CV Advice For Tech Contractors

  • Lisa Hon
  • AUTHOR: Lisa Hon
  • Posted: 30/10/2017
CV Advice For Tech Contractors

It’s hardly a surprise that your CV is a first impression that can leave lasting effects on its’ viewer.  It is inevitably judged with a decision made about your abilities all with a quick click to open and screen scroll.  Contract job seekers make some frightening mistakes with their CVs and it’s often the small mistakes which have the biggest impact.  Here’s how to avoid those scary woods of unemployment and map your way to a path filled with consistent offers.

On average, 600 contract CVs are viewed each month in our office; that works out to roughly 150 CV’s each week, 30 per day; you get the point.  After reviewing CVs for a few hours each day, sourcing the outstanding points quickly becomes routine.  Often less than a minute is spent reviewing each – sometimes just 30 seconds; especially when we’re on the hunt for a specific type of contractor.  This incredibly small amount of time spent scanning and scrolling is partly driven by how busy people are as well as the sheer volume of CVs in any given inbox.  

The most hair-raising mistakes have to do with format and layout; as contract CVs are essentially the opposite of those seeking permanent employment.  Yet, this is no reason to stray too far from the norm.

  • Different colours and changing font style and sizes multiple times are just effects that do nothing but draw attention away from what is actually important. 
  • Keep bold and italicized lettering to a minimum, along with underlining of keywords; similarly bullet points can be a good thing however not if it’s just a huge list with slapstick presentation. 
  • Contract CVs should only list the necessary skills relevant to the role on offer.



While there isn’t a hard and fast rule when it comes to a contract CVs’ structure, we would recommend the following as a guide.

Pick a path

As a contractor, you’re being hired to solve a specific problem.  Clients and hiring managers won’t be interested in every project you’ve worked on.  They want to know about the specific project you’ve delivered, how you went about it and the type of environment you worked in.

Use your skills

Clients will be looking to see what skills you have acquired, be sure to keep these relevant to the role or roles you’re applying for.  Technologies you have used and are interested in are the only ones that should be listed. 

Don’t get stuck in the past

Your employment history should only include the projects you worked on; what tech was used for the project and what you specifically built.  All this information should directly relate to your skillsets as evidence of how and when you’ve used the tech and skills you’ve listed.

Educational breadcrumbs

Projects and experience trump education when it comes to an experienced contractor’s CV, and often can simply be added as a footnote.  However, for those just starting out in their careers, education is an important section as qualifications are a more recent experience.




Still feeling stuck?  We’d also recommend keeping a CV of monster proportions from which you can then slice and dice when you’re next looking for a new role; this way your CV is never more than two pages in length.   Linkedin can also be a valuable tool; especially for those that have worked as a contractor for a majority of their career.

  • Recommendations collected from past projects?
  • Recent work to highlight?
  • Skills sharp?

Keep these in mind and your path should remain clear.


For further tips and tricks on how to show you can deliver results, get in touch with one of our contract recruiters today.  We believe that the best path to find your next contract role is through us; and whilst we may be biased, we are happy to review your CV and provide advice to help you get that next contract role you’re after.  


For more on how to create a CV that takes you from inbox to interview click here

Further CV advice and tips here

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