If you are new to contracting you may be wondering how you can find your first contract; where do you start? We have complied some hints and tips to help you on your way to finding contractor work; weather you’re a seasoned contractor or just starting out.

If you are just starting out, you may not know where to start when it comes to finding a contract. You may find yourself asking, is it the same as finding a permanent role or where can I find a contract? Whilst making the move from permanent to contracting could be daunting there are a few contractor tricks we can teach you about finding contracts.

Learn to Market Yourself

As a contractor, you now have to market yourself as the service, i.e. what specialist skills you can bring to the table so to speak. Doing so can at first seem scary, but once you get the hang of it it’s quite easy.

Your reputation is now the most important element to your services, and you must ensure that when people start talking about you, they have had a good experience working with you - enough to recommend you.

Although, ‘Marketing’ yourself is more than just your reputation, having a strong USP (unique selling point) is a must as a contractor. Take some time to think about what skills and expertise you have that others don’t, because if you can fill a knowledge gap within a company’s workforce you are more likely to be hired for the role.

Agencies & Job Boards

Agencies and Job Boards are the most common way of finding a contract, especially if you’re new to contracting and need to build up your reputation and experience as a contractor. The most popular job boards for contractors are, Contractor UK, CW Jobs, and Techno Jobs to name a few. These websites are a great resource for finding a contract, and alternatively you can upload your CV for others to find you.

Agencies on the other hand, do all the legwork for you. They reach out to you when an appropriate contract comes up and negotiations go on from there. Here is a list of some of the top agencies in the UK.

  • Sthree
  • Aston Carter
  • Oliver Bernard
  • Empiric
  • Manpower / Experis
  • Skills Aliance
  • Harvey Nash
  • ITHR
  • ProClinical
  • Annapurna

Networking & Online Presence

As a new or even seasoned contractor the best way to find new contract opportunities is to network with others. That could take place at a conference or even online. Although connecting with others online is one of the better ways to finding a contract in the modern world.

Utilise LinkedIn and take advantage of it’s service offerings, weather that be a free or paid account but in order to ensure you are fully using the service, make sure you have a 100% complete profile as this will enhance it to potential hirers. Why not take a look at our guide to LinkedIn for Contractors for more information.

Follow Up

Last but not least and perhaps most importantly, make sure to follow up on any leads you think could be a good route to finding a new contract. Most agents are very busy and are bombarded with calls and emails on a daily basis. Don’t loose hope if they haven’t got back to you yet.

In order to prevent yourself from chasing dead leads, it is important that you make the most of your time when finding a new contract, and to do so you need to filter out any timewasters.

Keep note of how many times you have called / emailed each agency including the dates, so further down the line you are able to make an informed decision about when to cut your losses, and move onto the next one.

Appoint an Accountant

Once you have found a contract, if you haven’t already appointed an accountant it is probably a good time to do so. Nixon Williams offers full accountancy packages for contractors for just £95 +VAT. If you would like to speak to someone you can call our New Business Team on 01253 362062 or email newbusiness@nixonwilliams.com