Out of Work
When IT Contractors have been out of work for a while it is difficult to back into IT Contracting again. Here is some advice for those in that situation.
It must be very depressing when you have tried your hardest but you just cannot get an IT Contract. The months must seem interminable – but you shouldn’t give up.
Here is some advice for IT Contractors out of work.
Take Some Training
Learn new skills. Take a course. A training course is unlikely to get you a job by itself but you never know – especially if you take a course in a skill that was in short supply and the IT Contracting market was booming. This combined with some of the others below could land you a contract.
Help someone locally who can use your skills. Offer your skills to a local charity. That way you don’t have a huge recent gap on your CV – and I’m sure you’ll get a good reference from them.
Build a Website
Build a website using some of the skills that you have when you are out of work. You can show it to any potential employers to show that you’ve kept your hand in.
Learn a Tool
Take a training course in some new tool that is related to your area of expertise. Ask the tool vendor to place you at one of their clients. Tool vendors usually like to sell in ‘consultants’ at premium rates or even just ‘bodies’.
If you’re short of money to pay for the course ask the vendor if you can pay for it out of future fees they get you.
Help a Mate
Do some work for a mate of yours who is using your skillset at his client’s. He will be able to furnish you with a reference from his limited company.
Make sure you have a good story for the missing months or years when you are out of work. Agencies and clients hate IT Contractors who have huge gaps in their CVs. It’s a phobia of theirs. Don’t just leave a space. Say what you were doing during that time – or they’ll think you were in jail or something.
Take a Rate Cut
Be prepared to cut your rate. Even if the agency doesn’t cut theirs to the client they will be much more willing to get you an IT Contract than someone else that they can make money from.
Let other IT Contractors and Recruiters see your CV and ask them what they think of it. It may be your CV that is costing you.
Change Your Attitude
Change your attitude to agencies. Think of them as the guys that are going to put money in your pocket. Be friendly to them. Try to sound cheerful as well rather than down in the mouth. Be confident in your skills and ability when you talk to them.
Don‘t give up
It’s too easy just to sink into a morasse of self-pity and stop searching for work. If you’re not looking for work you won’t get it. Set aside a time of the day, even if it is just an hour, for job hunting. Do it every day when you are out of work.
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