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Top Tips for getting into Contracting

March 17, 2017 | By | No Comments

It may be a little early to say with the Storm Stella apparently making its way across the Atlantic but it certainly feels like Spring has arrived. We have seen a surge in warm weather which has been a much-needed uplift after the dark, cold and wet winter that we have had so far. I hope it has been as equally good for you and that it continues to get better as the year rolls on.

We haven’t given you a top 10 list for a while, perhaps we should remedy that. This one will be a little more helpful than just funny, we recently came across an article from ‘Contractor Calculator’ that lists top tips on becoming a contractor. So, if you are looking to make the change from permanent maybe this will answer a few questions that are making you hesitant over the change.

1. Your skills are good enough

A lot of people considering moving to contracting often worry about their level of skill compared to their perceived idea of a Contactor. The reality of the situation is that there is a wide range of contracts at different levels available that need to be filled.

2. The work will be varied and enjoyable

A major benefit of contracting is that with many varying contracts, there is a lot of variety and helps keep work fresh and interesting.

3. Will I/Should I be able to get work?

With a vast variety of contracts there comes a lot of demand for contractors, so it is just a matter of finding where these contracts are. Using an agency like us is a good way of finding contracts.

4. Learn some sales techniques and stay ahead

Sales techniques will become important in all walks of a contractor, it ensures that you appear valuable and likely to be re-contracted. It helps with negotiating rates to your ideal level as well as securing interviews.

5. Write a high impact targeted CV

As covered in our previous blog here, ensure you write a targeted CV for your contract opportunities.

6. Learn great interview techniques

You have got through the application process and now it is time to nail the interview by making sure you know the best techniques. Look out for a blog post on this in the future.

7. Know your rate and learn how to negotiate

It is important to know the rate that you require for a contract, be it hourly or daily. This helps set yourself in the market and makes it easier for agencies to contact you with appropriate contracts.

8. Choose the best payment structure

Depending on the contract it will be important to know your payment options and how they work. The three common options for contracts are LTD, Umbrella and PAYE.

9. Understand the IR35 tax

With changes to IR35 coming up it is important to understand how these affect you and how you can deal with the changes (this is a little outdated in the article so you may need to research into this a little more).

10. Plan for time off and manage your client

Taking time off as a contractor is similar to permanent roles, though dependent on the contract there could be changes. In some contracts, you are able to take off as much time as you want when you want, as long as the contract still gets completed.

You can take a further look into each point and read further articles into each point on the Contractor Calculator website. We hope that this has helped you make the decision in moving from permanent roles to contract based roles. If it has we would be happy to add you to our books and start helping you find contracts, if you are interested give us a call on 01633 548400 or drop us an email on

Have a great weekend!

Kind Regards,


(Contractor Calculator. “10 tips for UK contracting – the ultimate first time contractor guide”. Accessed 17/03/17. )

The Toughest/Weirdest Interview Questions of 2016

February 24, 2017 | By | No Comments

Hopefully Storm Doris hasn’t hit you too hard, if it does at least with the weekend approaching a nice recovery will be in order. Down in Cwmbran it was really windy but we are all intact and made it back into work today for the final day of the week.

We all know how easy it is to get caught out by a question at Interview that seems like it has come from the left field. It can also be quite frustrating, as how you answer these questions can be make or break for getting the role. So for this week’s blog we decided to share with you a list that was created by the Glassdoor community which pooled together some of the weirdest and toughest questions candidates had been asked during 2016.

  1. “Which magic power would you like to have?”
  2. “If you were a fruit, what kind would you be and why?”
  3. “If you could have dinner with three actors that are no longer living, who would you pick?”
  4. “How many hours would it take to clean every single window in London?”
  5. “How do you get an elephant in a fridge?”
  6. “If the time is quarter past 3, what is the angle measurement on the clock?”
  7. “If you had three minutes alone in a lift with the CEO, what would you say?”
  8. “How many people born in 2013 were named Gary?”
  9. “What will you be famous for?”
  10. “How many nappies are purchased per year in the UK?”

These questions certainly required a certain element of creative thinking or knowledge of obscure details to answer. I haven’t been asked a weird question but I did have a somewhat weird experience at one. The Interview seemed to be coming to a close with the Interviewer packing up and then launched the classic “Why do you want to work for us?” at mach speed. It certainly caught me out by the timing and the speed it was asked. Luckily that question being common, I already had my response ready to go.

A little tip to help with these sort of situations is to, before you go to an interview, get a friend to throw some common and strange questions at you. This will help you practice thinking on the spot and coming up with answers quickly. Like all the best practice methods It’ll be a bit of fun but at the same time helps getting prepared.

Let us know in the comments section how you would have answered the questions above. Or if you have experienced being asked strange questions, let us know! As always if you would like to get in touch with regards to any queries or to be added to our network please visit the contact us page here.

Hope you have a great weekend,

Warm Regards,


(Glassdoor. “Top 10 Tough Interview Questions for 2016”. Accessed 23/02/17.,28.htm)

10 of the best IT Contractor Certifications for 2017

February 10, 2017 | By | No Comments

We’ve had a good start to the year and we plan to keep it going all the same. We hope you have enjoyed the blogs we have posted out so far and hope to see you around for the ones to come. This week’s blog is a little bit of news and a little bit of help in getting you into your next contract.

Are you looking to improve your chances to work in IT? Holding one or more certifications which demonstrates your skills could be just what you need to secure that next interview and wow the decision maker. It is even more important as time goes on as we see more certifications entering both Desirable and Essential criteria for roles that we advertise.

ContractorUK has created a list of the top 10 IT Certifications that are the most sought after in the IT world today. The list that ContractorUK has produced has a wide range of certifications that cover most areas within IT Contracting. By holding a certification, you could see an increase in your chances of getting to the next stage. I have listed below the Top 10 Certifications, for further information you can find a break down for each certification on their website.

10. Microsoft MCSD: App Builder

9. Amazon Web Services – AWS Certified Developer – Associate Level

8. The Open Group TOGAF 9.1 Certification – Level 1 & 2

7. EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker

6. AXELOS PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner


4. APMG Agile Project Management

3. EC-Council’s Certified Network Defender

2. Cisco CCNP Routing and Switching

1. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Do you already hold a certification? Do you think that it helped secure you a new contract? In our experience, it can help you get to the next stage. We are starting to see an increase in job requirements asking for certification, especially Prince2, Agile, and CISSP.

If you want to get involved in the conversation and have your say on what you think of holding certifications, let us know by posting a comment below or get in touch with us via Twitter.
Have a great weekend.

Warm Regards,


The 25 best jobs in the UK

January 27, 2017 | By | No Comments

With the January blues still in full force, there is even greater interest from workers who are looking for a new position. Luckily we came across a list that may interest those who are looking to take the next step in their career. Recently a list was created by Glassdoor listing the best jobs in the UK right now. The list was compiled by using a range of factors to rank the jobs, the critical factors included Job Satisfaction, Potential earnings and how required these roles are.

Looking through the 25 jobs on the list, we were pleased to see that we regularly see these roles pop up to recruit for. It is a good feeling when you know you are helping people into roles that are considered some of the best in the country. We have listed a few of the jobs from the Glassdoor list below to give you an idea of both the top jobs in the UK and the roles we offer.

Finance Manager
Job Rank 1
Job score: 4.5
Job satisfaction rating: 3.7

HR Manager
Job Rank 5
Job score: 4.4
Job satisfaction rating: 4.1

Solutions Architect
Job Rank 8
Job score: 4.3
Job satisfaction Rating: 3.8

Communications Manager
Job Rank 10
Job score: 4.3
Job satisfaction rating: 4.2

Risk Manager
Job Rank 14
Job Score: 4.2
Job satisfaction rating: 4

Project Manager
Job Rank 24
Job Score: 4
Job satisfaction rating: 3.4

If you are wondering why these sort of roles are listed so high, Glassdoor’s chief economist Andrew Chamberlain, suggested the following:
“This report reinforces that the best jobs are highly-skilled and are staying ahead of the growing trend toward workplace automation.”

“The finance and tech industries are well represented on this list, both of which the UK is renowned for.”

Hopefully the roles mentioned above will be something you are looking for in the future or are roles that you are already in. You can compare these to the roles that we are advertising on our Job Page or on our Social media accounts: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. If you fancy moving into one of these areas but you’re not sure where to start, please feel free to give us a call on 01633 548400 and one of the team will be happy to have a chat.

We hope that this little insight into the UK’s top 25 jobs helps give you an idea of where you sit in the job spectrum or where you are heading. Maybe it has given you the idea to change your career as you look to get into a better role, or perhaps you do not agree with the list and you think a role should be higher or lower? Whatever your view let us know in the comments below!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Warm Regards,