Top tips for securing a contract
Getting your foot in the door is an obvious cliche, but when it comes to securing contracts it’s a cliche that leads to success. Once you have chosen the rightumbrella company to work with you need to find and secure a contract. In the current economic climate focusing your time and resources into the right areas can be essential for securing a contract.
Important things to consider
When searching for a contract an active strategy is the one that works. The best approach is to keep applying for contracts and then follow them up with a phone call. If you send off a couple of emails and then sit back waiting for the phone to ring, chances are you will be waiting a long time.
Securing a contract is not the same as applying for permanent work. Usually you will have only one interview and you will find out within the week whether you have been successful, so you will often need to be available as soon as possible.
Tailor your CV to each individual role you are applying for. Make sure the most relevant part of your experience is the first thing they read. Also make sure your CV is clearly written and to the point. Agents at umbrella companies will have a tremendous amount of CVs to go through and if they don’t see what they are looking for straight away, they will move onto the next.
If an you are offered a contract and it becomes apparent you were a little bit too creative with your CV skills, you could be let go. As a contractor you will not have the usual employee protection rights you may enjoy as a full-time employee.
Selling yourself is a key technique when interviewing for a contract. Make sure you highlight what you can do for the role and not what the role will do for you. Always research the company beforehand, you will fall at the first hurdle if you are unable to answer a simple question about the business you are interviewing for.
Networking and Negotiation
The rate of pay you get will depend on a range of different variables. Your skill set, market demand, and what the company is willing to pay to name but a few. Its important to establish where you stand before entering negotiations, for example make sure you know what you are worth. Once you know where you stand it’s up to you to use your bargaining skills and salesmanship to gain the best deal for you.
For contractors starting out, using sales agents can be a good way of obtaining a contract. Signing up with an agency alleviates pressure on your own sales skills and they will usually have more business contacts at their disposal. An agent will act as a middleman between you and a client but they will only put through candidates who have the best chance of getting the job, so again it is worth going over your CV again to make sure it is specific to the role.
It is important to remember that agents paid on a commission basis so they will deal with a large number of applicants similar to yourself. This can sometimes mean that your best interests may not always be top of their agenda.