Writing a contractor CV is very different to writing one for a permanent role. A contractor CV needs to quickly sell your expertise to niche markets. Any potential clients need to know that you are right for the projects they need completing. A track record of providing excellent results and working to a deadline is a must. While you should have a website to promote yourself as an overall brand, your CV needs to focus on how you will solve short-term problems the client currently has.
Follow these top tips to improve your contractor CV to get noticed by recruiters and potential clients.
1. Write a professional summary of yourself
Every CV should have a professional summary. It is your chance to explain who you are and what value you will bring to clients. Any key strength you promote also needs to be backed up with why it will benefit them. Get your reader’s attention but avoid using such overused phrases as “I’m a good team player” – you’re a unique individual, show that!
Your summary must always focus on you as a professional. There is no need to include too much personal information within it. Your name and contact details are only required at the top of the document, above your professional summary.
2. List the most relevant industry skills and experience first
Adapting your CV for every role you apply for is vital. It’s pointless to list irrelevant experience at the top of your CV if it isn’t required for the role in question, as the client will not be interested in it. As your key skills could be the deciding factor whether a client wants to read more, it is vital to list these in the right way.
Your experience should also showcase your success stories. As an independent contractor, you are likely to have many success stories. Bring these to the forefront of your CV, as you want the potential client to see what true value you will bring to the role. This is much better than simply listing what you’re good at.
3. Provide specific examples of case studies
Alongside examples of your previous industry experience, you should highlight specific cases where you have made a real difference to a client. Your contractor CV should point out if you have saved a company a lot of money through your work or even helped increase sales. These are proven accomplishments that potential clients care about. Don’t forget that you can go into much further detail in an accompanying cover letter.
It is also worth pointing out any extra services you can provide. Self-employed contractors usually have a diverse skill set that could be applied to other areas of the company. Getting a very adaptable person in on a single contract is hugely beneficial to any business.
4. Optimise your CV for keywords
When approaching smaller companies, your CV is likely to be reviewed in the traditional way. However, most larger companies will either ask a recruitment company to handle their search or have a hiring manager who screens in-house online applications. Website will use software to scan CV’s for particular words and phrases they are looking for. This is why it is vital to thoroughly research the company you are applying for and be aware of what exactly they want in a contractor. With this knowledge, your CV can be optimised and your next client will find you.
5. Create an online presence
For many professional contractors, having an online presence is the difference between them gaining contract work or not. If you do have one, make sure the website is linked to in your CV. Your website should also present diverse examples of your previous contract roles. The site should look professional and is improved by including testimonials from previous clients.
Having a LinkedIn profile can also have a huge advantage. This shows you are willing to post about your industry and network with others. It will also give potential clients the opportunity to find out more about your experience and possible influence in the industry. LinkedIn also offers the opportunity for people to endorse your skills which can be viewed on your profile page.
You can also use other social media channels to your advantage. Showcasing your work on a dedicated Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profile is a great way of promoting your success stories. You should avoid linking to a personal page as you want to focus on showing the client your work.
With these tips, your CV writing for every role you apply for will improve. Two or three sides of A4 is considered the normal length for any person with sizeable experiences, although there is no set length. As long as your contractor CV shows off exactly how valuable you will be to a client, the chances of getting contract work will always increase.
Once your CV has been enhanced and the work continues to flood in, you will need the right contractor accountants to help manage your finances. A contractor package from 3 Wise Bears will give you your own personal contractor accountant and access to FreeAgent, the best accounting software for contractors. For more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch.