Tips
for freelancers

As a freelancer, do you find that your search for an assignment is sometimes more difficult than expected? Or are you unable to find an assignment? To help you with these problems we have listed a few handy tips and tricks below, that according to the recruiters of Maandag® IT will help you with your next assignment!

The first step is to optimise your LinkedIn profile. Nowadays your online findability as an IT professional is more important than sending a standard CV in Word or PDF. So present yourself in a professional way on LinkedIn, among others. To optimise your LinkedIn profile we have conducted a study at Maandag® IT into the LinkedIn profiles of our candidates. This way we found out what a strong and less strong profile is and how it can be improved. An example of this is a good business photo or a photo showing you in your your work environment. This will quickly lead to more qualitative responses from recruiters.

Firstly, it is striking that not everyone uses his or her job title properly. Many freelancers, after setting up their profile as an entrepreneur, simply choose the job title ‘owner’. This is correct in principle, but does not help you to be found by potential clients. Therefore, use the job title to describe exactly what you do; for example, ‘Java Developer’.

Furthermore, not everyone has a professional and businesslike profile picture. This, together with the job description, are the first items the recruiter sees and scans. If these are not in order, chances are that the recruiter will skip you and look for someone else (even though you may meet the requirements for the assignment). What also helps here is adding a background picture that has an affinity with the profession you practice. These three easy improvements will make you stand out to the recruiter or client. Furthermore it is important that when you become available, you remember to open your profile for new challenges.

After you have attracted the attention of a recruiter it is important that you keep his or her attention. You can do this by writing a personal summary. The recruiter wants to know what you are like, both personally and professionally. In this summary he can find out both in a short amount of time. Keep in mind that you use keywords that are appropriate to appear higher in the search results. The stronger this summary is written, the sooner the recruiter will contact you.

Also add bullet points per experience or assignment, using no more than five bullet points. Describe briefly what your tasks were and avoid long sentences. It is important that recruiters can quickly scan through your profile, so they can see at a glance what you can or have done. It is important to mention the most used tools, methodologies and technologies per client. If the recruiter wants in-depth information, they will look at your CV (if available) or contact you directly. Also check out the STAR method for an optimal impression with a potential client.

As an extra, but valuable addition, it is important to ask for recommendations from the client after each assignment. This is a powerful way to underpin your profile and skills.

Do you already have a CV or are you still working on it? Maandag® IT has created an IT project CV template for you. With this template you can make your experience much more clear and increase your chances for a new IT assignment. Download this template and get started!

My Maandag® IT is a handy tool to get an easy overview of your application(s). In the portal you fill in all your details, so it will not only help you with the application process, but also give you assignment recommendations that match your profile. It is therefore important that your details are correct so that the recommended assignments are relevant. Accurate completion and supplementation of the required documents (such as the CV and motivation letter) speeds up the processing of applications. This way, you will know earlier where you stand and why you have or have not been selected for an assignment.

A good CV reflects the experience and the work done by the candidate. It often pays to keep several “types” of CVs. For example, in the case of a software developer/team lead, a CV with the emphasis on technical knowledge/experience and a CV with the emphasis on managerial knowledge and experience. In any case, make sure that the CV is well aligned with the assignment. Knowledge and experience that is not interesting for the assignment distract from the objective and should be avoided. Also, older projects are often less interesting and can therefore be presented concisely. In addition, the structure is also important, which is why we have made an example. This format is easy to use and aims to provide a good and clear CV. Also, if you are an employee, it is best to format your CV based on the projects you have completed within your organisation.

Once your CV is in order, you must highlight your motivation. This makes it clear to the client why you want to do the assignment and why you are the right person for the job. For your motivation it is important that you do not write a motivation letter like you would do for a regular job, but rather strive to move the client to invite you to an interview. Motivation is your most important weapon in the battle for that fantastic new assignment. This motivation must therefore be fully focused on the requested requirements and the work to be carried out. Indicate clearly and concretely where you have carried out the work and how you meet the requirements. Be clear about the projects and where the experience was gained, so that it is easy to find. Writing a good motivation therefore also provides a guide of what experience should be included in the CV.

When you have passed the first selection and are invited for an interview, it is time to close the deal. Always make sure you are well prepared. Take a good look at the client’s site and carefully read the assignment again. Also ask your intermediary about the assignment and the surroundings, they can tell you more about the people on site and may have contact with experts. Based on this information, you can prepare a number of questions. Also prepare yourself for some “standard” questions like: your positive and negative qualities or what you like/dislike about your work. During the interview it is important to stay “to the point”. Answer the question and if it is not 100% clear, ask questions again. Not only does this avoid some pitfalls, it also shows your interest and professionalism. Also avoid short negative answers, ask follow-up questions and emphasise the experience you do have.

Part of the selection process is a telephone assessment. Here it is important that you are honest and can directly answer the questions the recruiters ask. Don’t know something? Then say so honestly! The assessment is a form of talking about your experiences in previous assignments or explaining certain skills on your CV or business profiles. This interview gives you the chance to convince the recruiter of your abilities!

We hope the above tips will result in an immediate assignment for you, but if you have more questions about these topics? Then you can always contact us or follow us on LinkedIn.

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