role you are applying for. Include a brief summary of your education and qualifications – such as university degrees, not your swimming badges! As well as any hobbies or interests that demonstrate vital skills.

  2. The shorter the better

    Avoid unnecessary waffle, get straight to the point. And as a rule of thumb, keep your CV to no more than two A4 pages, anything else will put recruiters off. A quick tip to keeping your CV short is to tailor it to the role, that way you’re only including relevant skills and experiences!

  3. Pay attention to formatting

    A badly formatted CV stands out from the crowd – but not in the way you want! Choose a professional layout with a clear and easy to read font, so that means it’s time to give up Comic Sans and Script! This may sound simple but check for any grammar or spelling mistakes, after all they are looking for a specialist. Ask someone you trust to cast their eye over it, you’ll be surprised at what a fresh pair of eyes can spot.

  4. Avoid meaningless introductions

    Let me guess… You’re a hardworking and dedicated individual who thrives when working in a team but also alone? We’ve all heard the bog standard introduction so it’s probably time think of something more unique and relevant to who you are and what you can do. Remember you’re a specialist in your field and the client is recruiting for someone who has the skills you possess, tailor your CV and lead with that.

  5. Don’t lie

    Your reputation is vital as a contractor, don’t put it on the line to try and secure a contract. Hiring managers can usually spot a fib a mile off but even if you get it passed them you’ll get found out eventually. You’re there for results, so if you’ve been creative with the truth and are unable to deliver on what you’ve promised, remember your reputation is on the line.

  6. Keep it up to date

    Keep your CV completely up to date with your most recent experiences and training, it shows the recruiter and client that your knowledge and skills are not only relevant but also up to date.

  7. Send a cover letter

    A good cover letter adds value, pair one with your brand new CV and your chances of securing an interview or even the role may have just drastically increased. Sure not every client will expect or even want a cover letter but it will certainly stand you out from the crowd. Much like a CV, your cover letter needs to be waffle-free but you can use it to drop in things which you may have missed in your CV.

  8. Sense check it

    Once you’ve finished your CV have a read over it, think would you invite yourself in for an interview? Make sure you’ve ticked off everything you wanted to, this includes all job titles or roles you wanted to bring attention to. Ask yourself some questions… Does your CV include keywords or ‘buzzwords’ specific to the role? Is your CV in a professional tone?


Remember, as an umbrella or limited company contractor the important things are to tailor your CV to each role, make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes and only include relevant information. If you remember these three key things and you’ll be well on your way to securing some new contracts.

And when you get your new role, don’t forget to contact PayStream on 0161 923 0201 or drop us an email at

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