Temporary offers of employment are increasingly popular. It gives employers the ability to test a candidate before they hire them onto fulltime work, which might prove vital, especially when the position has otherwise been difficult to fill. On the other hand, temporary roles give candidates the chance to gain different skills and insights from different placements. However, true advancement and professional development can only take place in a full-time position. Let's take a look at how to turn freelance or short term contractual work into a permanent position.

How to land a permanent IT job

CV

A common CV mistake made by many IT professionals who have worked on a contractual basis over a longer period of time is focusing more on the fact that they have been temporary members of staff rather than highlighting the experience they have gained and the skills they have developed. In fact, they do not necessarily need to indicate that the positions they have held were temporary ones, unless they were less than a year in length. 

Soft skills

Many IT professionals are under the guise that they simply need to demonstrate their technical ability to impress their superiors. This is not always the case. Those in temporary positions also need to possess strong soft skills, as effective professional communication is the cornerstone of any lasting relationship. This means employees should go out of their way to get along with their colleagues and be generally pleasant to be around. 

Mindset and approach to work

Temporary IT professionals need to approach temporary assignments as if they were already full-time employees. This means going above and beyond the call of duty wherever possible while working in line with the performance standards of the full-time employees around them. It is this sort of approach to work that will reflect well with hiring managers and give the IT professional that added edge at the negotiation table. 

Unfortunately, many temporary employees take assignments as if they were ‘only’ temporary members of staff. Contract work normally requires specialist capabilities and an IT contractor is brought in because those specific skills are needed at the time of the project. It is at this point when people in IT contract jobs have their time to shine and need to show their skills off as much as possible. When an IT expert actually ‘becomes a part of the company’, they will prove their overall worth.

Networking

Not every temporary position can lead to permanent employment, but contractors should build an active network of contacts around them in order to remain in the minds of former colleagues and other professionals from the industry. Temporary employees should keep in touch with their contacts at all times, as this could create fantastic opportunities in the future.

Furthermore, past colleagues are in a very good position to speak favourably about temporary employees. When temporary staff have this established network, they will be able to use it to their advantage by asking for endorsements and references, which are important to many hiring managers.

Getting feedback

A good idea is to constantly seek feedback from employers where possible. This valuable input from those in hiring positions will provide insight into what the candidate needs to work on in the future and how they can improve themselves to boost their chances of landing a permanent role. Furthermore, asking for feedback shows commitment and dedication to professional development, which is often appreciated by employers.

Practise interview skills

When interview skills are brought into question, candidates need to hone their skills around the negotiating table. Recruitment agencies are a valuable source of practice for this, as many agents are professionally trained to deliver live interview simulations.