Contract Job Queue
Take every advantage, and piece of advice, you can to get to the front of the contract job queue.
These are very difficult times, and any advantage that you can get, to help you to get to the front of the queue, is worth looking at.
I have some agency contacts whom I asked about what IT folk could do to put them to the front of the queue when the jobs are being handed out.
I‘ve put together their replies. It’ useful to know how they and client companies select contractors.
Advice for Leaping the Contractor Job Queue
1. As in every business, personal relationships are crucial – especially in this market.
If you have any agents with whom you have a good relationship, keep in touch with them, especially if you have done a good job for them in the past.
2. Send your CV out to as many agencies and jobs boards as possible. It does no harm, and they take most notice of you when your CV first arrives.
Often it is sent around to all the sales people at the company. Send out a certain amount each week, e.g. ten, to keep you in the mind‘s eye of at least some agents.
3. Make sure that your CV is presentable and easily readable.
Make sure that your best skills are right at the front.
Don‘t clutter up your CV with old skills and ones that you don‘t have much experience in – unless they‘re very marketable.
4. Keep calling agencies even though it is soul-destroying.
Keep yourself in the front of their minds.
The right job might just have come in and you‘ll be at the front of the queue. Out of sight, out of mind.
If you haven‘t got in touch for a while, they‘ll probably assume that you‘re off the market for whatever reason.
Have a list of agencies that you call every two weeks, calling a selection of them every day.
Adapt Your CV to Each Job
5. Always, always, adapt your CV for each job that you are applying for rather than just sending out your standard CV.
It‘s not the job of the agent or the employer to find the skills that they are looking for. It‘s up to you to bring it to their attention.
They may have dozens of CVs in front of them (or even hundreds) and they aren‘t going to give your CV more than thirty seconds in the first trawl through to cut the Possibles down to a more manageable number.
6. Be friendly and keen when an agent calls out of the blue rather than surly and suspicious.
He may be one of those reference spammers, but he may be the genuine article and could be put off by your response.
Send Scanned References
7. Send scanned references along with the CV when applying off Jobserve, CWJobs etc., with managers contact names blanked out so that agents don‘t mine them for leads.
It always looks good and impresses agencies no end. If you send them and others don‘t, then you‘ve gained a little competitive advantage on them. That‘s crucial in the current climate.
8. Follow up the CV with a friendly, positive call (rather than an angry email). Agents are human too, and react positively to a friendly approach.
Job Search Bonus
9. One contractor that I‘ve heard of actually told the consultants at one agency that he would pay whichever recruitment consultant got him a job a personal bonus of £1500.
According to the guy who owned the agency, this put the contractor right to the front of the queue.
Although I‘m not sure if we would all be happy to have that become standard practice, with contractors bidding up the price against each other.
I don’t think that this is actually legal but I doubt of the payment went through the books.
10. When you do get an interview, do some research on the company, so that when you‘re asked the inevitable ‘Do you know anything about us’ you don‘t end up saying ‘I think I‘ve heard of you’.
Take every advantage you can to get to the front of that contract job queue when you are out of work.
For more crucial advice on looking for contract jobs click on Job Hunting.
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