Writing a Quality Contract Consultant's Resume

In order to land new clients, contract consultants and interim managers need to have an impressive resume, one that showcases their experience and achievements in the best way possible. Even though a contractor’s resume is not significantly different than that of a consultant seeking full time employment, a well laid out CV that does not only list your qualifications, education, previous jobs and basic personal details, but also streamlines these and presents an image of success and an impressive record of achievement, will go a long way to convince a potential client to trust you of all candidates with a very important interim assignment.

Contract consultant’s resume: Which length?

A contract consultant’s resume should not be more than two pages long. Agents and recruiters are busy people and do not have the time to read through all the CVs that land on their desk. Your CV will get 30 seconds at the most to convince the recruiter to call you in for a job interview. To grab the recruiter’s interest and keep his or her attention, you should put the information that is most relevant to the contract job at hand on the top half of the first page. Go over the job advertisement very carefully to see what the requirements are and how your work experience and the results you have achieved are a match for the assignment.

Layout tips for contractor resumes

Do not write long paragraphs or include unnecessary details about your previous contract jobs. A recruiter does not need to know about every assignment you have ever had, only the ones that will let him or her know that you possess the skills for the contract job at hand. For best impact, your CV needs to be tailored to target the job, not to summarize your life, or even your entire career. Skills, qualifications and achievements are relevant. Your hobbies are not.

Organise your resume in such a way that your skills and experience stand out on the page. Do not hesitate to use bullet points and bold type for your qualifications. Bullet points are easier to read than paragraphs and relevant information written in bold will allow the recruiter to instantly see if you are the right person for the job.

How to organise your CV?

When writing about your work experience and previous contract jobs, do not just list the job titles and list of duties. Briefly say which actions you took on each assignment, what results you have achieved, and how this benefited your client’s organisation. This will illustrate to the recruiter the kind of value you can bring to his or her business and present an image of a proactive and successful consultant.

The most important thing you need to remember when writing your resume is that its purpose is to land you a job interview, not the job itself. Things such as salary expectations and your career objectives will not be the element that tips the scales in your favour. They can wait until the job interview. You need to sell the recruiter on your skills for a very specific contract assignment. To accomplish this, the emphasis must be on your qualifications and previous successes.

Standard template for a contractor’s CV

Here are the standard elements of a contract consultant’s resume:

• Personal information: name, address, email address, phone number

• Profile: a summary of your consulting career (it should not be longer than three or four lines)

• Qualifications: a list of your core skills and skills you have gained on previous assignments (about a dozen bullet points; no more than two points referring to your academic achievements)

• Career accomplishments: examples illustrating the value you brought to your previous clients’ organisations

• Previous contract jobs: a list of your clients, assignments and examples of your skills creating measurable benefits to their business

When addressing the last two, be brief and to the point. List specific examples and keep it down to the problem you had to solve, the action you took to solve it, and the result you achieved. Use numbers and percentages wherever possible. In the final analysis, the only things that will matter to a recruiter are your qualifications for the job and how you deliver. By not showcasing these very prominently in your contractor CV, you only run the risk of losing the recruiter’s attention.

Writing a quality contractor CV is a small project in itself and you should approach it as one. Analyse the job advertisement to figure out what your potential employer is looking for, revise your previous assignments to see which ones best illustrate your skills and experience that are relevant to the job, and streamline your CV to make these stand out. That is the best way of making sure that you catch the recruiter’s attention and convince him or her to recommend you for the job.

To find the latest contract consulting jobs, please visit our contractors' job board.