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5 Surefire Ideas for Contract Professionals to Improve Job Hunting

This post gives you innovative ideas for getting a job in the contracts field. Even if you aren’t looking for a job, these ideas can help improve your reputation.

Charlie Hoehn put together an e-book for getting a job in any field. Simply put, it is one of the most brilliant pieces of writing I’ve seen. Below are two sections. One includes the best ideas from Charlie’s e-book that apply to contracts, and the other one is for thoughts I feel should be included. Let’s get going.

Charlie’s Ideas

Develop Skills. Self-education is the idea here. Improve your skills. Get certifications. Join professional organization like National Contract Management Association or International Association for Contracts and Commercial Management. Read blogs like Tim Cummins’ Commitment Matters and websites such as the Better Buy Project.

Ignore Monster, Yahoo! HotJobs and Craigslist. Don’t waste your time. Hundreds of people with experience willing to take pay cuts are responding to the same job announcement. Your energy is better focused on building and promoting your presence online. People will find you.

Get a Web Presence. This means several things:
Get a Blog. Blogging builds your credibility and reputation, the most valuable assets you have in your job search. If you do one thing from this post, do this. I recommend WordPress, but Blogger is also a good choice. For the more casual blogger, Tumblr and Posterous can suffice. However, there are right and wrong ways to write effective blogs. Read articles like Copywriting 101 from CopyBlogger to learn it.

Social Networking Sites. This means get on sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and GovLoop. These help solidify your identity as well as drive web traffic to your blog. On LinkedIn, participate in the groups called National Contract Management Association (Headquarters Approved) and Contract & Commercial Management. On GovLoop, contribute to the group Acquisition2.0.

VisualCV. This is a really good looking resume site. And yes, it’s vastly better than resumes on sites like CareerBuilder and Monster. In fact it has even better features than LinkedIn. Encourage potential employers to go to it. Also consider putting a link to it from your blog.

My Ideas

Get Business Cards. It doesn’t matter that you’re a student or unemployed. Put something like “Contract Specialist Candidate” on it. IT WORKS. Business cards automatically make you look more authoritative, meaning you command respect. And people want to hire people they respect. Do yourself a favor: go to VistaPrint, pick a style you like, and order 250 cards for something like $10. They’re dirt cheap, and they pay big dividends. In addition, be sure to include your blog web address on the card. No body does this, and that’s what makes it so powerful.

Aggregate Social Media Accounts. This lets you time-effectively manage all your social media information on one screen. This makes sure you don’t have to go to each site to manage each account. I personally like TweetDeck, but other options exist like Seesmic (for Mac and Windows) and web-based HooteSuite.

Hopefully these will help you get a job.

Are there any other ideas or websites that you recommend for helping contracts professionals get jobs?

Sterling Whitehead authors a blog called All Things Sterling.

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