As an IT consultant, you enjoy the many benefits of contracting. Working across various industries and for numerous companies helps build out your resume. You’re also most likely earning a higher hourly rate than your permanent counterparts. However, if there is a downside to contracting, it would be finding your next role after coming off your current contract.
Timing is crucial when looking for your next role. Some people like to move into their next job right away while others might take a slight break before jumping back in again. Whatever your timeline, it can be difficult to find that perfect project at the right time. However, there are things you can do that will increase your chances of structuring your next contract, based on your terms.
Consider Your Options
Ending a contract is an opportunity to explore your different career options. Maybe you’ve been contracting for a while and are ready for something a bit more permanent. Or perhaps you’ve decided it’s time to take the leap into a management-level role. Whatever your next step may be, it’s important that you give this thoughtful consideration before your current contract ends. Having a defined idea of where you want to go next will help you prepare accordingly.
Update Your Resume
Being a consultant forces you to update your resume after each role to ensure you’re correctly showcasing your abilities for your next contract. It’s important that you don’t just jot down the latest job and click “Save”. Make sure you are giving your resume the time it deserves. Consider the design and format to ensure relevancy to what hiring managers are seeking. Also, if you’re considering moving into a different role or into a leadership position, make your resume showcase certain skills or projects that will emphasis personal attributes that would make you the perfect fit for that role.
Contact Your IT Recruiting Company
One of your best resources to finding a new role is the company and person who got you your current position! Reach out to your recruiter to let them know you’ll be finishing up your contract soon (if they don’t reach out to you first). They’ll be able to check their current job openings and see if there are openings that match your next desired opportunity. Recruiters also have the best insight into what is going on in the marketplace and may be able to advise you on the best way to find your next role. Start the conversation with your favorite recruiter a few weeks in advance of your end date, giving them plenty of time identify the right role, not just the best available.
Networking is important to maintaining a resume of great projects. Join user groups, attend networking events and keep in touch with old coworkers to help build your network. Contributing to groups on LinkedIn is also a good way to show your expertise and will introduce you to new people with your same skills and interests. Once you’re ready to start looking for your next role, use LinkedIn to reach out to contacts you think are likely to be of help to you in your search.
Talk to Your Onsite Manager
If you’ve had a good experience with your current company and would be interested in working with them again, reach out to your onsite manager. By the time your contract is up, they’ll be quite familiar with your quality work. If there is something available that meets your skills and experience, they’ll be happy to recommend you for it. Be up front with them about what type of position you’re looking for (contract, permanent, management-level, etc). Even if they don’t have anything to fit you at that time, they might in the future. They also might have contacts within their network that might be able to help you as well.
In the IT industry today, the demand for talent is outpacing the supply, making it a buyer’s market. This means that finding your next contract might not be as hard as it was a few years ago. It’s also a perfect time to take that leap into management or to go in a new direction with your technical career. Using the current market conditions in conjunction with the resources we identified above will put you well on your way to landing that perfect opportunity.
Ready to start looking for your next IT position? Look no further than IDR! Click here to view our open jobs!