Getting your first contract

Make sure your right for contracting

After collecting basic information regarding contracting if you feel confident and willing to choose it as profession, you need to search the market first. It is important to see the market trends and analyse whether your skills are suitable for contracting.

The most important thing to consider is that do not quit the job unless you are sure that there is ample amount of work available in the market relating to your skills and experience. The best way is to get the assessment by contacting an contractor recruitment agency. Such agencies can play a vital role in helping you to find a contract that best suits your needs.

You can ask the other contractors about the possibilities and market trends. The CUK forum is a good place to start from and use each and every source to gather sufficient information to be success as an contractor. Once you have a clear understanding, that over which areas you have strong grip you should go ahead and offer your services.

The agent will also ascertain your skills and experience in relative field. Your CV can make the difference and it should be a well thought piece of work. You must have clear thoughts about your strengths and utilising them in right direction is the key to become a seasoned contractor.

The magic of a good CV

The first rule for writing a great CV is that it should never go beyond two pages in length. It is quality that matters and not quantity so keep the CV short and yet comprehensive. A Reader mostly absorbs 60% content of the first page and 40% of the second but the third one is likely to be ignored. In this way, the reader can read your CV more attentively and can gain acquaintance to some of the basic information about you.

You can make a good impact on the reader by including an impressive summary on first page and include a list of your skills written in bold letters. It is a fact the most hirers make up their time by just reading the summary and key skills. It is also a god strategy to include relevant experience with each skill, e.g. Database design (4 year), Business management (5 years) etc.

The CV should be written specifically for each company/department. It may be a time consuming for you but it can help you to seek that job. Elaborate your last few roles and summaries the older ones. Always start mentioning with your latest position and include dates and months for each previous employment. You should not indicate “to present” if you are not contracting at the moment as most of the employers are looking for candidates who can start immediately.

Your CV must mention your each contract as separate employment. Show your limited company as employer and the contracts as external consultancy assignments.

Since more contractors are seeking work out of overseas market, the foreign language competency is also gaining importance. You should honestly include your proficiency in foreign language as basic, good, or fluent. By giving false information regarding this may cause rejection of your application.

The information about personal data such as marital status, age, height or weight needs not to be included. The personal interests may be a part of your CV but keep it short and simple.

Let your fingers do the clicking

Mostly contractors seek the help of websites like Jobsearch and Technojobs to find new IT contracts posted on them by different recruitment agencies. However, there are contractors who prefer to work directly with clients than using the services of such agencies. In order to help you finding new contract we are offering our contract search facility, which enables you to have access to all major contract sites. You can start browsing these sites by just clicking here.

The technology has made our life much easier. The internet serves as a perfect medium to hunt for a job. You can search for IT contract vacancies through a large number of sites. What you have to do is, type the skills and kind of contract you are looking for and leave the rest to the search engine. Once you get the desired results select most suitable offers and make a list out of it.

After you have selected the right contract for you, Email your CV to the concerned agency and follow up with a phone call to show your interest in the job. The reason to contact the agency via phone is that an agency receives large number of CVs for same job through Email, so it will help to get your CV noticed. Just follow these simple steps for similar or different roles to improve your chances of getting a job.

You should be aware of few things while searching for contract through online portals. A client offering the job might have engaged different ‘preferred suppliers’ (agencies acting on their behalf). Therefore, you may see same job, advertised several times on major job boards. The recruitment agencies are also criticized for advertising ‘Phantom Vacancies’ or false jobs, which are appealing in nature. Hence, while searching these websites for IT contracts beware of such false jobs in order to save your time and energy.

By searching the job listings of end client’s website, you can widen your hunt for contracts. You may also search different forums that can provide handy information. The CUK itself offers job and news regarding IT contracts on the ‘job news and guides’ page which includes comments of different analysts that how successful contractors are leading the market and you can take advantage from their experience. Similarly, you can get information where the job cuts or hire are in progress.

The internet is a handy tool to get the ratings regarding your skills. You can receive notifications of all the relevant contract roles by signing up daily job alerts. With the passage of time, you will learn how to look for a suitable contract and which skills you should use to boost up your rates.

Apart from job search sites there are ‘contract direct’ sites are also available on web, which help to link contractors directly with the clients. The best part about these sites is that they charge much less commission than conventional agencies. S you should definitely check these sites out to get a contract. If you are looking for your first IT contract, there is no choice related to the location so you have to be flexible as much as possible. The role may not match exactly with your skills, but this is the nature of contracting and you gain experience while working on divergent contract roles.
Meeting people still works
You can look for IT contracts directly without using agency for any reason. For example, you might be thinking of getting higher rates by saving the commissions you have to pay or you want to broaden up your chance to get a contract by searching it at your own and through agency. The tips to find an IT contract by using different means are described below.

Networking for finding new contracts

It is vital to for you to explain what you do and the kind of work you are looking for while approaching any opportunity. You can give it a start by discussing it with your family, their friends, and with your own friends or colleagues. In this way, you can develop links that can be helpful in marketing your skills and experience.

Apart from this, search for the networking contacts at the website of any industry, company or association. The research has shown that 13% of the job seekers have followed this strategy and 83 % of these persons have suggested that the advice given by such contact helped them to find a contract. The professional networking sites as ‘Linked In’ can also serve as a tool for building useful links.

You should keep a record of your Ex-clients, old colleagues, and potential clients. Make sure to keep in touch with such contacts occasionally, because these people have worked with you and know your skills better than anyone else. They can recommend you to other clients if there is no work available with them. If someone is referring you, it means that he/she is satisfied with your work. This will provide you with a strong ground to get a contract based on your previous performance. Therefore, be vigilant and accept the opportunities that come to you through these referrals. After getting the contract don’t forget to pay regards to such contacts and remain in touch with them as you may need them in the future.
What you need to know about Data protection Act

If the information regarding and living individual is stored in your computer, you may need to get registration under Data protection Act. The non-registration amounts to a criminal act and fine or cost may be imposed on you in the court of Magistrate. For further details, you can contact the Data Protection registrar.

Basics of Email Marketing

If Email marketing is opted by you as a way to advertise your skills it is advised to strictly follow the rules that came into force in year 2003 and was included in Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. These rules are related to the marketing messages sent via Email. Furthermore, it states that the sender should disclose his/her identity and provide a valid address in that particular Email.

The second rule relates to spam or unsolicited Email and explains that the sender must seek permission from recipient prior to sending a marketing Email. There are few exemptions to this rule, for example if the recipient has been involved with the sender in other conversation there is no need to get such permission. Some changes have been made to the Companies act2006, which state that the Company’s name, address, registration number, and place of registration should be mentioned in every corporate Email sent by the company.