Top tips on how to secure a new contract role

Knowledge base from Boox

By Jonathan London on 27th March 2014

Top tips on how to secure a new contract role

As a contractor you will be largely responsible for securing your own contracts. Due to the temporary nature of freelancing you will be required to find new clients on a regular basis.

This process, of course, will become easier and more familiar as your experience as a contractor grows. However, there are certain things that you can do boost your chances in order  to secure a new contract role.

How to secure a new contract role

Focus your CV

Before starting your search for a new contract role, you should first ensure that your CV is focused and relevant. The importance of a good CV is absolutely vital as it is the first thing a prospective employer or agent will see.

A good CV does not contain page after page of your life story either. In fact, it should be no more than two. Those who are reading it will be scanning for the relevant skills they want for the role so ensure you choose your words carefully.

Summarise your skills in a clear and concise manner. You should also include the amount of experience you have in each area.

When it comes to a CV, one size most certainly does not fit all. It should evolve depending on the role you are applying for. Some of your skills may be more relevant than others regarding a certain job and so these attributes should be placed earlier in the document.

Although this can be a time consuming process, it may be the difference between landing the contract you really want and missing out to someone else.

Consider an agency

Using an agent is perhaps one of the most direct routes a contractor can take towards a new client. Agencies are already likely to have a large network of contacts in your specific sector. This can sometimes make securing your next project a easier.

Again your CV, and subsequently your qualifications, are very important here, as an agent will look to put forward the best candidate for the job. If they cannot see what they want when looking through your information, then it’s likely they won’t put you forward for the role.

Using an agency does not mean you should cease to be proactive. There is still plenty a freelancer can do to find a new contract role, even if you do register with an agent.

One more thing with regards to agents – they do not work for free! They provide a service to you like you would for a client, so this should be considered in terms of finances.

Stay active

Anyone can fire off a few emails to agencies and use contractor job sites, however by just doing this and nothing else, you are likely to not get very far. Follow up all applications to show you are interested. This can mean sending an email of inquiry or actually calling up the agency or client.

Remember, there is no harm in displaying such a forward attitude. If anything, it will show your desire to get the job.

Are your skills relevant?

Like anything else in life, skills can become outdated. This is especially true in a fast paced sector like IT. New software is constantly being developed and it could be crucial for your role for you to acquaint yourself with the most up to date versions of any relevant products.

Build a network

Sometimes the easiest way to get a new contract role is through a recommendation from a previous client. Therefore it is hugely important to build and maintain a network of contacts consisting of previous employers and even fellow contractors.

The more people in your industry who know of you and your work, the easier it makes getting in touch with clients directly. If you can reference a similar company who you have worked for then they are likely to consider your application more carefully.

Financial options

Winning new business will also create the opportunity for tax deductible costs, for example travel expenses to interviews. A good way of monitoring this is through the use of an online accounting service, as they allow you to track your relevant documentation and store it through their platform.

Once you actually get the contract, a service like this will also make the relevant calculations on your behalf, making that one less thing to worry about while you start working for your new client.

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