date posted: 15-12-2016

Contractors with Sterling


Sterling have worked with a vast array of contractors over the years and gained an in-depth insight into a range of industries.

We have seen what makes the most successful contractors and if you are contracting for the first time you need an impressive CV, in addition to a dedicated umbrella company like Sterling.

Writing CVs can be difficult and time consuming, whether it’s for a permanent position or a contactor role, but the nature of contract work means there are some subtle but very important differences for a contractors CV.

To aid new contractors on their journey we have some excellent advice on how to write the ultimate contractors CV.


1. Tailoring: Much like a CV for permanent positions, you should never have just one version of your CV but tailor it to the job role to help your most relevant experience shine through. With contracting roles, this is even more important. Contractors in any industry are often employed for a very specific project or to solve a specific problem, rather than join the rank and file of the company. Tailoring must be taken to a whole new level to make sure you are seen as the perfect candidate for the project on offer.


2. Results Focused: Be sure to focus on what positive, measurable results you gained for your clients on previous projects.


3. The Right Experience: Put greater emphasis on past experience that is similar to the current project you are applying for.


4. Concise and Relevant: On average CVs are scanned for about 20 seconds before a decision is made about whether to interview you. This means you don’t want to tell your life story or waste time going into detail on irrelevant skills. Keep your CV to two pages maximum and place all the most relevant and important experience on page one. Use a good layout, structure, styling and bullet points to make your contractor CV easy to read.


5. Technical Qualifications: Be sure to highlight your specialist and technical qualifications, especially if they will in any way aid the project.


6. Utilise LinkedIn: Some contractors may have worked on numerous relevant projects in the last year, which of course you can’t fit on two pages. Try adding a link in your CV to your LinkedIn profile where business owners can view the rest of your work. Try to get recommendations from previous projects and encourage your connections to highlight how you completed projects, on time, on budget and with tangible, beneficial results.


7. Highlight Your Problem-Solving Skills & Initiative: Contractors naturally have to be independent and good at solving problems by themselves. These are some of the most important skills of a contractor.


  1. 8. Security Checks:  Security checks can take a great deal of time while you lose out on pay. Try to get annual certificates of security checks that can be used with various companies.
  3. 9. Good Advice for Every CV: Contractors’ CVs may require a different approach but there is some advice which will improve any CV. Putting together a compelling cover letter is always a good idea. We also recommend saving your CV as a PDF so that your formatting does not get messed up if your prospective interviewer is using a different version of Word.
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