Here are some tips for unemployed contractors.
1. Set aside some time (even just an hour) every day for looking for jobs. Make it in the morning. It‘ll make you feel better later in the day, as you‘ve done everything that you can do. If you have a partner it will also make them feel better too, knowing that you‘re doing everything you can, and can save disputes.
2. Customise your CV for each job that you apply for, bringing to greater prominence, and writing in greater depth about, the skills required for the job.
3. Make sure that you have all the buzzwords on your CV, as agencies mainly identify candidates through searches.
Call a Dozen Agencies a Day
4. Call a dozen agencies each day, just to remind them that you are still available. Although your CV will come up when the agency does a search, so will hundreds of others, and you want to make sure that the agencies consider you for jobs that have come in that day.
5. Monitor as many of the job boards as you can, and resend your CV each time a new job comes up that matches your skills, even if the particular agency already has your CV.
6. Keep your CV to 2 pages in length, as no one wants read a 10-page CV when they‘ve got a hundred others to read. Make sure you have a summary of your skills on the front page. Remember that this is a sales document. If you want to impress even more, make your CV into a Brochure, as this will both stick out from the crowd, and show that you work in a professional manner.
7. Unemployed contractors should show their CV to as many friends as possible for their comments, and ask agencies for their comments as well.
Batch of CVs
8. Send out a fresh online batch of CVs to extra agencies each week. More and more companies operate with Preferred Supplier Lists these days, and if you are not on the books of the Preferred Supplier agency then you will not get considered at those companies. You must therefore be on the books of as many agencies as possible.
9. Don‘t just rely on agencies but use your own contacts. Call up or email your old companies and old bosses (or fellow workers) to see if there are any opportunities there.
10. Get in touch with all the old colleagues that you are still in touch with to find out if they know of any work that may be going on at their companies. If you have lost touch with many of the people that you worked with, use sites like ITContractor.com to see if there are any old colleagues registered there who could help you find work.
11. Find something else to do with your time, that may be useful in the future, like learn a new skill, or build your own website. Once you‘re back in work, you‘ll wish that you had made better use of your spare time.
Attend Networking Events
12. Attend networking events like those organised IPSE or the BCS. Maybe even organise a reunion event(s) (or just a drink in a pub) for contractors that worked at a particular site with you. The people you invite will invite others and as they have similar skills to you, they may know of some work going at companies where they work now.
13. Look in on IT discussion web sites where you will find people with the same problems and may get some advice. You will also get some encouragement to find that some of the people who were out of work have managed to get jobs. Ask them how they did it.
14. When you do get an interview prepare well for it. Make sure that you reacquaint your self with the subject matter. Get one of your friends with similar skills to interview you first in preparation. There‘s nothing worse than failing an interview that you feel that you should have got, due to lack of preparation.
15. Lastly, don‘t give up. It is difficult to keep doing things on a daily basis that don‘t seem to lead to any results, but it is the only way. It will work out in the end.
Tips for Unemployed Contractors
If unemployed contractors follow the above then they are far less likely to be unemployed contractors. Successful contractors need all the advantages they can get.
If you have any tips to add to this then put them in the comments section below.
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