Top tips for updating your contractor CV

Thursday 5 January 2017

The New Year is time for reflection both personally and professionally, with employees and employers alike both looking for ways to improve their teams and careers. 

Some may be discouraged by the sheer amount of people applying for positions at this time of year, though, with the right achievements, it is easy to stand out from the crowd after making a few changes to your CV. 

As a contractor, it can be hard to choose which projects to speak about. If you have years of experience, it’s better to come up with a detailed summary of your skills and reference your best projects in the process. 

Overall, you need to focus on specifying your skills and explaining them using examples from your career, or you could end up putting together a rushed document that fails to accurately represent your abilities. 

Here are some top tips for putting together a fantastic contractor CV.

1. Write concisely

A successful CV needs to contain engaging terminology that employers will easily understand. Even if you believe you are the best person for a job, your application may not even get a second look if it is too long. 

Before writing, have a think about the most commonly used terms in your industry and use them effectively. Try to write in bullet point format, or with short sentences that are easy to digest. 

2. Show off 

Contractors often have a larger portfolio of work than full-time staff because of the variety in their workload. They may have completed projects for several different companies across various sectors, but this needs to be shown clearly within the CV. 

Rather than producing wordy summaries of your best projects, keep it brief and include links to them, or simply show stats on what they achieved. Perhaps one of your projects won an award, boosted site traffic or received praise from a client - focus on these details rather than the ins and outs of the project. This will allow the reader to see the true benefits of employing a freelancer

3. Keep your layout consistent 

In order for employers to give your CV a second look, you need an attractive and engaging layout. Don’t worry about making it flashy, just ensure it has a consistent design with minimal blank space. 

The same applies for the font used as well. There’s no harm in emphasising information with bold text, but choose a font and stick with it throughout, or it will simply look unprofessional. 

By Victoria McDonnell

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