Research has shown that nearly 60% of us would consider taking on a contract role.
Contracting comes with a number of benefits, including: higher rate of pay (in some instances as much as double as a permament role), greater flexibility, increased variety in duties and greater opportunity for career advancement.
Contracting has traditionally been associated with the IT industry, however in the last 5 years it is becoming more common across other industries, particularly Construction and Engineering.
If you are thinking of moving from a permanent to a contract position or are looking for your next contract role, our tips will ensure you have a first rate CV.
Think like a recruiter
Write your CV for the reader and not for yourself. Recruiters or hiring managers need to be able to pick out key pieces of information fairly quickly as they often receive upwards to 50-60 CV’s per advert and don’t have the time to hunt through a CV for information.
You might think your CV will stand out more if it is put together in a stylised format, with images and stylish colourful text. It will stand out but for all the wrong reasons. It makes it difficult for the hiring manager to read and will lead to your CV been pushed to the bottom of the pile. Sticking to a formal CV format is perfectly acceptable.
Simplicity is the key
Many companies and agencies use software that allows them to upload CV’s straight into their database. This saves time for the recruiter as they don’t have to manually enter each candidate’s details.
But as with most technologies, they have their drawbacks. Something as simple as formatting a CV using text boxes can stop it from pulling this data out. It recognises text boxes as an image and not data, so valuable details could be missed.
Anything that stops your CV from being processed is a barrier to you getting an interview. So the best rule is to stick to a simple word format.
Sell, sell, sell..
Sell yourself from the off. At the top of the CV include a strong ‘Personal Statement’ that highlights the wealth of experience you have and key personal skills that are related to examples.
Keep it short and to the point, a maximum of 150 words is recommended. This is between 6-8 lines, which is sufficient enough to engage the reader to find out more about you.
Avoid vague and over-used statements such as “a team player”. What does that really mean? Phrasing it as “confident in contributing ideas to team discussions” sounds more impressive.
Content is king
When you apply for permanent roles we are often told it is our past work history that matters most. With contracting roles what matters most is that you are able to demonstrate that you have the skills that match the role requirements. This is often referred to as a “skills based CV”.
Instead of listing your work history in chronological order, list the roles that you have had in order of priority that match the key requirements of the role you are applying for. For instance, if you are going for an Engineering job and the role requires you have had previous experience in Waste Management. List the details of previous roles (starting with the most recent) where you have had to use this.
This way the recruiter or hiring manager can quickly see that you have the relevant skills and experience that matches what they are looking for and it gives you as a candidate a greater chance of getting picked for an interview.