Contract workers are in unique positions to support a variety of companies and their specific business needs. Contractors may work in a position for a few months up to a few years, working alongside permanent employees to contribute to big projects or meet interim business requirements.
Working in a contracting role can provide many benefits compared to working in a permanent role. As a contractor, you can:
- See if the company and role fit your preferred work experience
- Learn new skills
- Gain valuable industry insights
- Discover more about what you want from your career
Some professionals prefer contracting positions because they enable the employee to gain experience in a variety of roles and industries. This can set contractors up for success when they apply for full-time positions.
Other contractors prefer this type of work because it constantly provides new experiences and challenges. Contractors may also earn more money and may enjoy more flexibility in their work environment.
According to Statista, 13.6 million people worked in temporary or contract staffing roles in the U.S. in 2020. If you’d like to join them or you want to bolster your contracting role career, use these tips.
1. Edit Your Resume
Many companies, including more than 95% of Fortune 500 businesses, use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to screen resumes. An ATS is automated technology that scans a resume for keywords that match up to what an employer is looking for.
If you want to work in a contracting role, use keywords like “contractor,” “contracting” and “contract position” where they’re appropriate on your resume. Obviously, you’d add those keywords to previous contracting positions. But if you’re new to contracting, you can add related keywords to a summary statement so that an ATS will see you’re a potential fit for the role.
2. Update Your LinkedIn Profile
Similar to an ATS strategy for job seekers, ensure your online LinkedIn profile contains keywords related to contractors. Kinsta reports 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to scan profiles for matching candidates. Make sure to optimize your LinkedIn:
- Summary statement: Include details on your past work as a contractor or your desire to work in a contracting role.
- Work experience: If you’ve worked in previous contractor roles, make sure to designate those with the term “contractor” or a similar keyword.
- Profile headline: This is the most visible information other LinkedIn users can see. Consider adding “contractor” or a related keyword (“searching for a contracting role,” for example) to your headline.
You might also turn on the “Open to work” feature on your LinkedIn profile to let recruiters and hiring managers know you’re available for contracting work.
3. Create a Work Portfolio
A work portfolio is a comprehensive look at your career achievements. In a portfolio, you can tell a visual story that demonstrates your professional skills and abilities.
You can show more details in a work portfolio compared to a resume, including the following elements.
- Detailed career summary
- Marketable skills
- Highlighted career achievements
- List of past clients
- Work samples/project contributions
- Awards and honors
- Professional development, certificates and licenses
- References and testimonials
You can use your resume as a guide to build your portfolio. You might have a single line or paragraph on a resume for sections like those listed above. In a portfolio, you can greatly expand on your experience. Include visuals from work samples to retain attention throughout the portfolio.
4. Connect with a Recruiter
Recruiters like AccruePartners may specialize in recruiting talent for contractor and contract-to-hire roles. When you work with a recruiter, the recruiter will get to know your unique talent and skillset. The recruiter will provide you with relevant contracting opportunities at no cost to you. You can potentially save time and find a better employer fit compared to doing the job search work yourself.
Be honest with the recruiter about what your job expectations are. Let them know:
- The length of time you’d like to work in a position
- What your salary expectations are
- If you’re interested in a contract-to-hire position
Also, be very thorough when explaining your experience and skillset. Ask the recruiter for advice on how to edit your resume for the positions you’re applying for so you can set yourself up for success.
Not Sure About the Next Step in Your Career? Consider a Contract Role
Contract roles can help you grow your career. You get to network with new industry professionals. You can see how a company operates and learn about new technologies and work processes. You may discover a new passion or learn about the type of work you don’t want to do in the future.
If you’re new to contracting, contact AccurePartners. We’ll be your partner to help you achieve a position that’s a fit for you.