Your CV can act as a key to open doors – doors of opportunity and employment. However, the key must fit perfectly with the lock.
A great contractor CV is neat, precise, and clearly set out. Before you begin to experiment with different designs and colours – don’t. There’s no point in experimenting with fancy templates, colours, borders, and intricate designs; a contractor CV means business. Serious business. It should reflect you as a professional body, not your personality. Save the personality for on the job as a spark of uniqueness. People will be looking for your talent, skills, and experience.
Your contractor CV should fit roughly on two sides of A4; the first side focusing on your skills and the second side homing in on your experience in your industry and your previous job history.
Looking for an outstanding contractor CV to get you that dream job? Below we have outlined some helpful top tips for a winning CV.
Many recruiters will look at well over 200 CVs in order to fill just one position. Believe it or not, they will only spend around 30 seconds scanning it before they simply move onto the next. This means you need standout words, and this is where buzzwords come in.
Fill your initial page full of words related to your area of expertise which you are certain are relevant to the job on offer. Also, make sure they are relevant to you and your skills. To make sure you will catch the reader’s attention, we suggest you bold these words. You’ll be sure to catch the recruiters eye this way.
With space limitations on your contractor CV, there is simply not enough space to write everything in full sentences and give detailed explanations of each project you’ve been a part of. A better solution is to write your skills in bullet points in one section and then go on to explain in further detail in your work experience on the second page.
Education and Qualifications
Your education and qualifications are a key part of your entire contractor CV. They should be displayed just below your contact information on the first page. As a highly experienced and specialist professional, you should ignore any relevant qualifications from school; stick to degree level and higher. Don’t forget to mention any professional bodies you belong to in the bullet point format also.
Tables are a great format for contractor CVs as they keep things organised and concise, which can also reflect on how you work in a professional setting. Have the following columns; employer, job role, length of employment, projects undertaken and achievements. Fill in all of these and you will effectively show what you did and how you learnt from it.
Tweak Each Time
If you have years of experience and a giant list of different jobs, make sure you only include the ones which are relevant to the contract which you are currently applying for. Tweak your contractor CV every time for special circumstances, making sure you thoroughly understand the contract in question. Only discuss your work on similar projects and if any earlier jobs are only slightly related then leave them out. Think quality and relevance, not quantity.
Leave Out Personality
While in some cases, showing your personality helps, when it comes to contractor CVs, a short introduction briefly outlining you as a worker and your skill level will do the trick to engage the reader. Other than that, leave out anything out about your personality. Forget about a section on hobbies or interest. This is irrelevant and will only take up valuable space, where you could otherwise be discussing your professional achievements.
Use Third Person
When writing in the first person, it can often feel like your ego may burst through the walls of your house. What is great about writing up your contractor CV is that you can write in the third person. It will not only read well but using your own name and third person makes the whole writing experience much more comfortable. You can also retain distance between the CV and your actual self, and from the recruiter’s point of view will read as more of a story.
It’s not easy to write an effective CV. It involves a lot of dedication to perfect it to an outstanding level. Your CV should be the sharpest tool in your armoury, so you must put in the time to polish it.
It is a good idea to get professional advice once you have written a draft contractor CV, so you can get a second opinion from someone who knows everything about CVs for contractors.
Here at ICS, we provide a variety of contractor services to help set you up as a contractor. You can use our handy Contractor Tax Calculator to work out your take home pay too! After all, you want a successful start and an even more successful career. Simply get in touch with our expert team to find out more.