Contractor Roadmap/ A-Z Strategy for Contractors
Contracting is all about clients buying your skills and experience for short term for a higher rate. They don’t have an objective to develop you, train you or babysit you. You are joining the team to shed a light and drive their solutions.
Why you should consider Contracting?
- Better rate than permanent roles.
- Experience, Challenge and Job Satisfaction.
- Improve the skills and experience by working with different originations and projects.
- Easy to change jobs.
- Better tax savings.
Are you ready to be a self-starter, and be willing to take on a degree of risk with far better financial rewards? Contracting is all about providing your skills and experience to a daily/ hourly rate. You need to make sure you understand the market, the opportunities and the growth in your sector.
There are few stages to secure a contract. Firstly, you need to have a clear strategy for finding contracts. Finding a contract job is very different than to a permanent job search where as you can take all the time to prepare, interview and play with your notice period.
There are few options to jumpstart your contract career.
- Directly apply to an employer.
- Through an Agent/ Recruitment agency.
- Through a Job board like Pro Contract Jobs.
- Through social media tools like LinkedIn.
- Personal recommendations.
Directly apply to an employer
You don’t have to go through an agency if you can find a role directly. But the challenge is finding that opportunity directly with an employer. Below are few avenues,
- Some organisations directly advertise their contracts through job boards like Pro Contract Jobs.
- Word of mouth.
- Your contacts.
- Checkout IT-related forums and online press adverts.
- Analyse where the Gaps are and talk to companies directly.
- Reach out to companies directly (most companies don’t like it to be advertised and to be known that they are using contractors as it reduces their recruiting brand).
This is the primary channel of finding contract jobs, more than 75% employers use agencies to find contractors with greater skills and experience.
- Register with Agencies.
- Set up job alerts.
- Build you contacts.
- Job Boards like Pro Contract Jobs. will provide the most comprehensive contract ports with thousands of live contracts.
Call recruiters and follow up your applications within the same day of submitting your profile.
Apply through a Job board like Pro Contract Jobs
Contract job market is fast phased so you should apply frequently (twice a day at least) for fresh contract roles. Call the agencies that you already have made applications. Pick up the phone and start dialling in the morning and afternoon. Focus on chasing contracts that are more recently advertised.
Also, be aware that some agencies/ employers will post the same position on different job boards. Pro Contract Jobs is a great place to start.
This is what Pro Contract Jobs offer for Candidates/ Contract Seekers.
- Access to the largest pool of contracting opportunities on the market.
- Contract only job board built by contractors for contractors. With decades of contract experience, we know the pain every contractor go through.
- Direct employer contracts and agency postings.
- Apply to multiple contracts through our Job Basket features.
- We have partnered with world-renowned job sites and recruitment applications to provide the global coverage.
- Add free content.
- The latest opportunities at your fingertips.
- Easy to navigate and flexible search options.
- We empower candidates with career advice and resources.
- A transparent platform that complies with the highest ethical standards.
- Easy navigation through categories and locations.
- We have a large pool of agencies and employers using Pro Contract Jobs to find professionals like you.
- Working from home/ remote opportunities, High-end contract jobs paying 1K+ daily rates, London-based contracts along with thousands of EU and worldwide contracting opportunities.
- If this is your first venture into the new world of contracting, our Pro Guides, Contractor Tips/ A-Z Guides, Blogs and FAQs are a great place to start.
- You can upload your CV to the largest CV libraries in the world, apply for contracts, set up email alerts and manage your applications.
- Easy and straight forward keyword searches (Search jobs by location, rates of pay and industry).
- Advanced filtering options to target contracts to your skillset and experience.
- There are plenty of contracts to consider from public sector to investment banking.
Contractor basics to hold your ground
Pro Killer Interview
Contract interview is general a 1 stage or maximum 2 stages process (1 x Telephone interview + 1 x Face to Face interview). Permanent interviews can take weeks and sometimes months and can take up to 3 months to land a job. Contracting is all about hitting the ground running from day one whereas with permanent jobs you have that honeymoon period to get babysit mostly by another permanent employee.
Make sure you prepare for the interview comprehensively. Do the research about the company and the role, what you can bring to the organisation. All your interviews will focus on whether you can hit the ground running from the first day. Are you a driver or a passenger? You need to strategies yourself more towards a problem solver. They also look for your experience in different situations and also look for specialised skills.
