This guide will take you through the steps to ensure that you find and secure contracts as a UK based contractor.
Plan your search
A thorough investigation and lots of research into the contracting market will help you find the best contracts available. However, this will have to be a planned work in progress. This step is advantageous as it will help you find contracts that may succeed each other ensuring that you have no or very few gaps between projects.
Prepare a Convincing CV
Your CV should highlight your unique skillset and pervious experience. You should write a cover email mentioning all the projects that you have worked on or completed that relate directly to the project at hand. Ensure that you have especially mentioned these projects in your CV as well. This will strengthen your chances as your unique skills for the project will be a successful match which will help to set you apart from other contractors.
Once you have your CV ready you should send it via email to all the agencies that you have discovered through your search process. It is advised to complete this one month before you need to start a contract especially if dealing with agencies.
Once you have sent your CV to an agency it is important to follow up on it within 1-2 days. Note that it is advised to keep a record of the dates and times regarding the agencies and projects that you have applied for and for the agencies that you have contacted. This will help you decide which jobs you should keep chasing and which jobs are time wasters.
Hiring Process for Contractors
The hiring process for contractors is relatively short as a company will only look for a contractor a few weeks before a project needs to commence. The hiring process normally begins with a telephone interview with a formal interview after that. Typically, you only get one interview where you will need to ascertain the scope of the project and use convincing examples of other projects that you have completed highlighting your skill set. This is important as an employer hiring a contractor will rather choose a competent contractor with a solid track record. You will have to persuade the employer that you are the perfect candidate. You will also have to be available to start within 1-2 weeks.
Typically, you will be given a decision within one week or at the interview itself depending on the urgency of the project. This means that you will know if you have been successful relatively quickly and can plan for the project or you can search for another.
Shoaib Aslam is the co-founder of Pearl Chartered Accountants, a UK-based chartered accountancy firm that has multiple locations across London. They are experts in helping startups and established businesses with all aspects of growth, strategy, scaling up, accounting and tax planning.