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Tips for Securing Your Next Contract Assignment: What to do and when to do it

As a contractor, it is essential to proactively plan for your next contract assignment. Whether you work with a recruiter or independently, there are several steps you can take to increase your chances of securing your next opportunity. In this blog post, I will provide valuable tips and insights based on my decades of industry experience to help you navigate the process and position yourself for success.  

Tips for Securing Your Next Contract Assignment 

Build a relationship with your recruiter 

Establishing a strong rapport with your recruiter can significantly benefit your career. Take the time to communicate your career goals, preferred industries, and desired technologies. By maintaining an open line of communication, you can stay informed about potential assignments that align with your expertise and aspirations. 

Maintain your certifications 

In the ever-evolving contracting world, staying up to date with relevant certifications is crucial. Regularly assess your skill set and identify areas where acquiring new certifications or updating existing ones can enhance your marketability. By demonstrating a commitment to professional growth, you position yourself as an asset to clients and recruiters. 

Update your resume 

Keeping your resume current is essential to showcasing your skills and experience accurately. Update your resume whenever you gain new insights or complete a project, ensuring that it reflects your most recent accomplishments. When your current assignment nears its end, share your updated resume with your recruiter, along with your preferences for the next role and a list of preferred clients if applicable. 

Engage in the redeployment process 

If your contract has an anticipated end date, familiarize yourself with your project’s timeline. Around 60 days (about 2 months) before your contract is completed, contact your recruiter to notify them of the impending end. Stay in regular contact, discussing the possibility of an extension or exploring opportunities for your next assignment. Maintaining this relationship and staying proactive can make a significant difference in securing future contracts. 

Nurture your relationship with recruiters 

Developing a strong connection with recruiters is vital, even if you are an independent contractor. Regularly engage in outreach efforts to stay on their radar. Seek feedback from recruiters about the impressions they receive from clients, and reciprocate by providing feedback on the work environment and culture. These insights help recruiters understand your ideal professional fit and increase your chances of finding rewarding assignments. 

Tips for Independent Contractors (who do not use recruiters)  

Although working with recruiters offers many benefits such as access to a wider network, industry expertise, tailored job recommendations, and more, some contractors prefer to go it alone. Following are some tips for independent contractors.  

Communication as an independent contractor 

If you work independently without a recruiter, direct communication with clients becomes crucial. Keep the lines of communication open and inquire about the project’s progress and potential future steps. When the project is ending, leverage your network and industry contacts to explore new opportunities. If you need some help, utilize LinkedIn to identify recruiters specializing in your field or connect with recruiters through company websites like 

Networking and personal relationships 

Networking plays a vital role in securing contract assignments. Cultivate personal relationships within your professional network, as they can often lead to new opportunities. By actively engaging in networking events, conferences, and online platforms, you increase your visibility and create connections that can provide valuable leads for future contracts. 

Maintain your online presence 

In addition to maintaining an updated resume, pay attention to your online presence, particularly on LinkedIn. Request recommendations from colleagues and clients to enhance your profile’s credibility. Regularly update your resume on job boards and ensure that your contact information is accurate and easily accessible. These steps can increase your visibility and attract potential clients and recruiters. 

Securing your next contract assignment requires proactive effort, effective communication, and continuous professional development. By building relationships with recruiters, staying on top of certifications, and nurturing your network, you can position yourself for success in the competitive contracting market. Combine these strategies with a well-crafted resume and a strong online presence and you will increase your chances of securing your next ideal contract assignment.

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