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How to spring clean your professional profile

The footy posts are coming down, the sprinklers are coming on and the barbecues are getting fired up. So now that spring has officially sprung, what better time to tidy up your professional profile and give it the overhaul it so richly deserves?

With the large number of contract workers out there, you’re facing fiercer-than-ever competition. Highlighting your most relevant, recent and up-to-date experience will ensure you always have your best foot forward when it comes to securing placements.

Follow these tips to ensure your CV doesn’t sit idling while your competition surges ahead.

Consider a defining statement

You may have been contracting for your entire career or may have been led to project work through a change in circumstances. Whatever the reason, having a summary statement is a great way to influence how a recruiter or client will interpret the way you choose to work while helping to explain away any downtime between projects.

Highlight your skills

There are many advantages to hiring contract, interim or temporary workers—they bring specialist skills to the position without the need for additional training. But when employers are searching for a candidate who has experience in cybersecurity implementation, or one who has a detailed understanding of ITIL disciplines, they want to know how much experience you have, what your job involved and how much time you spent working across similar projects. Make sure you highlight your specific and appropriate skills on your professional profile and in response to any job ads.

Avoid using generic statements

While the fact you have strong management skills or are a great team leader is all well and good, hiring managers will typically read the same statement on almost every CV they encounter.

Try instead to use as much quantitative data and hard facts so you can make it easier for your potential client to visualise. Include things such as how many people you managed, the results you have achieved – such as the dollar figure (or margin) by which you increased profitability or reduced costs – what and how many new processes you implemented, how many views the website you built attracted, and the other ways in which you were able to influence change in previous projects.

Wording is important

It’s critical to use an array of specific phrases and descriptive words when looking to ensure your CV stands out from the crowd. To give you an idea, have a look at any publicly available profiles or bios of people who hold similar positions to the one you’re going for. Look at how they describe themselves and their skills. Don’t copy what they’re saying (that will make you look the same as everyone else), but find a way to present yourself as someone who can hold the same position.

Don’t exaggerate

Contractors come in all shapes and sizes but whether you are a technically sound operator with decades of experience behind them or a new graduate yet to secure their first role, it’s vital that you remain truthful about your previous experience.

As tempting as it may be to bend the truth, even little lies can become big issues when it comes time for your credentials to be verified and even slight damage to your reputation could impact the chances of you achieving a sustained pipeline of projects in the future. It also means that you can speak about your past experience with confidence in an interview because there is no fear of being ‘found out’ hovering over your head.

Regularly update

As a contractor, it’s important you get into the habit of updating your profile regularly. Where possible, attempt to do this towards the end of your current project to ensure you’re ideally positioned to start applying for the next one. This will also guarantee you don’t miss any vital information. When updating your professional profile online through Talent Engage, you also get rewarded for all the work you do.