5 Tips for crafting the perfect contractor CV

Making the move from a permanent role into a contracting career can be hugely beneficial to both your skill set and your income – and it all starts with a strong CV.

Your CV often acts as the initial point of contact with a recruiter, or end-client, and first impressions count – so it’s essential that you’re clued up on the best ways to present your services and secure lucrative new business.

Your CV is your chance to lay down the proverbial gauntlet and persuade recruiters that you are the best and only person for the job – and from the layout to the content, a CV should, above all other things, showcase your talent.

Here, Paul Gough, Managing Director at Intouch Accounting, provides some useful tips on how to craft the perfect CV to take your contracting career to the next level.

1. Highlight your experience

Highlight your experience

The ‘experience’ section of your CV should include a combination of your technical experience and the results you’ve achieved in your career thus far – and should be given a prime spot towards the beginning of your CV. If you’re new to the contracting game, it’s likely that you’re making the transition from permanent contract employment – and if not, you’ll at least have some experience in the industry which should be reflected in your CV.

While permanent employment allows you to draw on a timeline of jobs to inform your experience, contractor CVs should focus less on a chronological list of achievements and instead focus on how individual experiences have improved your services. If you have any high profile or well-known clients in your portfolio, make sure you include them in your CV – as this demonstrates to potential clients that you’re capable of handling projects of this size and status. 

2. Choose a clear layout

Choose a clear layout

There’s no getting away from it: a poorly presented CV will lose you the job before the client has even read your name. When it comes to typing up your CV, choose a sensible font and size to avoid undermining its content with amateur formatting.

Your CV should be kept to two pages maximum, as potential employers are likely to lose interest by this point – and will likely have made up their minds already. Spelling and grammar are the two areas in which there’s absolutely no room for compromise.

Lazy errors will create a bad impression instantly. So, if this isn’t your strongest area, ask a trusted friend or colleague to proofread your CV before it goes into circulation.

3. Sell your skills

Sell your skills

Whether you’re moving into contracting from a permanent position or starting out in self-employment, you’ll be able to draw upon the skills you’ve amassed in previous jobs and education. From time management to self-motivation, incorporate skills acquired from a range of past experiences to enhance your CV – and highlight how they both influence and strengthen your services.

Clients are primarily interested in your technical capabilities – and while younger contractors will be able to draw from skills gained during education, experienced contractors should have a wealth of industry-gained skills and professional qualifications to present.

4. Avoid useless information

Avoid useless information

There’s a misconception that comes with CV writing that it should be filled with any minor details that will paint you in a positive light, but this is inaccurate – especially when crafting a contractor CV. Clients are interested in what you can offer them – and if mentions of leadership skills and marathon runs are completely unrelated to the service you’re offering, don’t include them.

Your CV should be short, snappy and detailed – promoting your services in an easy-to-understand and accessible way.

5. Get your CV out there

Get your CV out there

Now you’ve crafted the perfect CV, the hard work isn’t over. The only way to begin generating client interest is to get your CV out and into the contracting sphere. Contracting is a competitive industry and, if you want to stay ahead of the game, you need to be smarter than everyone else in your approach.

Be timely in getting your CV to clients and make sure you’re targeting the right audience with your skills and services. Once these connections are made and a client-contractor relationship is established, you can use this to help you generate future business.

Stand out from the crowd

Having the right contractor accountant in place can mean getting specialist, tailored advice, that will give you that competitive edge over your contracting colleagues. Have you got what it takes to stand out from the crowd?


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