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How to write the ultimate contractor CV

You have probably written/rewritten a couple of CVs in your career. If you’re new to contracting you might have to write it a little bit differently.

When you’re writing a basic CV you will usually include an introduction, your education and your previous work experience. This is great if you’re applying for permanent roles, but if you’re trying to enter the contracting world then you’re going to need to have a little bit more of an edge.

Here are some tips to help you stand out.

Focus on skills and achievements

Your skills should be at the top of your CV. Make sure that this is concise and clear as most recruiters and hiring managers will make up their minds about a CV in a few seconds. They want to see evidence that you are good at your job.

Adapt your CV for each role

You need to be able to tailor your CV to every job you apply for. Creating a generic CV that you send off to multiple companies won’t have that tailored feel, which could lead to your CV being overlooked by recruiters and hiring managers.  Change your CV for each role so that the most important skills for that position are more prominent.

Wherever applicable you should try to include the name of the company or the position or the department that you’re applying to work in.


Optimise your CV for keyword searches. A recruiter somewhere will be doing keyword matching on a job board or a recruitment database. If your CV isn’t rich with keywords, then you may not get past the machine side of recruitment which lessens the chances of your CV getting viewed by a human.

Be careful that you’re not just adding in keywords just to appear high on searches. Make sure that you’re adding them where appropriate and where it makes sense.

What to include

If you’ve never done contracting before, there are other ways that you can communicate your skills from previous experiences. State your previous permanent roles, but instead of writing what you did, you should include the skills that your permanent positions have given you, which make you a viable contractor.


The structure of your CV should include:

-Career overview

-Specialist skills



As a contractor, you should be advertising yourself to recruiters in a “here’s what I can offer ” way as opposed to “here’s what I have done” way. They will be looking at what skills you can contribute to their client.

Make your mark

If you’re applying for roles in the UK, you don’t need to include a photo of yourself. If you’re a developer or a designer you can show who you’re through a portfolio. If you’re looking for some tips for creating a stand out portfolio, check out our tips here

Including a QR code on the top corner of your CV which links to a portfolio or a LinkedIn page will portray an innovative edge.


Are you looking for a contracting role in IT? Check out our current live vacancies here we might have something suitable for you!

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