Quick-fire Q&A on IT contractor job searching: five must-dos for Spring 2024

1: What strategies should contractors employ to stay off the bench?

In today's still uncertain hiring climate, tech contractors must be proactive, particularly with the IT contracting market falling in February 2024 to a three-and-a-half-year low.

Start off by deeply (deeply) understanding the roles you're interested in, writes Matt Craven, founder of The CV & Interview Advisors.

Where possible, engage with recruiters and clients to unearth not just the roles’ requirements, but also the underlying challenges that the hiring organisation faces.

Next? Jump back onto your CV to tailor your skills and services according to their needs.

Figuring out the job mission, essential requirements, and the more desirable requirements (we all like a ‘nice-to-have’) will help you build your proposition around the role to a compelling level.

2: How should contractors tailor a CV to stand out when going forward?

Tailoring your CV is key.

Transform the contract brief (or ‘job description’ if you are inside IR35) into a shopping list of requirements with a title, mission, and list of key requirements.

Use a ‘Master & Modular’ CV with content you can chop in and out (like ‘profiles’ and ‘case studies’).

Mirror the running order of the contract brief and provide evidence you can perform against the mission while satisfying the key requirements.

This ‘Master and Modular’ CV approach will help you rapidly tailor your application in minutes rather than hours. Remember, relevance is king.

3: What about your LinkedIn profile, and optimisation as a contractor?

LinkedIn plays a major role in winning work and your profile page should act as your ‘digital handshake.’

Ensure it is not only well-written but also optimised for LinkedIn's algorithm. Regular activity, strategic keyword usage, and engaging content can boost your visibility.

Use sections like 'Projects' and 'Skills & Endorsements' effectively to showcase your expertise and increase your searchability.

Simply using the LinkedIn platform as it is intended will boost your ranking in searches – this means connecting with people, posting content, sharing content, and liking content.

By contrast, being shy or a social media luddite will not get you anywhere!

4: Are there techniques/tactics to employ to ace a contractor interview/client meeting?

In interviews, I recommend applying sales techniques (it is a sales meeting after all), starting with building rapport and understanding the organisation’s needs.

Tailor your answers and pitch to address these needs directly, showcasing your experience and proposed solutions.

Actively court objections and close the sale by asking the client how they feel about your suitability for the role and make sure you affirm your interest – being too cool for school will not win the day.

5: How can you tap into the new goldmine -- the ‘hidden’ contractor job market?

The 'hidden' contract market is vast, with many roles filled through networking rather than public postings.

Build and nurture your professional network, engage with industry groups, and make speculative applications.

Utilise LinkedIn to connect with decision-makers and participate in industry discussions.

Your next opportunity may come from a conversation started today. The US businessman Warren Buffet said: "The best time to start investing was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." The same can be said about building your professional network. The more people you are connected to, talking to, and building relationships with, the more opportunities will come your way.

Must-dos to improve your IT contractor job search this Spring 2024: in a nutshell…

The key to navigating a tough tech jobs market is a combination of targeted winning-work strategies; hyper-targeted CV tailoring, leveraging LinkedIn's full potential, mastering the interview process, and actively engaging with the hidden job market, largely through networking.

Is there any further help available? Well, only our biggest offer of the year…

Absolutely there’s further help available, and very soon!

And this is an exciting moment for us at The CV & Interview Advisors because, without telling you too much now, we will reveal a very special offer tomorrow on ContractorUK.

You’ll be pleased to know that no, you won’t need Warren Buffet’s fortunes to be in with a chance of qualifying.

In fact, you’ll hardly need anything – other than one very specific condition which I’m going to reveal in the offer this Wednesday morning.

If you’ve got that criteria (and to give you a clue, it’s related the tech contracting hiring space not being great of late), and you contact my team and I -- you’re going to have a chance of automatically hitting all the must-dos for IT contracting success in this article.

This is all courtesy of an offer that will save you HUNDREDS OF POUNDS.

All you have to do is check back with me tomorrow on ContractorUK, to find out what it is!

Free CV/LinkedIn review anyone?

Before I go, and you go action these five IT contractor job search must-dos to make the most of Spring 2024, you should note that all Contractor UK readers are already eligible for a free CV and /or LinkedIn profile appraisal.

Head over to the page below if you would like some sage and confidential feedback: https://cvandinterviewadvisors.co.uk/partners/contractor-uk

Want to see if you’re eligible for an even bigger and unique offer? Find me here tomorrow.

Profile picture for user Matt Craven

Written by Matt Craven

Matt is the Founder of The CV & Interview Advisors and Incredibly Linked. He is considered to be a thought-leader in Personal Branding and is regularly engaged as a public speaker to deliver advice and guidance to global audiences on all things related to CV authoring, career advancement, LinkedIn, personal branding and thought leadership.
Printer Friendly, PDF & Email

Contractor's Question

If you have a question about contracting please feel free to ask us!

Ask a question

Sign up to our newsletter

Receive weekly contractor news, advice and updates.

Every sign up will be entered into a draw to WIN £100 Amazon Vouchers.

* indicates required