If you’re a contractor working in the UK, you might be wondering how you can up the ante by increasing your turnover and landing the most lucrative contract positions out there. Here’s our simple but effective guide to finding Top Contracts in 2012.
- Make searching for leads your new morning ritual.
Make it a habit to spend quality time online every morning. Google the phrase “uk contracting jobs”, with the word that best describes your line of work – e.g. plumber, IT technician and so on. Google the whole phrase you want in inverted commas – then Google searches for the whole phrase and not the individual words. Make a folder for job prospects and bookmark all the great jobhunting sites you find to the folder. Then go to each site every morning and check for contracting positions. The more you search, the more you’ll be able to weed out the not-so-great sites from the sites with real, current opportunities in your industry. Within a couple of days, you’ll know exactly where to search and you’ll only need to search for jobs added on that day, so your searching time will decrease drastically.
- Customise your CV for the job you want.
Your CV has one purpose – to get you an interview. Only apply to positions that are totally suited to you. Make sure your CV looks good, reads well and is free from spelling, grammar and punctuation errors and then tweak it slightly each time you apply, so that it shows your suitability and enthusiasm for the specific job. Write a killer “cover letter” which highlights your strong points as well as your sincere interest in the company or position.
- Make sure your FRONT PAGE has your name, address and contact details, a short bio – no more than 100 words, a list of your skills, and any notable achievements.
- Do not put your whole life story on the front page – nobody cares that you like badminton or were in your school choir – impress them on page 1!
- Keep your CV to 2 – 4 pages max.
- Repeat contracts and long contracts will look good. Short contracts, large gaps and no repeat work will not.
- Beware of fakers. Some agents place fake job ads to increase their database of contractors. When calling or sending an email to agent-placed ads, always establish upfront that the specific job advertised is still available.
- Be a Brand
Give yourself the competitive edge by marketing yourself.
- Dress as if you already have the success you’re shooting for.
- Make sure you have AWESOME business cards and leave one behind after every interview. This is an inexpensive way of standing out and it shows you mean business.
- Why not make yourself a free webpage that acts as a one-page “brochure”.
- Ask your clients for testimonials and get their permission to publish them on your website.
- Blog, tweet, network, join forums, go to meetings – get your name out there, start actively building your reputation!
- When it comes to hiring a contractor, employers make decisions quickly – sometimes a job can be awarded on the spot. Be that guy or girl! Be professional, look the part, make eye contact, know a bit about the company and ask powerful questions that demonstrate how YOU can help SOLVE a problem they have.
- Follow up!
When you really want a specific job, show your interest by making a follow up call at an appropriate time. This is another opportunity to make a good impression. Don’t wait too long for agents to get back to you – follow up on every position an agent puts your forward for. Keep a record of where your CV goes and of every company you interview with and remember names.
Make 2012 the year you shift your contracting career into the next gear!
For CV advice, visit http://www.1stcontact.jobs/.