How to source your next assignment

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The UK is fast becoming a contractor’s paradise, with many businesses switching on to the benefits a freelancer can bring.

Research suggests this trend looks set to continue, as clients seek short-term access to key skills. In addition, the ongoing talent crisis has led an increasing number of businesses to turn to contractors to secure the expertise they require.

With the market hotting up, it’s important that contractors make every effort and adopt the right approach when looking for their next assignment. By doing so, they can ensure they always remain top of the pecking order.

Here are our tips to help secure your next contracting assignment:

Develop a strong CV

With so much competition, it is essential that your CV makes you stand out from the crowd. The document should be kept brief and let the recruitment agency and its client know exactly why you’re the best person for the job.

Showcase a list of achievements so that recruiters can instantly see evidence that you have performed well on previous assignments. Include a brief summary of what was involved in each project to allow businesses to gauge what you are capable of.

Make yourself known

As a freelancer, it is essential that you know how to sell yourself and what you are capable of. Networking with recruiters or other contractors is also an important way to get yourself known.

LinkedIn can be valuable tool in a contractor’s arsenal – allowing them to showcase their expertise and get noticed by recruiters.

Another good way to attract positive attention is by attending workshops, seminars and industry events that staffing agencies and potential clients might attend. Make sure to have business cards to hand as you never know who you might meet.

Get the right price

One of the perks of contracting is the ability to earn more than those in “traditional” employment. However, it is important not to price yourself out of the market.

Conduct research into what other contractors are getting paid for similar assignments to avoid pricing yourself out of a job. On the other hand, accepting low rates in the hope of attracting more work could undermine your professional image.

Keep one eye on the future

Don’t wait until your assignment finishes before looking for the next one, as this could lead to periods of inactivity. Check midway through the current project if it is likely to be extended. If not, approach recruiters and source something new to avoid any potential downtime.

Have your say

Are you a contractor? How do you source your assignments? Do you have any top tips of your own? Join in the discussion on Twitter, or leave a comment below.