How to find a new contract job?

If you’ve decided to become independent contractor, you are gaining control over your schedule, workload, hours, rates… However, you are the only one who is responsible for finding clients and contracts.

If you don’t have a base of clients, if you have large gaps between contracts or do not have a specialism together with experience it will be impossible to succeed as a contractor.

Finding a contract and keep doing it is the most important job you’ll have to do. So, before even starting as independent contractor, make sure you’ve learned everything about finding a contract and clients.

Searching for contract job is different than searching for permanent position. For permanent jobs there will be more time to let employers know you, your skills and accomplishments. There are usually several phases from applying, sending CV, several interviews, tests… Employers have more time and the process could last for months.

When it comes to contracting, things are different. Turnaround time for finding contractor is short and employers often need you to start working immediately.

Usually there will be just one interview and little testing, if any.

So keep in mind that you will not have multiple chances to prove yourself as the right person for the job.

Sometimes the contract job will be offered at the spot. Sometimes the client will act only following the recommendation and rarely will ask you to prove your knowledge – if you don’t know what you’ve claimed you do the client will simply fire you.

The employer will hire you fast, and fire you fast if you don’t satisfy.

There are few simple tips that will help you find a contract:

Make a targeted profile

You already have great CV. But when applying for specific job try to be more specific. Customize your CV for the job you are applying. This means to highlight specific skills, education and experiences that are most relevant for that job.

Market yourself

Use networks and job boards. Upload your CV to contractor job boards, find agencies and send your CV for their database, make LinkedIn account… Be everywhere.

Search for job

Visit job boards, websites, and agencies in search for job. When you find jobs that are matching your skills and experience apply for it, using customized CV. Keep record of sent applications.  You should apply for as many jobs you can and follow up.

Chase the job

After you’ve sent your application should you just sit and wait agents and employers to call you?

That would be nice but answer is no. Prepare to chase agencies and potential clients and follow up your applications. There is a lot of competition for each job you are applying. You will have to follow up each specific application – call agents or client. This will help you get your CV on the top of pile and eliminate those who will waste your time.

Don’t just search, be active

Make a list and description of your services and make a list of companies that could use your skills.

Call and schedule meeting with someone who is in charge of hiring. Call them after a while to remind them of yourself.

Contact people from your niche and let them know you are searching for contract job. Ask for recommendations.

Remember that investing some time in targeted search will pay of later and help you find a contract.

First goal of this contract job search journey is to secure an interview, as this often means you will get the job.