Your guide to contracting cycles

contracting cyclesContractors use cycles to determine when the best time is to take on long term work, enjoy a short term contract, or forge ahead with the search for contract work. Whether you are new to the contract market, or a time-served independent, getting to know these contracting cycles is essential to making life as a contractor work for you. Here we take a closer look at the seasons and what they mean for contractors.

Spring

With spring in full swing, now couldn’t be a better time to ‘put the feelers out’ for new work. Spring is also a time when companies will be conducting their own searches for reliable contractors, so make sure you’re ready to provide further information about your skillset, experience, and rates by brushing up your CV and rate card. When it comes to applying for the contracts you want, make your CV and accompanying cover letter as personalised as possible. Contractor Calculator explains why a generalised CV is a surefire route to not getting hired:

“A good CV will get you to an interview and ultimately a great job. A bad CV will leave you in the bin with all the other bad CVs regardless of how good you are… You probably know people who excel at their work (perhaps it’s you!) but who struggle to get interviews for new positions or contracts. Chances are they have terrible CVs. Likewise, there are people with great CVs who are average at what they do, but yet they seem to secure contract after contract and are never left on the bench. They probably know better than others how to play the job search game and get themselves in front of people – i.e. they have great CVs that sell themselves.”

Summer

Contrary to popular belief, summer isn’t the time to head off on your holidays. Although demand varies from market to market, generally the skills of an independent contractor are in demand during the summer months. Summer is the perfect time to find a new contract, so use the advice mentioned above to personalise your CV to perfection and apply for a range of suitable positions.

There’s more than one way to find the contract work that suits you: some 80% of contracts are filled via recruitment agencies. To find out more about the benefits of working with a recruiter, read our recent blog post.

Autumn

Known in the farming industry as harvest time, the same sentiment applies to contractors looking for the best possible opportunities. Use your own harvesting skills to renegotiate the contracts you’ve sourced during springtime and worked on during the summer months.

Winter

It’s pretty cold out there so what better time to hunker down with a nice new contract or reap the rewards of a renegotiated opportunity. In many contract markets, there’s no need to slow down as the holidays approach. You may even find demand peaks once again as the year draws to a close. Many projects have end of year deadlines. Work hard to meet these to enjoy the peace and tranquillity that comes with the start of a New Year.

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