How to Write a Great Contractor’s CV
How do you write a great contractor’s CV? Traditional CVs for permanent roles tend to follow a conventional format. A Contractor’s CV however, isn’t always able to follow the same format
How do you write a great contractor CV? Traditional CVs for permanent roles tend to follow a conventional format. A Contractor’s CV however, isn’t always able to follow the same format. With demand for quality candidates remaining high, getting your CV updated and noticed is even more important.
Your work experience probably consists of quite diverse projects which do not tally with a career progression type CV. We would suggest playing to your strengths and use your CV to highlight your experience in an impactful way, either project based or skills based.
Project Based Contractor CV
If you have had a varied career working in different sectors, or perhaps your job titles are diverse, consider presenting your work history using project themes. Projects can be grouped by sector or by the principal role you performed. For each project you should summarise the role, what you were employed to do, your results and the impact of your work. For example:
Multidisciplinary Engineering Consultancy – Sept 2021 to May 2022
Hired to meet an increased workload due to the consultancy winning three new contracts. Mainly worked on the design of Project C, taking over as Senior Structural Engineer until the project was signed off. Tasked to get the project back on track and find ways to progress the work quickly without going over budget. Software used included REVIT, Rhino and Grasshopper.
The client was very satisfied with the outcome and is now in talks with the consultancy over future projects.
Skills Based Contractor CV
Alternatively you could approach your CV from a skills perspective. This means defining a concise list of key skills or attributes that provide you with categories to file your contractual jobs under. Once again you should highlight the most relevant skills category to the job you are applying for by placing it at the top of this section of your CV. This format of CV works best for individuals who have had a broad range of different roles that don’t logically fall under one job title.
- Project A – Feb 2015 to July 2017
- Project B – Aug 2017 to March 2018
- Project C – April 2018 to Dec 2018
It is also an effective way of presenting your CV if you are looking to change career. Instead of highlighting job titles, you identify the key skills needed to perform an employers job. Job titles differ from company to company, especially as a Contractor, so the job title can be misleading and not reflect the skills actually utilised.
A Great CV Length
Finally, if your projects tend to be quite short term, you may well have accrued quite a list! General consensus is that CVs should not be more than 2-3 pages which could present a problem if you are a veteran contractor. Prioritise your most relevant and recent projects and experience so your CV is not excessively long.
- Top tip: tailor your CV for each individual role you apply for, highlighting the most relevant projects to that specific job.
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Being a contractor as opposed to being a permanent employee can have its advantages. Check out our Benefits of being a Contractor blog or go to Contractoruk.com to find out the Pros and Cons of being a Contractor vs an Employee.