How to become an IT contractor

Are you thinking about becoming an IT contractor and want to find out more about the ins and outs of life in contracting? If so, the following paragraphs will be very useful.

Working as a contractor is very different from the world of employment, there are risks but there are also a number of fantastic advantages.

The Futurelink Group are experts in offering accountancy and payroll solutions to contractors. Our team are always on hand to help and they would be happy to offer advice about how to become an IT contractor , call us on +44 (0)1923 277 900.

What is an IT contractor?

IT contractors undertake a fixed contract for a certain period of time to help their clients complete a project. One of the main appeals of contracting is the increased freedom, you are your own boss, which means that you can choose which assignments to take on, where and when to work and when to take holiday.

What qualities do you need as an IT contractor?

Most IT contractors have a wide range of qualities to help them thrive in their current role and be as successful as possible.

Be flexible – As contractor, you may have to travel across a number of different workplaces and adapt to different conditions easily.  As a result it is important that you are flexible, those that struggle to do this my find the transition from permanent employment to contracting quite challenging.

Strong people skills – Each time you are awarded a new contract position you will need to integrate yourself into the business quickly, so an ability to develop strong professional relationships quickly is very useful.

Mindful of changes in the industry – Technology is always changing, and depending on which area of IT you are working in, you’ll need to ensure that you are regularly keeping up to date with the latest developments so that you can continue to be the expert source of knowledge.

Finding work as an IT contractor

As an IT contractor you are going to need to find work more often than someone working in a permanent position, so it is important to understand the best practices to put you in a strong position in the eyes of recruiters.

Develop a good contractor CV

The most important resource you can have when applying for new positions is a contractor CV. The more successful contractor CVs tend to be more buzzword focused and factual by stating exactly what you did in each role. Therefore, it is essential that you put considerable time and effort into your CV – there are tons of useful resources on the web to help you, so make sure you utilise them.

Practice interview techniques

As you’ll end up looking for work more regularly than a permanent employee, you are bound to have a fair few interviews.  The focus of interviews for a contractor will be centred on how you can make an immediate impact rather than your potential and how you can develop with the company.

With this in mind you need to sell yourself as a problem solver with unrivalled expertise because IT contractors often hired because the necessary skills aren’t available in-house.

Utilise any contacts you have

If you have any contacts that can help you to obtain a contract, be sure to utilise them. A fantastic way of doing this is through LinkedIn, have a look around for some companies that you may like to contract with, identify a key decision maker and see if you have any shared connections. If you do have a mutual connection, there is no harm in asking them to introduce you… it might just lead to your first contract!

What to do when you get your first contract

Once you get your first contract, you’ll need to start thinking about how you will be paid and whether or not you would like to set up a limited company. Some recruitment agencies prefer the contractors that they place to paid in certain ways so be sure to check with your recruiter before taking the next steps.

Futurelink Group has a wealth of experience in contractor payroll and managing limited companies. We offer a number of different contractor solutions, as an IT contractor, the most appropriate solutions would be our Limited company and Umbrella PAYE solutions.

As a client of our limited company solution you will be the owner of your own limited company, our qualified accountants will provide jargon-free advice and take care of all of your business and personal taxation needs.

On the other hand, our Umbrella PAYE solution employs you, invoices the client on your behalf and pays you through PAYE in the quickest and most efficient way possible. You’ll receive less take home pay than if you opted for our limited company solution, but the amount of paperwork you need to complete is drastically reduced – enabling you to focus on the day to day demands of working as an IT contractor.

If you would like to find out more information about our contractor solutions and would like to talk through your options, our friendly customer care team are always on hand and happy to help. Call us on +44 (0)1923 277 900.

Now that you know more about becoming an IT Contractor, you might find the following pages useful:

Limited or Umbrella – which route is right for you?
The Benefits of Contracting – should you switch from permanent employment?
A Guide to the Flat Rate VAT Scheme – should you register?

“I’ll most certainly pass on your details to people I know. You run a great service there, keep up the good work.”

William Cadden, Self-Employed Contractor

“For me, Futurelink Group was the best solution, as a foreign and a lack of knowledge of the UK rules, they were extremely helpful in all aspects. Always fast in answering all my questions. I almost didn’t do anything and they put me on track to invoice and receive my payments. I can fully recommend them.”

Ronaldo, Umbrella PAYE contractor

“WS Contractors Ltd are extremely happy with the services that Futurelink provide. The efficient and friendly staff are always willing to help and assist. The feedback from our operatives is positive and pleasing. We would recommend Futurelink to all new recruits joining our team.”

Michelle Hughes, WS Contractors Ltd

“We at Gemini would like to thank you and your team for all your help and support in connection to payroll solutions. We find Futurelink Groups approach to be responsive to action when required with a courteous and bright manner – keep up the good work!”

Frank Mcfarlane, Gemini Security Services Ltd

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Futurelink Group consists the following companies, all incorporated in England & Wales: Futurelink Group Ltd (0620 6129), Futurelink Umbrella Ltd (0532 0148), Futurelink Accountancy Services Ltd (0532 0147), Team Construction Ltd (0415 9963), Team Administrative Services Ltd (0493 5270), Horizon RCS Ltd (0620 6202) and Horizon RCS Europe Ltd (0620 6136). Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions