— January 22, 2018
The current IT market is brimming with opportunities. It’s at the point where highly skilled job seekers can remain inactive and still find an IT consulting job. In fact, you have probably received dozens of messages in recent months about contract opportunities that match your skills without aligning with the job you want. Finding IT contract jobs that match your professional development goals, technology wish list, and career interests requires a more proactive, high touch approach. Here are the ways IT consultants can locate and win the right contract roles.
1.) Leverage Your Network
Who you know definitely matters. The 2017 Stack Overflow Developer Survey reports that 26.8% of developers found their current job through family, friends, or former colleagues. Candidates with stronger networks are naturally able to connect with more IT contract jobs that will advance their experience and goals. However, simply knowing people is not enough.
Getting the most out of your network occurs when your connections understand your career interests, skills, and objectives. That means naturally discussing your IT gigs with family, friends, former colleagues, and other connections to remind them of your skills and reinforce that you’re always looking for new opportunities. They’ll be more successful at spotting and sharing opportunities that satisfy your contract job search criteria. Plus, maintaining regular contact helps to keep you front-of-mind if and when people in your network encounter the right consulting role for you.
2.) Improve Your Professional Profiles
Social media platforms have enabled IT professionals to set the right bait and wait for recruiters to reach out with opportunities. Several strategies improve the types of contract opportunities they receive, depending on the platform.
For starters, LinkedIn offers the Open Candidates feature which allows you to broadcast to recruiters (and not your current boss) that you are open to the right opportunity. You can even narrow down the offers to IT contract roles, specific industries, and ideal job titles. Plus, you can do a LinkedIn profile makeover to increase the amount of keywords and details in your profile that will attract recruiters looking to fill positions relating to your interests.
Also, your other social profiles can still be used to help or hurt your professional image. CareerBuilder finds that as many as 70% of employers are using social media to screen candidates. That means one of two things: IT consultants need to keep a clean and professional version of these profiles for employers to find, or they need to increase their privacy settings. Either way, it’s important to remember that both Facebook and Twitter accounts might influence a hiring manager’s decision.
3.) Learn about Your Target Company
Can you get in the mindset of the manager for a contract gig? If so, you’ll win more desirable contracts. IT consultants who can articulate how their own skillsets and passions will influence the outcome of a project are better at advertising their aptitude. To improve the quality of IT contract jobs, you need to be making your own sales pitch – even before the first interview begins.
Your LinkedIn profile is a great place to herald your most relevant and appealing achievements. As briefly as possible, discuss the goals of major projects and your ROI (both quantitative and qualitative). This communicates to companies and recruiters that you think of the big picture on projects and grasp the outcome of your work.
During the interview itself, communication need to be more personalized. Think about the brand purpose, core business, goals, and pain points of the company. IT consultants who can address all four in their responses to interview questions will make a more convincing argument for getting the gig.
Finding IT Contract Jobs with Less Work
As an IT consultant, you are expected to more regularly maintain your contract job search. As one position comes to an end, it is important to have another position lined up to avoid any undesired gaps. However, trying to juggle a recurrent job search with other work and life obligations can be a struggle.
Instead, working with the right IT recruiters can simplify your search for better IT contract jobs. Effective recruiters will figure out your experience, interests, and goals to help funnel the right opportunities your way. They can get your dream contracts gravitating toward you. Plus, they can help you grasp what matters most to decision makers, removing obstacles in the interview process.