During the interview try to be a problem solver. ask why they are hiring, what are their requirements? Also be proactive and try to close the deal. Follow up if you didn't get an answer during the interview. Send a direct LinkedIn request for the interviewer(s).
Please refer Pro Contract Jobs Pro Killer Interview section for further details.
Pro Killer CV
Please refer our Pro Killer CV section on how to prepare a CV that guarantees calls from recruiters. Few points to remember
- Keep it short and relevant.
- Tailor/ Customise/ Target your CV for each role.
- Make sure your facts are accurate.
- Have a summary page with Career highlights or a Cover letter.
- Applying through a job board like Pro Contract Jobs.
Please refer Pro Contract Jobs Pro Killer CV section for further details.
Determine your Target Rate
Determine your target rate and try not be pushy about the rate during the initial conversations with the Agency or Employer. Your leverage to negotiate a rate is high when you have an offer.
Pro Contract Jobs A-Z Guide to Contract Rate Negotiation
Make sure you dress in a manner appropriate to the site. Courteous and be nice to clients, stakeholders, suppliers and the third parties.
The first week of your contract is vital as you meet all your major stakeholders, customers, vendors, suppliers and third parties for the first time. Make your first impression counts.
You should be able to hit the ground running without any guidance or training.
Contracting gives you the freedom to move from project to project, accumulating a variety of transferable skills and an understanding of different processes within different companies.
Keep in mind that you need to adapt yourself to different projects/ programmes and find ways to solve problems before the ship sinks. Employers mostly hire contractors when they are stuck with problems and they expect you to guide them to the victory. You should focus on quick wins to save the sinking ship.
You also should be a self-motivated and well organised with the ability to make new working relationships easily.
Think about Certifications
Key Certifications has the edge over mere experience. You might be a well-seasoned contractor with 25 + years of experience but you also need to be skilled and certified with relevant bodies so go out and certify yourself with latest certifications (relevant to your field). You need to have few to improve clients.
Should I improve my Skills Portfolio?
Contracting is all about sticking to your knitting but it’s always good to have few other experiences as well. For an Example if you are Cisco Firewall Engineer, it’s nice to have other Firewall exposure as well, ie juniper, checkpoint Fortinet etc... You obviously need to be a pro/ master of one technology and may be 2-3 other skills in your bag and this can be helpful if you are going play a role as a troubleshooter in a multi-product environment.
Develop a Website that provides information about your services.
This can be old fashioned with current social media trends but a website is a great tool to list your delivery experience, project/ programme details, endorsements and also good for IR35. Participate in writing guest blog posts or articles for other websites in the industry. Read industry journals and magazines and get memberships in professional bodies.
Keeping up to date
Make sure you keep in touch with the latest changes in technology. For an example, if you are a Networking Engineer, make sure you take relevant courses (usually you need to renew these exams typically every 3 years) and keep up to date with technology.
Social Media/ Online Networking
Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn is very widely used within the industry. Have your killer LinkedIn Profile.
Pro Contract Jobs Pro Killer CV
Pro Contract Jobs Pro Killer Interview
Pro Contract Jobs Why you should take a Contract over Permanent work
Pro Contract Jobs Highly Paid Contracts
Pro Contract Jobs Tips for Getting Noticed as a Contractor
Pro Contract Jobs Tips for Staying Motivated as a Contractor
Pro Contract Jobs Working from Home or Remote as a Contractor
Pro Contract Jobs A-Z Strategy/ Roadmap for Contractors
Pro Contract Jobs A-Z Guide to Contract Rate Negotiation
Pro Contract Jobs A-Z Tax Guide for Contractors
Pro Contract Jobs A-Z Guide to Limited vs Umbrella
Pro Contract Jobs A-Z Insurance Guide
Recruiters/ Employers/ HMs (Hiring Managers)
Pro Contract Jobs Why you should Hire a Contractor
Pro Contract Jobs Hiring Tips for HMs (Hiring Managers)
Pro Contract Jobs Hiring Tips for Employers
Pro Contract Jobs Hiring Tips for Start-Ups
Pro Contract Jobs Tips to Starting a Recruitment Agency
Pro Contract Jobs Pros & Cons of FTCs (Fixed Term Contracts)