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Career Spotlight: IT Consultant

Career Spotlight: IT Consultant

October 16, 2007

How To Be Successful
Besides putting your services everywhere from the Web to the yellow pages, you need to be prepared to use those valuable networking skills as work isn’t just going to land in your lap. Essentially tell everyone you know you’re striking out as an independent and ask them to tell at least 10 friends.

Networking and publicizing your services is key to getting a steady stream of consulting gigs. It’s just as important as great job performance as word of mouth recommendation is a huge marketing aspect when it comes to consulting.

Here are some other tips for getting your freelance business moving forward:

  1. Join IT associations and attend industry conferences and make a point to meet and talk to as many people as you can.
  2. If you specialize or have specific knowledge in one particular technology start writing articles and offer to contribute to tech sites.
  3. As your networking list of contacts grows, start a monthly newsletter and speak at local or industry events.
  4. Start a blog, offering up quick tips and relevant tech insight you’ve learned. Let everyone know about the blog, ask satisfied customers to post testimonials. Referrals should become the backbone of your marketing efforts so make sure to capture the positive feedback from every job assignment and project if it went well.
  5. Following project completion or the end of a gig, ask the hiring manager if you can use him as a reference, capture testimonials and write case studies based on your work.
  6. Customize your resume and develop a summary statement at the top that quickly highlights the experience that is most relevant to the contracting position. Follow the summary statement with some bullets that highlight specific, relevant qualifications and accomplishments. Highlight successful past contracting gigs.

Working as an independent IT contractor isn’t the job role for everyone. But if you have good solid communication skills, can juggle finding work and doing the work, you’re likely to be successful.

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