Looking for a contract position can sometimes feel daunting for a candidate, but a few factors can help you stand out during the application process. This article will present 5 suggestions that can make a significant difference for candidates looking for contract roles.
1. Make Your Choice
If you get calls from multiple agents, you are popular in the market; on the other hand, information overload and double applications could also happen. You don’t want to be harassed by endless calls that make you tell your story over and over again. Besides, if you work with multiple agencies simultaneously, you could quickly lose track of your application progress.
Therefore, it is better to choose 2-3 agencies you would like to work with in the long term instead of working with multiple recruiters just to increase your exposure to positions. Let the ones you trust handle your applications.
2 . Be Transparent
In every recruiting call, a recruiter will ask why you left your last employment or what your most recent earnings were. Some candidates would respond with “I don’t think it’s relevant to our conversation” or “it is not your business.” To the recruiter, however, it means that you are not cooperative or trying to hide something.
An accountable recruiter would like to know everything about you to better assist you in finding the right project. Of course, you have the right not to share your earning information with others. Understandably, you want to get better pay by not disclosing your most recent earnings.
However, it is not a recommended move and, in a world where a lot of information is shared, this move may not have the effect you’d like it to have.
Be transparent about your situation. Even if you want better pay, make the recruiter aware that you think you were underpaid. A professional recruiter would understand your concern.
3. Keep Records
Usually, agents will keep a record of your representation agreement in case of any arguments. I also suggest that you keep a record of your own. It helps to keep your application information organized so that you can locate specific application records easily when needed.
4. Be Responsive
Do you know how frustrated a recruiter can be when a client sends an interview invitation, but there is no way to get in touch with you? When a client requests to confirm interview availability with a candidate, the recruiter always reaches out to the candidate immediately. It helps them get back to the client as soon as possible. A substantial delay due to your late response will weaken your chance of being considered.
You may say, “well, I’m not actively looking anyway, so let them wait,” but you would be wrong. Your unresponsive behaviour will be logged into the agency’s database and will most likely be flagged in the hiring company’s system too.
People are busy with their schedules, but it won’t take more than 5 seconds to reply with a “yes” or “no,” or 10 seconds if you need to reschedule.
5. Be Cooperative
You are looking for a job, and your agent is here to help. You need to work together to prepare for your applications. Sometimes your recruiter needs to ask for details to compose a competitive profile summary, so your cooperation is crucial to your recruiter during application preparation.
Your recruiter puts effort into preparing your application and landing an interview for you. Please be cooperative and try to make yourself available. After all, other candidates are being considered, and slots are limited.
If you are uncertain about the position, please be upfront with your agent so that they can work together with you to address your concerns. It can also help the recruiter understand your situation better, locating more suitable positions for you.
There was one case in which I managed to get an interview for a high-level enterprise position for one of my candidates. When contacting her for availability, she asked to postpone the interview due to a family emergency. We explained the situation to the hiring company, and they kindly agreed to reschedule her for the following week.
However, after not being responsive to calls/emails/text messages just two hours before the rescheduled interview, she simply called with a decision not to proceed. I can still clearly remember what she said on the phone: “If you have any other similar roles available, please feel free to contact me, but not at this time.”
Frankly, do you think a recruiter will still be willing to work with her in the future? I even doubt if that organization would consider her a viable candidate at any point in the future.
These 5 suggestions can make a world of difference for candidates looking for contract roles. Which of them do you plan on using more in the future? Do you have any others that you believe should be on this list? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think.