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How to find your next contract with LinkedIn

With an increasing demand for flexible, affordable, yet highly skilled workers, the contracting industry is currently witnessing a surge in popularity. Consequently many savvy contractors are finding new ways to scope out potential clients and find contracts using their own networking skills.

When becoming a contractor, there are a large number of things to consider, not least how you will market yourself and win contracts.

Rather than working totally independently to identify and secure contracts, many contractors opt to work alongside agencies who will take care of this side of things for them by matching them with the potential clients and most suitable positions.

When it comes to the IT contract jobs market, however, research has shown that contractors operating in the tech industry tend to prefer working directly with clients rather than through agencies.

LinkedIn, in particular, is a great platform for contractors in IT and other sectors, allowing you to form connections, identify opportunities, create a professional portfolio and resume and potentially land your next LinkedIn IT job.

 

Finding your next contract with LinkedIn

 

Today, more and more companies are using LinkedIn job search tool to post job listings and reach out to potential candidates, making it a great platform for all types of job seekers to enhance and optimise their job search.

In the past few years, the changes to LinkedIn have also made it easier for recruiters to find contractors, and for contractors to find suitable positions.

If you are a contractor and determined to find your next position independently,  it’s important that you use this platform and make the most out of your LinkedIn profile.

 

That means:

 

Update your profile regularly

 

The more complete and up to date your profile is, the more chance you’ve got of being found, and most importantly, contacted by a potential client. Just like a CV, make sure you include comprehensive information about your skills, qualifications, and experience. If possible, it’s also advisable to include links to your website or online portfolios, including any testimonials or referrals.

 

Use your network

 

They say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and that’s certainly true when it comes to your LinkedIn IT contract search – the more connections you have, the better your chances of finding your next contract.

When looking for contractors, clients typically look for referrals and endorsements from their own employees or their professional network so it’s always worth building as broad a network as possible and then approaching any former colleagues or people you have worked with for a referral and an endorsement.

Of course, networks work both ways, if you want to get the most out of your connections and relationships, you’ll also need to put some effort in, ensuring that you help your connections when they need advice and referrals.

 

Let people know you’re looking for opportunities

 

When you’re actively looking for your next contracting opportunity, make sure you add something along the lines of ‘seeking contracting opportunities’ to your LinkedIn profile’s headline. It’s surprising, how many contractors are not making the most of this feature.

 

Post content regularly

 

One of the keys to marketing yourself through LinkedIn is posting and sharing great, relevant content regularly. Content could be anything from writing an article related to your industry and insights you gained from your last project, to updating your LinkedIn status to let your audience know that you are going to an industry event this week.

Make the time to find and share engaging content or even create your own and it will start to pay off.

 

Get found easily

 

And, with over 4 million contractors using LinkedIn to find work, LinkedIn is keen to cater to the needs of contractors. In February 2017, the social networking platform announced a contractor search filter that makes it easier for recruiters to identify candidates who are specifically interested in contractor roles.

Known as Contractor Targeting, the new feature was introduced as part of LinkedIn’s efforts to help recruiters find the right people for the right roles. To use this, make sure you tick ‘Contract’ when choosing your Job Type as this will let recruiters know that you are open for opportunities.

 

See who’s interested in contract work - LinkedIn

Next Step

LinkedIn is a great way to keep your visibility and explore fresh opportunities for contracts. For further information about using other social media tools to secure your next contracting job, download our free guide to Using Social Media to Improve Your Job Prospects.

 

If you would like to stay up to date with news from Contracting Scout, follow us on LinkedIn here.

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