Job search tips for contract employees

(Sawayasu Tsuji/Getty Images)

(Sawayasu Tsuji/Getty Images)

When Bay Area residents hear the word “contractor,” they don’t always picture a handyman. They think of a wide range of workers across several sectors. This is because local companies hire contract workers frequently and, for some, it has become a viable alternative to the full-time employee model.

Even though local companies hire thousands of contractors each year, there aren’t many resources for those workers. Here are some job search tips for Bay Area contractors.

Contractor or freelancer
Contractors and freelancers are two very different types of employment models. Contractors work 40 hours a week or more for one organization, while freelancers have many small projects with numerous clients. offers both freelancers and contractors a place to post their resumes. The website makes it easy for employers to find candidates, but doesn’t provide contractors with any new information. Like, some of the job postings are vague and leave the contractor unsure of who will review their resume.

This is because staffing agencies are not always permitted to share client names on employment ads. Still, it’s a good idea for contractors to have their resume posted on a few websites — both Dice and Freelancer are great places to post your skills.

Creating community
The Sunnyvale based contractor website provides contractors with a virtual community; the website lists companies that hire temporary workers, the staffing agencies they do business with, and gives the name of the recruiter with the connection to the organization. It also provides helpful links to information about pay rates and miscellaneous costs for a contractor. Like Zillow for real estate, it gives contractors the information they need to help them make better decisions.

Building partnerships
Smart contractors will establish relationships with a few recruiters, something that both and LinkedIn can help with. Make sure the recruiters know what other staffing firms you work with and let them know if another agency has already submitted your resume for a contract opportunity. Ideally, you will build partnerships with staffing professionals who have different client lists. The information on will let you know if a certain agency is a preferred vendor with a particular company. Also, be patient with your recruiter, it often takes a few rounds to land your first project.

Remember, the best time to start looking for a new contract opportunity is 30 days before your end date. By this time period, you will know if your project is being extended or not and will be able to offer the recruiter a firm start date.

Belo Cipriani is an award-winning author, former staffing professional, a spokesperson for Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Writer-in-Residence at Holy Names University. Learn more at

Belo Cipriani