A contractor’s CV needs to ensure that they stand apart from the crowd and get noticed by recruiters
But this can be hard when you have lots of experience – and limited space on the document.
This step-by-step guide brings you a structured example of a contractor CV and explains how you can write the contractor CV you need to get hired.
- Contractor CV example
- Structuring and formatting your CV
- Writing your CV profile
- Detailing work experience
- Your education
- Skills required for your Contractor CV
Contractor CV example
Before you start writing your own CV, take a look at the example Contractor CV above to give yourself a basic understanding of the style and format that recruiters and hiring managers prefer to see.
Also, take note of the type of content that is included to impress recruiters, and how the most relevant information is made prominent.
Contractor CV structure & format
If they can find the information they need quickly, they’ll be happy; but if they struggle, your application could be overlooked.
A simple and logical structure will always create a better reading experience than a complex structure, and with a few simple formatting tricks, you’ll be good to go. Check them out below:
- Length: Recruiters will be immediately put off by lengthy CVs – with hundreds of applications to read through, they simply don’t have the time! Grabbing their attention with a short, snappy and highly relevant CV is far more likely to lead to success. Aim for two sides of A4 or less.
- Readability: Help out time-strapped recruiters by formatting your CV for easy reading. Using lots of bullet points and lists will help them to skim through your info, while clearly formatted headings will allow them to navigate towards the content which is most useful to them.
- Design: When it comes to CV design, it’s best to keep things simple and sleek. While elaborate designs certainly command attention, it’s not always for the right reasons! Readability is key, so whatever you choose to do, make sure you prioritise readability above everything.
- Avoid photos: If your CV has photos, images or profile pictures, hit the delete button. They’re not needed and won’t add any value to your applications.
Structuring your CV
When writing your own CV, break up your CV content into the following key sections:
- Name and contact details – Place them at the top of your CV, so that employers can easily get in touch.
- CV profile – A punchy sales pitch of your key experience, skills and achievements to reel readers in.
- Core skills section – A bullet-pointed snapshot of your abilities.
- Work experience – A well-structured list of your relevant work experience.
- Education – An overview of any relevant qualifications or professional training you have.
- Hobbies and interests – A short description of any relevant hobbies or interests (optional).
Now I’ll guide you through exactly what you should include in each CV section.
CV Contact Details
Make it easy for recruiters to get in touch, by heading your CV with your contact details.
There’s no need for excessive details – just list the basics:
- Mobile number
- Email address – Use a professional address with no nicknames.
- Location – Just write your your general location, such as ‘London’ or ‘Cardiff’ – there’s no need to put your full address.
- LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL – Make sure they’re looking sleek and up-to-date, though!
Contractor CV Profile
Your CV profile is the first thing recruiters will read – so your goal is to give them a reason to read onto the end of the document!
Create a short and snappy paragraph that showcases your key skills, relevant experience and impressive accomplishments.
Ultimately, it should prove to the reader that you’ve got what it takes to carry out the job.
Tips for creating an impactful CV profile:
- Keep it brief: Recruiters have piles of CVs to read through and limited time to dedicate to each, so it pays to showcase your abilities in as few words as possible. 3-4 lines is ideal.
- Tailor it: No matter how much time you put into your CV profile, it won’t impress if it’s irrelevant to the role you’re applying for. Before you start writing, make a list of the skills, knowledge and experience your target employer is looking for. Then, make sure to mention them in your CV profile and throughout the rest of your application.
- Don’t add an objective: If you want to discuss your career objectives, save them for your cover letter, rather than wasting valuable CV profile space.
- Avoid cliches: “Determined team player who always gives 110%” might seem like a good way to fill up your CV profile, but generic phrases like this won’t land you an interview. Recruiters hear them time and time again and have no real reason to believe them. Instead, pack your profile with your hard skills and tangible achievements instead.
What to include in your Contractor CV profile?
- Summary of experience: Demonstrate your suitability for your target jobs by giving a high level summary of your previous work experience, including the industries you have worked in, types of employer, and the type of roles you have previous experience of.
