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Freelance to full-time: How contract workers can land permanent jobs

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A recent Star Tribune Ask Matt article covered the topic of freelance, contract and consultants seeking full-time permanent roles. Through interviews with three Minnesota recruiters, insight was gained on how to best write a resume, cover letter and interview when going from freelance to full-time.

Read the article:

Ask Matt: Do companies not want to hire contract workers

One of the sources in that article, Wade Rastall of St. Paul-based Falcon Lake Consulting, a company that provides outstanding I.T. consultants and direct hire I.T. candidates to the finest businesses in the Twin Cities, offered some additional insight from the article that is valuable to any professional going from contract role to full-time permanent employee.

Rastall discusses in detail below:

"There are many costs to hiring a new employee, so companies want to hire someone that is not only skilled and qualified in the needed area, but also, someone that will not want to leave at the first sign that the job gets difficult," says Rastall. "You need to convince the hiring manager that you are that person - state your intentions of wanting to be a full-time employee in the first sentence of your cover letter and in the first sentence of the summary at the top of your resume."

Rastall says most employers will not hold it against you if you have worked contract vs. direct employment. These days many contract jobs can last longer than a full-time job. However, if you have been a career consultant, an employer is going to need some extra convincing that you truly want to be a full time employee of theirs, so, have a good reason and be ready to share that reason in your cover letter and during your interview, says Rastall, who also offered these additional tips:

  • In your resume, it is important to focus on skills you used, experiences you gained, achievements you attained at each different employer, he says. However, your timeline needs to be clear as well. Don’t just state you were at a position from 2012 to 2013, that could mean that you were at that position anywhere from 2 months to 24 months. Make sure you are listing the month and the year at each position. Don’t make the potential employer have to guess as to how long you were at a specific position, that just gives them a reason to put your resume in the no pile.
  • If your background consists of several short term contracts and freelance positions, instead of listing out each and every contract engagement, you may want to combine them all into one section of your resume and list the skills used and achievements gained during that part of your career.
  • Most employers will be checking your online presence after they look at your resume. If, for example, you have a LinkedIn profile, make sure the skills and time lines on your on-line profile and your resume are consistent.

If you are a contract or full-time worker who is struggling to get interviews, consider updating your resume.

Remember, employers do want to and will hire contract, freelance and consultants. Employers want the best person for the job and your job is to prove that in the resume, cover letter and interview.

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