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Tips to find and win that next contract

Securing contract work presents a unique challenge compared to landing a permanent position. Contractors often face a single shot at making a lasting impression, typically clinching roles after just one interview. With competition intensifying, especially in today’s climate, it’s imperative to go all out in both discovering and securing that next contract. Here are our top strategies to achieve just that:

Craft a Contractor CV

Your CV should mirror your status as a contractor. Keep it brief, to the point, and tailored precisely to the contract you’re applying for. Highlight specific skills relevant to the job and showcase past roles that demonstrate your prowess in delivering results.

Know Your Rate

Stay informed about your value in the contractor market. Understanding the demand for your skills improves your power in rate negotiations, however, it’s important to not be unrealistic with your rate demands.

Build Relationships with Industry Recruiters

Forge strong ties with recruiters specialising in your field. There’s a good chance that they have market insights, offering intel on hiring trends, sought-after skills, and possible day rates. Cultivate a network of recruiters to ease the job hunt burden.

Network and Market Yourself

Attend industry events to connect with potential clients and fellow, like-minded contractors. Maintain professionalism and authenticity to leave a lasting impression, this could increase chances of being contacted in the future. Utilising platforms like LinkedIn is a great way to showcase your expertise and actively engage with relevant content.

Optimise Your LinkedIn Profile

Leverage LinkedIn to scout for your next role. Polish your profile to stand out, keeping it up-to-date with skills and experiences. Regularly share insightful posts or articles to demonstrate your industry knowledge and job-seeking status.

Target Your Applications

Focus on roles tailored for contractors that align with your skill set. Customise your CV for each position and keep track of your applications for timely follow-ups.

Follow Up

Stand out from the competition by following up on your applications. A courteous phone call or email demonstrates your commitment and professionalism, potentially fostering long-term relationships.

Prepare Thoroughly for Interviews

Research the prospective employer to understand the company and what it does. Make a strong first impression by showcasing your understanding of the company’s needs and how you can fulfill them. Those who turn up to the interview underprepared will more than likely fail to portray themselves in a positive light.

Nurture Relationships

Maintain and nurture your professional connections, this can include recruiters, past clients and businesses that you have may have spoken to about a potential role. Stay updated on industry changes and demonstrate ongoing interest in their businesses, even if it’s just checking in.

Deliver Added Value

Continuously enhance your skills and expertise to meet and exceed client expectations. Dedicate time to research or training to offer enhanced value to your clients.

Embrace Flexibility

Adapt to evolving work dynamics by being flexible in your approach. Whether it’s adjusting availability or offering hybrid work arrangements, flexibility fosters trust and enhances your appeal to clients.

Give Back

Utilise downtime between contracts to contribute to your local community or gain experience in new sectors. These experiences can enrich your CV and broaden your professional network.

Stay Proactive

Always be on the lookout for new opportunities well in advance of your current contract’s end date. Growing your network and expertise over time streamlines the job search process, whilst also supporting a good cause.

Remember, when you’ve secured your next contract, Focused’s umbrella company is here to support you. We’re dedicated to helping you focus on your strengths while we handle the rest. Get in touch below to kickstart your journey with us.

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Common errors to avoid when contracting

It’s always good to gain insight on the doo’s and don’ts from contractors who have been working in the sector for a while. We recently had the opportunity to speak with a few, gaining some valuable insights which we’ve summarised for you in this article.

Are you making these errors? >