Many people leaving employment for contracting will find the idea of finding and securing contract work daunting.
Whether you're new to contracting or are considering contracting as the next move in your career, it can be difficult to know where to start and how to make sure you stand out as the best candidate for the contract at hand.
That's where Umbrella Search can help.
In this guide, we offer our top tips for securing contract work to help every contractor strive towards a successful long-term contracting career.
Creating a killer contractor CV
The first tip we'd offer is to make sure you have a winning CV geared towards the contract you're applying to.
After all, your CV is usually the first impression the client will get, so it's important to make it count.
For contractors, a CV will need to be the place you show off your experience, skills and how you are suited perfectly to the contract in question. With many contractors being hired to solve temporary problems or plug skills gaps within a company, it's important that you can show how you will be the perfect person to bring the skills and expertise needed for the role.
Even if you don't have any history of contract work, this is the perfect place to list your past experience, outlining what roles you have undertaken or which clients you have worked with, and the ways you have benefitted the company or clients in the past.
You will want to write a brief but catchy personal statement that grabs the client's attention, highlighting how you would be a great fit for the contract by outlining your expertise and unique selling point.
Finally, it's always a great idea to back up what you say with facts. If you talk about how you have solved a client's problem in the past or brought value to a role, backing this up with facts and figures helps to show exactly how you did this.
Keep your skills competitive
The next tip to winning contract work is to make sure your skills are up to date and competitive. Whatever industry you're in, it will always win to have the sharpest skill set which will allow you to stand out from the crowd.
It will pay to learn what skills are most in demand in your sector and how you can gain these and showcase them to the client.
Identify any gaps within your knowledge and expertise and work towards filling these. There are tons of resources out there that will be useful and many of them are free and can be utilised in your spare time.
Some of our favourites include:
Future learn: a resource offering free, online training programmes across a range of industries geared to helping professionals upskill
Open University: if you have identified that you will need a diploma or masters degree to progress in your career, the Open University offers a range of online degree courses in a number of areas you can carry out part time
Udemy: offering over 100,000 online courses there's something for every professional whatever industry or sector
Engage in networking
Networking is a great way to find out about new opportunities, meet fellow contractors and connect with potential clients. This could be how you find out about or secure that all important next contract.
There are plenty of benefits to networking and many different ways you can do so. Whether you attend in-person events, sign up to become a member of your professional body or simply network online, this is a great way to meet people in your industry and get a head start when it comes to learning about contracting opportunities.
What's more, it's never been easier with the likes of LinkedIn to network from the comfort of your own home.
LinkedIn is a highly powerful platform that is used by fellow professionals, clients, managers and recruiters, which is why it is important to have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile and take the time to connect with people in your industry.
LinkedIn is an unrivalled tool for professionals and can be invaluable to help contractors find their next role.
It's important to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date with your past and present work experience and has the right keywords to get you found by the right people.
It will also be important to connect with professionals in your industry as well as potential clients in order to get your name known. Liking and sharing other people's posts and content is also a great way to connect with others and grow your visibility.
You should also regularly post your own content, whether that is a post on your professional achievements or the latest industry news, this will help to show that you are up to date with your sector and will help to get your name out there.
For more top tips on how to elevate your contracting career, check out our handy guide.
Let Umbrella Search help you find the best umbrella company
Now you know how to secure your next contract, let Umbrella Search take on the task of finding you the perfect umbrella company.
Our friendly team will work closely with you in order to find an umbrella company that suits all your contracting needs, freeing up more of your precious time you can instead use to work on securing your next contract. We take on the hard work and hassle for you giving you time to focus on what matters.
What's more, we only ever recommend umbrella companies we know you can trust and rely on, so you can rest assured you'll find the perfect match.
To kick start the process of finding the best umbrella company for your needs, simply tell us a little bit about yourself and we'll be in touch with the best options.