The job seeking process is a vital part of life for all contractors. Whatever industry you serve or your level of experience, you need to be able to find contracts and enjoy the benefits of a career as an independent contractor. Without consistent contract seeking, contracting can become an unprofitable and unpredictable path, with the downside of less financial security a challenging reality.
Taking a proactive approach to finding your next contract is the best strategy. Whilst sourcing and securing work differs from market to market and drastically from full time employment, there are a number of steps you can take to find the contract work that’s right for you. As a leading provider of finance solutions for both contractors and small businesses, we pride ourselves on delivering hassle-free solutions to make life easier for entry level and established professionals. Read on to discover five top ways of finding contract work, and make unpaid gaps in employment a thing of the past.
Enlist an agent
Recruitment agencies provide a vital service to independent and limited company contractors. The use of recruitment agencies to source contract work is common, particularly in the IT sector where 80% of contract roles are filled via recruitment agencies. Working with the right recruitment agency can no doubt provide a steady stream of work, but be sure to negotiate on the commission applicable in the majority of cases.
Use jobs boards
Jobs boards are essential sources of work, especially for contractors serving more niche markets. Qualifying selected jobs boards and associated leads however is an important part of the contract seeking process, and sending a targeted application (not a generic cover letter and CV) counts for a lot. Contractor Calculator suggests:
“Identify contractor jobs that match your skills and experience, tailoring your CV to the exact needs of the work contract in your targeted application. Apply for contract jobs via email and keep records of what applications have been sent and when, then diarise follow-up and chasing.”
Many employers advertise contract work opportunities independently, either on their own websites or via a third party. Doing your research on the major players within your industry is therefore essential. The benefits of applying to a client means that you can establish a direct connection with the company.
According to a recent survey, just 18% of contractors work directly with end-clients. However, doing so could help you secure the repeat work and recommendations you need to prosper in your respective industry.
Market yourself online
From having your own website to maintaining a social media presence, the internet makes the process of sourcing specific contract work opportunities easier than ever. When it comes to social networking, choose your platforms wisely. Facebook is great for liaising with potential consumer clients directly whilst LinkedIn is the bread and butter of the B2B scene. For more social media marketing tips please read our post on how LinkedIn can be a contractor’s best friend.
Keeping your profiles regularly updated and networking online in relevant industry groups is also recommended for maximum engagement and exposure.
Don’t network just online
Networking in person is another route to securing contract work through word-of-mouth. Face-to-face communication is imperative, even in today’s technologically driven world. According to Virgin, 85% of jobs are filled through face-to-face networking and those already in work can find the process of negotiating important contracts easier by attending physically.
You’ve secured the contracts you want thanks to our steps above, now it’s time to get working on your sales approach, find out how with these top tips.