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How to avoid contract search burnout

As a contractor, we at 3C Global are all too aware that it can sometimes be challenging to find your next contract. Having to be in self-promotion mode for long periods of time can sometimes be draining.

If you are a contractor looking for your next opportunity, we’re here to help!

Here’s some advice from our experiences on how to ensure that your search process is both productive and lucrative.

  • Think positive: It goes without saying, stay positive and focused. It's easy to get downhearted, but keep positive and optimistic - a good contract WILL come.
  • Take time to fill out complete application forms: If you are a contractor applying for a job, ensure that you give adequate thought to those application forms. Emphasise your relevant skills and strengths, and ensure that you match your skills to the contract in question. "Spray and pray" applications seldom work.​
  • Meet recruiters & end clients face-to-face (where possible): When you’re looking for a contract, the easiest place to look is on the internet. However, if you’re truly honest with yourself, how much of that time is really productive? Chip Espinoza, author of Millennials@Work: The 7 Skills Every Twenty-Something (and Their Manager) Needs to Overcome Roadblocks and Achieve Greatness, suggests also going to conferences and alumni events, where you can meet potential clients and recruitment contacts face-to-face.
  • Be interesting and engaging: As contract-seekers it is naturally instinctive for us to want to sell ourselves as best we can, and to showcase our skills in the best possible light. However, we’re only human after all, and sometimes the best way to generate conversation with a complete stranger is to find a common interest. You want to earn the trust of your potential client or recruiter, and making yourself as approachable as possible will certainly achieve this.
  • Your cover letter: It is customary to include a cover letter with job application forms. However, cover letters should be as short as possible, tailored to each individual job applications and should reference the advertised job description.
  • Your CV: Remember, there is no such thing as a perfect CV! Make sure that you’ve listed all of your relevant skills, keywords and past connections who are most likely to give you a good reference. Recruiters may only have a short time to scan CVs, so make sure that all the information you include matches the job you’re applying for and it is clear and concise.​
  • Showcase your skills & create an online portfolio: Why not create a simple website on WordPress, CarbonMade or Contently? Demonstrate you know what you are doing and refer interested parties to the website. It can only benefit you.
  • Ask questions at interviews: When going after potential contracting work, it’s important to come across as being genuinely interested in landing the contract. Be specific in the questions you ask the hiring manager, project manager etc, three examples may be:
  1. ​​​What’s your favorite part about working at this site on this project? This question allows the interviewer/s to open up about the client and the project. It will give you an insight into whether you think this is a good place to contract or not.
  2. How do you think the <insert specialism> will be different three years from now? You’re asking for the person’s expert opinion and that shows respect. You'll also gain an insight into whether the interviewer knows the specialism and whether you could learn from them.

Whether you’re a contractor looking for new prospects, or a recruiter looking for skilled and competent contractors, 3C Global are here to help.​


APSco SIA CM Member