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The importance of networking for career IT contractors
Posted May 13, 2013
Although the contract market has recovered significantly since the depths of the recession, many contractors may still find sourcing new contracts an uphill struggle. With dozens of applicants applying for many vacancies, networking has never been more important.
Although thousands of contract vacancies are live on the leading job boards, many are already filled. Many within the industry would also acknowledge that a fair number of job posts are bogus - placed online purely to attract CVs for future marketing purposes.
A large number of contract vacancies never even make it online - particularly the juiciest ones. These are usually filled following recommendations from contractors already working on client sites. Many long-term contractors never apply for roles posted online - they secure all their contracts via colleagues they have worked with in the past, or clients they have impressed on past projects.
This is why networking is increasingly important to career contractors. It is worth keeping in touch with colleagues if only to be fresh in their minds for future work opportunities.
Fortunately, keeping in touch has never been so easy. Networking sites such as LinkedIn (as we discussed in a recent article) allow you to network in a simple and impersonal way.
You can provide an online CV ('resume') listing your key skills and experience, join niche 'Groups' focused on skill and industry areas, and of course - find and 'connect' with contractors and clients you have worked with in the past.
There are many other business social networking sites out there - such as Ecademy, XING, however how many contractors list anything but their LinkedIn profile in their email signatures?
The key to online networking success is keeping your profile up-to-date, and spending time reconnecting with old colleagues.
Combine the new opportunities provided by the web with more 'traditional' methods of keeping in touch, and you will have a head start when looking for that next contract role.
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