5 tips on finding great contracting roles

5 tips on finding great contracting roles

Oct 19, 2018


There’s no doubt about it, the working day can feel very long and boring if you’re in the wrong role.  That’s why it pays to think carefully about what you want out of your contracting jobs.

We work with recruitment agencies in a variety of sectors and have looked at some the key advice they offer to contractors when looking for roles.

1.  Create a stand-out CV – Advice from Hays.co.uk

“CVs should be tailored to each role you apply for, but to save time first create a general CV which can be easily adapted for each employer based on the job description.”

Hays recommends including your contact details, providing a short summary of your experience and a skills section which highlights your key strengths.

  • Work backwards from your most recent job and don’t leave any gaps (if you travelled, say so)
  • List your highest qualifications by institution, course name and grade achieved
  • Make sure to include any training courses or professional/industry standard qualifications
  • Include any memberships to chartered institutes or relevant organisations.

2.  Find out what motivates you – advice from Randstad.co.uk

Scores of studies have shown that while pay is an important factor, there are other things which are just as important when it comes to being satisfied with work.  Things like having the opportunity to learn new skills, to do work which is valued and to be part of a cohesive team.

Randstad suggests you ask yourself ‘what do you value most?’ to help define the sort of work you want to do.

“Understanding what you value the most when it comes to a job is the first step. Have a think and ask yourself, are you looking for great benefits? Or maybe it’s the company culture you value most? Perhaps the salary is your main priority or work-life balance.”

Either way, there will be something that you will put front of mind when it comes to looking for that dream job. This will impact your way of thinking when considering new opportunities.”

3.  Look for a challenge? Advice from Michaelpage.co.uk

Michael Page  suggests finding a role which is challenging to stop you getting bored.

“Being challenged at work is important and when work is easy it quickly becomes monotonous. Relying on your existing skills and experiences will only get you so far. Challenges do not have to be huge but are important in feeling accomplishment and satisfaction at work. So while you should be looking at jobs which utilise your skills, make sure that you are not doing something beneath your capabilities. Challenge yourself and your skill-set will grow as you move forward in your career.”

4.  Concentrate your efforts – advice from indeed.com

Indeed.com says ‘by far the most important thing you can do in your job search is to carefully evaluate each job you’re applying for’.

  • Read the job description from start to finish
  • Identify what makes this job posting attractive to you
  • Decide whether you could reasonably do this job by reviewing examples from your background that demonstrate the required skills and qualifications
  • Take note of any instructions on how to apply
  • Once you’ve started the application, carefully read and answer any questions
  • Double check your responses before you submit

5.  Be prepared for interview – advice from Reed.co.uk

If you find your work through recruitment agencies, you’ll need to be ready to tell them a bit about yourself.  This is an opportunity to sell your skills so that your recruiter can help you find good roles.  You can also tell your recruiter about your future plans, if you want to develop your career, as they will be able to help you find roles which will give you the relevant experience.

Reed.co.uk have an excellent article on common interview questions and answers such as:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Why are you applying for this role?

Working successfully as a contractor

Hopefully, these tips will help you to have better conversations with recruitment agents who can open doors for you; and you’ll also be able to shape your CV so that it appeals to the sorts of companies you want to work for and roles you want to undertake.

When you’ve found your ideal role, we can help you understand your working options and work in a compliant manner, as well as arrange correct and prompt contractor payments. For further information, please get in touch on 01244 684700.

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