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After taking the leap from being a permanent employee to contractor the journey to find that first important contract begins. See below Gorilla Accounting’s top tips to help secure your first contract.

Step 1 – Do your research

First and foremost, you need to research the market to see where the demand for your skills are, and what rate you can expect to command. This will help you to target the right location, agencies and clients and will give you the focus to find the right contract that works for you.

Research should be carried out over multiple platforms, the most obvious being the internet, reviewing the job boards and reading the latest industry/contractor forums and news. Additionally now would be the time to start speaking to those all-important contacts, friends and family who are currently contracting and recruitment agents in the contractor market.

Step 2 – Get your CV up to date

It can be argued that having a clear and concise CV is the most important factor to getting noticed by a recruiter or client.

Take your time when writing your CV, get tips and help from the many CV writing tools and tips available online. Ask a friend or colleague to proof read your CV and make sure it is presentable. The worse thing you can do is have a CV with typos so make sure it is correct from the outset.

Remember: Recruiters see hundreds of CV’s each day so they need to quickly ascertain and understand your skillset and experiences, otherwise, yours could be one of the many CV’s quickly glanced over and ignored.

Step 3 – Start Networking

Having a professional network is more important than ever, recruiters and clients are keen to work with someone referred to them or someone they already know, rather than taking a risk with someone new. Get in touch with your existing contacts and build on those pre-existing relationships, as well as get yourself out there and start networking with new contacts.

LinkedIn is a great place to start, if you do not have a profile already then create one. Remember networking is a two way street, as well as you meeting new contacts and trying to find roles your contacts are keen for you to share your knowledge and your insights.

LinkedIn is just a starting point, where possible arrange to meet your contacts face to face, even if it just for a coffee so you can really create a good impression.

Step 4 – Contact Recruitment Agencies

You need to know the right agencies to contact which will give you the best chances of success. This is where all that research pays off, if you are speaking to the right agency this will give you the highest chance of success. Find out who are the biggest recruiters in your industry, speak to recruitment agents recommended to you or agents you have worked with previously even if that was to find a perm role.

When speaking to recruiters give them a good background to yourself, but also details of what you are looking for. If you have specific requirements i.e. pay rate, location, industries etc. make the recruiter aware at the beginning of your search.

Finally, make yourself available to speak to and meet recruiters and clients as soon as possible. Contracting is a fast paced world with good contracts being snapped and clients expecting you to be on site within days in some cases, you do not want to miss a great opportunity after all.

Gorilla Accounting provide accountancy services to the contractor community, which operate across a variety of professional sectors. For more information on how we can help you, contact us on 0330 024 0406 or alternatively email Charlie oninfo@gorillaaccounting.com.

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