Are you looking for a new contract role? Read our top 3 tips on finding new contracts.
Be available as soon as possible
The contracting industry, even in the public sector, is quite competitive. With flexibility and higher rates, skilled workers are in demand but end-clients usually look for immediate or almost immediate starts. Plus with changing legislation, there is now greater competition for the best roles with the most sought-after end-clients. Even if your current role or assignment hasn’t ended, it’s a good idea to put yourself out there as soon as possible.
Update your CV for the role or project your seeking, highlight your specialist skills and achievements, post and seek on job boards and keep your LinkedIn active. This, plus working closely with recruiters will give you a good network for finding a new role.
You can work efficiently with 2-3 recruiters in your specific sector, however some recruiters ask for exclusive representation – which is up to you but can give you access to a greater number of opportunities with that recruiter.
If you’re struggling to begin the search are some initial steps that you can kick off with:
- Have a few contract role titles in mind and tailor a few versions of your CV to suit each. The skills sought after on a CV vary from end-client to end-client so having a few versions of your CV ready will save you time – but don’t fib!
- Know what end-clients and types of roles you want ahead of time – allowing your recruiter to focus their search and reducing time wasted.
- Have a good working relationship with your recruiter while also being active on job sites. Sometimes roles will be made known to the recruiter before being posted on the job board – so you want to make sure you’re their first point of contact when a new position comes up.
Competition is fierce out there so differentiating yourself from other contractors is key.
You must be strategic and tactful doing this through your initiative as this is what clients and recruiters look for.
It may sound simple, but picking up the phone about a role that interests you is a much better way of engaging with a potential employer than sending an email. If you have already had an interview for a contracting role, try to follow up with a thank you note or relevant form of contact. And when thinking about your CV, don’t list bland or overused adjectives and instead focus more on your achievements themselves.
Potential end-clients will notice perserverance and originality and are more likely not to overlook you if you put in focus and effort. Fifteen percent of the UK workforce is made up of contractors and freelancers, so there is plenty of competition out there; highlighting your skills and value the right way will put you a step ahead of the rest.
Take charge in your contract search
Finding new contracts involves taking responsibility, initiative and organisation. It’s not always as easy as getting a phone call from a recruiter and having an interview.
Log the jobs your recruiter has put you forward for and research, follow-up and chase leads. It’s your contract search so be proactive and persistent and you’ll find success! If you find you’re not having any luck, consider tweaking your CV or honing your interview skills – but don’t give up!
Did you know you can take your umbrella company from contract to contract?
Just like working through a limited company, you don’t have to switch everything up with regards to your payroll when you get a new contract role. Umbrella companies can act as your employer for tax and NI purposes regardless of the end-client you secure a contract with. With Umbrella Company UK you won’t lose out on benefits such as £25 million insurance cover and a registered pension when you change roles. We also work with thousands of recruiters in the UK to provide tailored support to contractors like yourself in all sectors.
Find out more about how to make our umbrella service work for you.