Many employers prefer to hire consultants to try them out before they make a permanent offer, or to bridge the gap while looking for a permanent employee or so they can hide the extra headcount in their “variable” costs . Employers are risk averse, and a new unproven candidate may be a big liability. Many people get their start this way through temporary agencies. Why not go after employers you want yourself? Robert W. Bly has a letter in his book, The Encyclopedia of Business Letters, Fax Memos, and E-Mail” which he suggests using to land consulting or freelance jobs, which starts this way,
“Is freelance a dirty word to you? It really shouldn’t be. In public relations, with its crisis-lull-crisis rhythm, good freelancers can save you money and…”
Wow! What a great opener for starting a discussion! Write a consultant letter for your services and use the possible contract as an entrée to a permanent job. Great places to start looking for consulting gigs are www.guru.com, www.net-temps.com or www.elance.com all of which cater to independent consultants looking for contract work. Or, simply target some of the companies you’re interested in.
Focus on the employer’s needs, not yours.
Dismiss their concerns about hiring a consultant by quickly stating the benefits in the 1st paragraph.
Provide letters of reference from former employers: this not only establishes your abilities but may be just the information they need to make the job a permanent one instead.
Give the employer your absolute best effort because you may be auditioning for a permanent job.
If you’re not hired full-time, ask
for referrals to other departments, divisions or companies which they
think could benefit from your services.
Compliments of David Perry and Kevin Donlin