Tips for IT Contractors

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2002-07-25 Print this article Print

Don't want a permanent gig? Here are some tips to get the most out of consulting.

Rates keep slumping. The IT labor market is stuffed to the gills with talent. And third party agents have the market for large companies IT contracting business tied up as tight as sausage. If contractors cant--or dont want--to escape this unpleasantness by finding a permanent gig, here are some tips on how to get the most out of consulting: 1. Align with an agent or MSP. An increasing number of large companies hire contractors exclusively through MSPs. That makes it more effective to submit résumés to MSPs than to solicit work directly from big companies as an independent contractor. Some larger MSPs include:
  • Computer Horizons
  • Spherion
  • Kforce 2. Cast yourself as a consultant, not a technician. Companies want to hire technology people who have experience solving particular types of problems or who have experience with a companys functional areas or disciplines—i.e., manufacturing, human resources, financials, etc. Skip giving a laundry list of programming languages in favor of researching the company to discover how your own experience could solve a problem theyre trying to solve. Sources: Specifics Inc. Vice President Joe Blumberg Related Stories:
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    Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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