Nixon Williams

The UK's leading contractor site. 200,000 average monthly visitors.

Contracting mindset tips: Your CV is your marketing brochure and a key sales tool

Contractors supply a business-to-business solution to their clients. That means a contractor’s CV is not a CV as employees understand it, but a marketing brochure for a sales professional (the contractor) to use to make a sale. So, as with any effective marketing material, the CV must highlight the features and benefits a contractor can offer a potential client.

Are you interested in how your accountant got on at school?

You want a conservatory built and ask a couple of builders to send you relevant information and examples of their work. Do you need to wade through 20 years of the companies project history, including the builder’s first-ever project?

When you are attending a networking event, and you ask the stranger sitting next to you ‘tell me about what you do?’, fo you expect a blow-by-blow account of their school career, including which exams they passed and at what grade?

When you’re looking for an accountant, are you most interested in the one who once went on a course to design spreadsheets, or the one who saved another client £30,000 a year through better tax planning?

You client wants to know how you can solve their problem, fast

Clients seeking contractors to work on a specific project have the option of choosing from multiple potential business solution providers, not potential employees. They base their decision on the many CVs they receive in response to an advertisement.

If you present your client with a life history containing irrelevant details of qualifications you gained at school, old projects you completed as a junior using different skills in a different sector, your potential client will remain just that – a potential client.

Unless the client can find out quickly from your CV that you can solve their problem, the client will choose another contractor who has used their CV correctly as a marketing and sales tool.

Use your CV for what it is – your marketing brochure and sales tool

Your CV is your marketing brochure to be used as a key sales tool. It must present the features of the skills and experience you can apply to the client’s objective, challenge or problem, and the benefits you will bring to the clients organisation if they hire you to provide your services.

Because the client can choose from multiple suppliers, your brochure must succinctly communicate only focused information relevant to the task required, demonstrating that you not only have the necessary skills, but have also achieved the same impressive outcome for other clients in the recent past.

Contractor mindset tip:

Your CV is a short and highly targeted marketing brochure that demonstrates you can effectively provide the solution the client requires.

Published: 02 October 2010

© 2020 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Please see our copyright notice.

IR35 and Off-Payroll Explained