- Relevant skills: Employers need to know what skills you can bring to their organisation, and ideally they want to see skills that match their job vacancy. So, research your target roles thoroughly and add the most important Contractor skills to your profile.
- Essential qualifications: If the jobs you are applying to require candidates to have certain qualifications, then you must add them in your profile to ensure they are seen by hiring managers.
Quick tip: If spelling and grammar are not a strong point of yours, make use of a writing assistant tool like Grammarly. It’ll help you avoid overlooking spelling mistakes and grammar errors and, best of all, is completely free!
Core skills section
Make sure that your most valuable skills aren’t missed by adding a bullet-pointed core skills section like the one below.
This should also be heavily targeted towards the role you’re applying for.
For example, if the job advertisement lists certain skills as “essential”, then you’d list them here.
This immediately helps the reader to see that you’re a perfect match for the job.
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Work experience/Career history
Recruiters will be itching to know more about your relevant experience by now.
Kick-start this section with your most recent (or current) position, and work your way backwards through your history.
You can include voluntary and freelance work, too – as long as you’re honest about the nature of the work.
Structuring your roles
If you don’t pay attention to the structure of your career history section, it could quickly become bulky and overwhelming.
Get in recruiters’ good books by creating a pleasant reading experience, using the 3-step structure below:
Begin with a summary of your role, detailing what the purpose of your job was, who you reported to and what size of team you were part of (or led).
“As a Project Manager for The Construction Company, I was responsible for the delivery of a £10m fifteen-floor high-rise block of flats to budget, high-quality and 2-year delivery date.”
Using easy-to-read bullet points, note down your day-to-day responsibilities in the role.
Make sure to showcase how you used your hard sector skills and knowledge.
- Communicating with stakeholders, construction professionals and consultants
- Reading and interpreting project schematics and specifications correctly
- Utilising building automation controls through understanding the application of Tridium
Finish off by showcasing 1-3 key achievements made within the role.
This could be anything that had a positive effect on your company, clients or customers, such as saving time or money, receiving exemplary feedback or receiving an award.
- Securing an additional £50,000 from client through upselling IoT installation
- Identifying project flaw that if not rectified would have cost the company an additional £100,000
Next up, you should list your education and qualifications.
This can include your formal qualifications (a degree, A-Levels and GCSEs), as well as sector-specific Contractor qualifications and/or training.
While school leavers and recent grads should include a lot of detail here to make up for the lack of work experience, experienced candidates may benefit from a shorter education section, as your work experience section will be more important to recruiters.
Interests and hobbies
Although this is an optional section, it can be useful if your hobbies and interests will add further depth to your CV.
Interests which are related to the sector you are applying to, or which show transferable skills like leadership or teamwork, can worth listing.
On the other hand, generic hobbies like “going out with friends” won’t add any value to your application, so are best left off your CV.
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Essential skills for your Contractor CV
Tailoring your CV to the roles you are applying for is key to success, so make sure to read through the job descriptions and tailor your skills accordingly.
However, commonly desired Contractor skills include:
Technical skills – Make sure you clearly and succinctly explain your unique technical skillset and how it relates to the advertised role.
Flexibility – Contractors need to demonstrate that they can apply their skillset quickly and appropriately and rapidly contribute to meeting organisational objectives.
Communication – Your CV should showcase how you utilise varied communication skills with customers, co-workers and senior leaders.
IT skills – Comprehensive IT skills across a range of platforms needs to be included on your CV to inspire confidence that you can work with new systems, or adapt to different processes using existing IT knowledge.
Writing skills – Report writing is a central skill which should be clearly shown within the CV, as well as using writing skills for things such as email communications to different parties.
Writing your Contractor CV
A strong, compelling CV is essential to get noticed and land interviews with the best employers.
To ensure your CV stands out from the competition, make sure to tailor it to your target role and pack it with sector-specific skills and results.
Remember to triple-check for spelling and grammar errors before hitting send.
Good luck with the job search!