The Basics

LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals to connect with colleagues and potential clients. Most contractors utilise LinkedIn to find contracts through the platform and also it is a simple way to see the skills your competitors hold to ensure you keep your skills up to date.

So where do you start? First, you need to visit www.linkedin.com and set yourself up an account. Once you have filled out the details such as your name and email address, it will prompt you to complete some more information about yourself, i.e. your occupation, education and so on.

Connecting with others is quite simple and can be done through connecting your email account and allowing the system to recommend people, or you can search by name.

 

Optimise your Profile

Obviously one of the main purposes of LinkedIn is to be found by other people, the best way to do this is to have a 100% complete profile. This means that if someone was looking for a contractor with your skill set, you are more likely to be found on their search results. For a visible profile, we would recommend you have:

  • A 100% complete profile as defined by LinkedIn
  • Increased connections mean higher ranking compared to other contractors with less connections
  • Keep your status updated every week
  • Activity on discussion and Q&A’s on the groups section increases the visibility of your profile

What is a 100% complete profile?

  • A profile picture

An image of yourself, preferably a professional looking image, so that people who are searching for a contractor with your skill set can see the best version of you, and the services you offer.

  • Current position

Include an overview of your current role, including what specialist services you have provided to the project and an estimation of your contract competition date; therefore, any prospective clients can see when you are next available to take on work.

  • Past two positions

It is important to keep your LinkedIn page up to date, just like you would your CV so you should state and overview of your two most recent contracts including what you did and what you achieved in the role to demonstrate your skill as a contractor.

  • Education

Any qualifications or memberships should be displayed on your LinkedIn page, to demonstrate your professionalism and knowledge within the industry.

  • Specialities & Skills

State any special skills or talents that may apply to any future clients that could help you land the contract.

  • Three or more recommendations 

It is always good to have recommendations from previous clients on your LinkedIn page, as this provides you with credibility when prospective clients are looking to hire you for a role.

Starting out in contracting

Finding a Contract

Networking is a big must when it comes to finding a contract and you do need connections to do this. By connecting with colleagues, current and previous as well as potential you are opening up channels to finding a new contract.

One other way to find a contract is to visit the ‘jobs’ section, which can be located on the top of the page. From there you can enter your search preferences such as, location, desired company size, and industry. You can then either search for a job title or term in the search bar, located at the top of the page, or alternatively suggested jobs which match your interests are automated right below titled, "Jobs you may be interested in”.

Keeping your profile up to date and also keeping your status updated will let your connections know that you are available for work, from any given date. More and more people are using LinkedIn as a way of recruiting talent, so it is becoming a very popular way of finding contracts.

Network

In order to grow your network, or following, you should try and interact with your current connections. Creating content for your profile helps you not only show off your knowledge, but if it really interesting you might find your connections could share it to their connections and you could generate a few new relevant connections.

Just make sure you like, comment and share your connections updates and they will most likely return the favour. Despite some opinions, content is still king, even when it comes to LinkedIn. By creating or sharing relevant and quality content you are more likely to be seen as an industry leader in your field.

If you think that now is a good time to make the move to contracting then you can call our New Business team for more information on 01253 362062 or email newbusiness@nixonwilliams.com