Communicating Contract Experience to Employers

Communicating Contract Experience to Employers
February 29, 2024 Construction People

As construction recruiters, we frequently encounter apprehension and misunderstandings among construction professionals regarding contract roles and their implications for future job prospects. However, it’s important to recognise the considerable value these roles can offer. Contrary to common belief, having a robust work history that includes contract roles does not lessen your prospects for securing future employment.

communicating contract experience to an employer

Let’s explain

Construction, with its focus on project-based work, frequently presents pathways to permanent employment, and contract roles can act as a gateway to highlight your skills and abilities. Performing well in these roles naturally positions you as a prime candidate for when permanent roles arise within the company you are contracting to and often gives you preference over external candidates.

So, what often goes wrong?

However, what often remains unclarified to potential employers is the context behind these contract roles. Many individuals simply list their various job experiences on their resumes without elaborating that the short tenure was a contract, not a permanent role, or the purpose behind the contract role. It’s crucial to specify the nature of the contract role, the specific objectives that led to its undertaking, and the outcomes achieved as a result.

explaining contract work

Effectively communicating contract experience with employers

When detailing contract roles on a resume, it’s essential to provide clarity on the specific circumstances and outcomes of the role. Simply listing tasks without context may inadvertently suggest an unsuccessful tenure or a lack of commitment. Instead, focus on articulating the purpose and achievements of each contract role:

  1. Clearly state the reasons for the contract’s conclusion, whether it was the contractual length or that specific project milestones were met.
  2. Specify the objectives you were engaged to accomplish and highlight your successful completion of these tasks.
  3. Provide a timeline of your contract tenure, including any extensions and the reasons behind them.
  4. Acknowledge the learning opportunities inherent in contract roles, including exposure to new projects, different builders’ methodologies, interactions with new subcontractors, and collaboration with diverse project teams. For instance, if you’re a CA, collaborating with a different PM can provide you exposure to alternative perspectives on task execution, offering diverse experiences, project exposures, and avenues for professional development.
  5. It could even be that you enjoyed working for a specific builder, and you undertook the contract role in anticipation of potential permanent opportunities with them in the future. Alternatively, it served as a temporary solution until you secured a permanent position aligned with your career objectives.

One more often overlooked benefit

Contract work can offer the career benefit of broadening your network through meeting new people. This can lead to future opportunities when positions become available with the company or manager you did contract work for, as they are already familiar with you and your work.

Furthermore, expanding your network through contract work can facilitate access to valuable insights and referrals within the industry. By fostering professional relationships during your contracts, you not only increase your visibility, but also gain access to potential job openings and collaborative ventures in the future.

contract work and employment

The takeaway

By effectively communicating the purpose, achievements, and learnings from your contract roles, you can present yourself as a valuable asset to potential employers, dispelling any misconceptions and maximising your career opportunities in the construction industry.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, as we are here to ensure that your contract roles consistently align with your career goals and to secure permanent employment.

Looking for your next construction job? Search our current construction roles here, or to chat with our team about securing your next opportunity, get in contact with us through our Contact Us page.

Receive our updates straight to your inbox

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.