How to Build Your Experience with Contract Work


5 Steps Graduate

Benefits and risks accompany every situation in life. Contract work is no exception. While it’s not the best for everyone it can give you an opportunity to expand your experience with no strings attached as you look for a full-time position in your industry.

For Carol, the decision to embrace contract work during her job search led to a long line of technical experience that helped her to land her new job as a Project Manager for eHealth Technologies.

Instead of looking at the time in between jobs as a waste of time Carol built relationships that over time led to meeting the right people at the right time to land her a job at one of her target companies.

Keep reading to learn from Carol’s experience and apply her tips to your own job search today!

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced in being unemployed?
A: The wait was the hardest challenge in my job search. There are a lot of people unemployed and competing for the same jobs. With my history in contract work my full time job became finding a job. It isn’t the best method for everyone but it broadened my horizons, introduced me to new companies, and allowed for income.

Q: What job search methods did you use?
A: I looked for work using a variety of methods including internet postings, agencies, networking, Craigslist, career fairs, and professional organizations.
My first contact with eHealth Technologies was at the Digital Rochester Career Fair. I almost didn’t go, but I was meeting with a recruiter who was going to be there. I hadn’t seen the list of companies, but I knew some of the companies that were going to be there so I went.

Q: What tips do you have for job seekers to help increase their success and shorten their length of unemployment?
A: Attitude is everything. If you feel confident, it will come through. If you are nervous and desperate, that too will come through.
Ask good questions of the company. Remember this is a two way dialog between people. I often asked “If this were six months from now and I exceeded expectations. What would I have done?” This is an opportunity to learn more about their expectations.

Q: How did RochesterWorks! help you in finding your new position?
A: 5 Steps prepared me by having a much improved resume, a reference portfolio, and the ability to shine during the interview. When the opportunity arose to pull out a case study and distribute it to the interviewers, I seemed organized and felt like a cut above the rest.
Job Strategy Group reinforced what I knew and shed some light on some new things. I was exposed to new companies through presentations and attended workshops with guest speakers. I benefited most from one presentation by Beth Sears.

Q: If you had to do it over again, what would you do differently in your job search?
A: I would work smarter. I didn’t spend as much time on line looking and driving myself crazy. I spent more time networking with other people I knew, volunteering, and working with recruiters. I knew that I could spend 60+ hours a week on the computer or I could go out and meet people. Personal always works better than the online stuff.

Q: What led to your success?
A: Being diligent in my follow-up after discussions and interviews led to my success. I also feel that I made it clear that I wanted to work for the company and reiterated that in my thank you notes. I had a sense of humor throughout the interview and used it appropriately.

Q: Do you have any other words of advice for job seekers?
A: Act friendly because you never know when you might need the relationships that you are building.
Follow through—with email & thank you notes—in the right way. I also suggest that you bring a portfolio to the interview and show examples as you discuss them.
I remember Mike Chabilik saying that we are all in sales. It’s important to sell yourself in the right way so keep the WIFM (What’s in it for me?) mentality in mind.

Click Here For more information about RochesterWorks! and the programs available to you, then visit our Career Center! Our services are free and walk-in’s are welcome. You do not need to be unemployed to participate. You just need to be a RochesterWorks! member.