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Becoming an IT contractor becomes a desirable route into becoming your own boss for a lot of IT professionals who have been working for a number of years and are looking to work on projects that motivate them more, or to benefit more financially.
Identify & Market Your Skills
With the rise of remote working and outsourcing of IT-focused work, it’s important to be able to market the skills and experience that you have in order to secure the contracting position that you want.
In the abundance of candidates within the IT sector, it’s important to develop an image for yourself online through social media platforms such as LinkedIn or your own portfolio website by having a visual demonstration/case studies of what you have accomplished thus far in your career.
Making your CV stand out for a contracting position consists of the same process of writing out a CV for a permanent position.
Following a formula for your CV writing is a great way to start the process. Including key sections within your CV such as your contribution towards results (KPI’s and financial targets), detailing your experience with various technologies and within previous positions that you’ve held, writing your CV specifically for the role that you are applying for, including ‘power words’ that are relevant to your potential new role (read through the job description and highlight any words such as teamworking that you can focus on in your CV).
Know Your Rate
Figuring out whether you would like to charge an hourly rate or a daily rate, as well as what price you would like to place on your services is an obvious, but sometimes difficult task to complete.
One great tip for stating your rate is to not include this on your CV, and instead to discuss this with a recruiter or go through an umbrella company.
Declaring your rate on your CV will immediately turn you away from certain roles for which their budget doesn’t initially match the cost of your services.
If you have an extensive or impressive amount of experience within a certain technology, then companies will oftentimes negotiate a deal/amend the rate that they would like to pay (compared to the advertised rate of pay) for your services. If you were to state your rate within your CV, then this conversation might never have happened.
Tax, Payment, Finances
This year, IR35 has become an extremely important detail to take note of if you’re an IT contractor due to the financial impact that it is said to have had with reports of net income being slashed by up to 25%.
You will also need to decide whether you would like to use an Umbrella Company or set up your own limited company. Umbrella Companies handle all of the stress of setting up your own Limited Company by processing payments, handling communication between client and employee, assisting with tax payments and set-up, and much more.
This is often the recommended route to go down if you’re just starting out as an IT contractor and can provide a great amount of benefits for experienced professionals as well.