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How Contractors Can Make The Most Of Their Skills

We recently noted findings from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) showing the four weeks to June enjoyed the highest demand for IT contractors this year – with demand higher than any month in 2017.

The REC attributed this demand in part to a shortage of cyber-security skills, as well as the Brexit vote and the requirements of the NHS.

Prior to this, a study at the beginning of the year from the jobsite, Indeed, found that the UK had the second worst cyber-security skills gap in the world, with demand from recruiters almost double the supply of candidates.

Most recently, however, Indeed published findings that showed the cyber-security skills gap has eased by 36%.

All of this underlines that there is real opportunity for contractors with specialist skills, but that the level of demand for their skills can fluctuate.

With this in mind, here are our top tips on how to make the most of your skills:

 

Keep an eye on the market – and refresh your skills

The research from Indeed doesn’t just reveal the extent of the skills gap but also the skills where demand most outstrips supply.

Most recently, this research showed that cloud security faces the greatest skills gap, with the number of jobs posted exceeding candidate interest by almost ten to one.

In malware and data recovery, where high-profile incidents have recently underlined the need for these skills, demand exceeds supply by four to one.

If you’re an IT contractor, it makes sense to stay on top of these trends and ensure you are properly advertising any skills you possess in these areas.

And, if you’re between roles, it’s a smart move to invest in training to improve your skills according to where the greatest demand is.

 

Sell your skills

Advanced technical skills are only as useful as how well you sell them. Ensure that your CV clearly outlines your full abilities and tailor the wording you use according to your research into demand in the market. This way you can ensure the skills your potential clients are looking for are clearly displayed.

It’s also important to sell your skills while you’re actually on an assignment. Stay alert to the discussions taking place in the office, anticipate the company’s future requirements and if you possess the skills they need for a future project, make sure they’re made aware of this – there’s every chance you could secure your next role while working on your current one.

 

Build relationships

Linked to selling your skills is building strong relationships. During any assignment there’s an opportunity to not only raise awareness of the fact that you can do the job, but also that you’re a reliable, trusted professional who can collaborate effectively with the wider team.

The best way to make the most of your technical skills is to demonstrate that you also have the soft skills that enable the wider team to perform at their best.

 

You can also make the most of your skills by submitting your CV to the Contracting Scout database so that employers can find you.