Professional Contractors,Think About Your Next Contract!Posted Tuesday, July 30, 2019
By Geraldine Penney:
Most Companies don’t start new projects in the height of Summer. Most people are enjoying a much deserved break. September however is a different story with many new projects being kicked off. Professional Contractors particularly those who have contracts coming to an end should use August wisely. August is the time to think about securing future opportunities.
August is a the perfect time for Professional Contractors to review, improve and update their LinkedIn profile, it is an opportunity to prepare their profile with the next desired position in mind and to start actively engaging in professional networking.
Remember your LinkedIn profile is a powerful tool for making new connections, generating leads, and building your personal brand.
Ways to Increase your Profile
LinkedIn is a very effective network for establishing yourself as a leader in your industry. It can be a very powerful and useful tool in securing future contracts especially when it is used correctly. The following simple tips are great ways to instantly increase your profile;
- Join specific LinkedIn groups this allows you to position yourself as a trusted provider and indeed influencer in your niche.
Secure recommendations and endorsements these can go a long way to solidifying your reputation as a trusted entity in your field.
- Be active! Interact with others, send invitations to connect, be active in discussions and share useful content, like relevant posts by other leaders in your field. These are all opportunities to expand your professional network, build your authority and interact with your audience. Remember to be selective no one wants to be bombarded with useless information!
- Manage your profile and regularly update it. Your profile sets the stage for your first contact with potential new clients, displays your work history, client recommendations, and highlights your skill set.
How to Manage the Essentials Elements of your Profile
Customise Your Headline:
The Headline section is the short caption that appears below your name, and is the first thing people will see in search results. The Headline automatically defaults to your current title, but editing it to include keywords and a short descriptor of your services will make it much more effective.
Be sure to include keywords to enhance search engine optimisation (SEO) when filling out all parts of your profile. Optimising simply means using keywords or terms that define what you do. This helps to optimise your profile for search, which means it will be more likely to appear when someone searches those keywords or phrases on LinkedIn or on a search engine.
Tell Your Story
The Summary section is your chance to write about your professional history, qualifications, and goals. Capture the attention and curiosity of your desired client base by highlighting a few accomplishments you are most proud of, your values and passions related to the industry, and a call to action such as directing readers to your email address or personal website for additional information. If you can, include quantifiable points to provide better context. For example, if you’re an IT consultant describing a project, rather than saying you, “helped decrease the amount of IT ticket requests,” say: “improved ticket turnover rate by 15%.”
Consider the best way to present your experience.
The Experience section divides past work experience by position. This can be a challenge for Professional Contractors as there may be a large number of projects / roles involved. Rather than listing each project you’ve completed one-by-one, consider these two alternative options.
• Sort your work experience by category. To do this, highlight a specific type of work you performed in the Company Name field. For example, “SEO Expert.” Include a self-employed descriptor in the Title field, such as “Professional Contractor.” Then, in the Description field, include a brief summary of the various projects you’ve completed in this work category.
• Sort your work experience by client. If you’ve done a large amount of work for a particular client and are not bound by a non-disclosure agreement, this is a good option. List the client’s name in the Company Name field, your main role in the Title field, and your project accomplishments in the Description field.
Once you’ve organised your work experience, add corresponding documents, photos, links, videos, or presentations to each section to provide prospective clients with concrete examples of your work. Use this space as your visual portfolio.
You’ll also see a section called Projects on your profile. This can be a good place to highlight tangible things you’ve worked on.
Skills and Endorsements:
The Skills section is a useful visual summary of your expertise. List your industry-relevant skills here. Endorsements also appear here, and serve as built-in testimonials. Don’t hesitate to reach out to past clients and ask them to write a recommendation on your behalf. Just be sure to send a personalised message to the person reminding them of the project you worked on and your accomplishments. Also endorse companies or other professional contractors you’ve worked with. They will often be happy to reciprocate the recommendation.
Build Your Business
As you begin to connect with current and past clients, industry leaders, and colleagues, be sure to maintain an active and visible presence. Link your blog or website to your account, and share relevant news and business updates. Joining groups is a great way to put your voice in the mix and build connections. Use groups to ask and answer questions, share ideas, and collaborate on projects.