4 Ways to Find Independent Consulting Jobs
A consultant's approach to finding jobs is different than a full time employee.
Consultants can use online job marketplaces to find matches for jobs that pair with their expertise.
Consultants need to develop a personal brand to establish credibility.
There are many ways to find consulting jobs, and the secret is just knowing where and how to look for them.
When you work as an independent professional, one of the biggest benefits is having the flexibility to follow your passion and choose the type of work you do. However, being smart and efficient in the way you find your first project or maintain a pipeline of projects are critical to success.
Luckily, there are many ways to keep your pipeline full such as leveraging online marketplaces, reaching out to your network, and giving your personal brand a boost. Here are four ways to efficiently find consulting jobs.
1. Use Online Job Marketplaces
Online marketplaces are increasingly prevalent and popular places to find short-term work as an independent professional. These platforms match job opportunities with freelancers. Typically, you’ll fill out a standard profile, search for job opportunities, and then apply for positions that best fit your skill set.
If you’re thinking about trying a marketplace, start by doing some research to find specific sites that align with your industry. Some networks are geared more towards IT professionals, while others focus more on management consulting. While marketplaces offer numerous opportunities, it may be difficult to establish meaningful or ongoing client relationships with one-off projects, and some of them may cost money.
Company-specific marketplaces like MBO’s are another option that may provide longer-term engagements. Our marketplace helps different types of independent professionals grow their project pipeline by matching their skills, availability, and rate with contract opportunities at top companies. Because MBO handles all of the onboarding and helps you and the client stay compliant, these companies are more likely to continue hiring you for additional projects in the future.
To discover other company-specific marketplaces, reach out to former employers or clients to see if their organization has a marketplace you can join.
2. Use Your Network
Networking can be a great way to find work during a dry spell. Reach out to friends and colleagues to see if they have any recommendations of other people to network with. If you have a positive, ongoing relationship with a former client, see if they have any upcoming projects, or if they know of someone who may be in need of your services.
Partnering with other consultants is another way to secure work. Colleagues often need assistance on a large project, or on a certain part of a project that they don’t have expertise in. Working with another independent consultant is a great way to build your network and meet clients who are not currently on your roster.
3. Update Your Resume
No matter what kind of marketplace you use to find work, you’ll likely fill out some sort of profile, resume wizard, or pass on information about your services to a lead. Preparing your credentials ahead of time will help you smoothly move through these processes.
A resume is a useful sales tool for your business and can help set you apart from your competition. A resume showcases your top work, skills, and experience in a simple, easy-to-read format.
4. Update Your LinkedIn Profile
In addition to a resume, your LinkedIn profile is often the first thing a potential client will look at, so ensure it is up-to-date. Because the LinkedIn profile template is typically geared towards more traditional employment backgrounds, take time to optimize your profile so that it reflects yourself as a small business owner.
LinkedIn can be particularly useful to promote your past successes. If you don’t already have client testimonials on your profile, reach out to past clients and ask for a recommendation.
5. Build Your Personal Brand
Lastly, take an overall look at your personal marketing efforts. If you have a professional website, make sure it is updated to show off your latest projects. If you regularly blog, ensure you share these content efforts across social media platforms. Building a strong personal brand will help boost your professional credibility and assist with your outreach efforts.
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