First Timers Guide


1. Is contracting the life for me?
In this guide we explore the advantages and disadvantages of contracting and give 10 qualities that make a successful contractor.

2. How to write a good CV
Your prospective employer will very likely be bombarded with CVs for any given vacancy. We tell you how to make the best of your CV.

3. How do I find a job
There are several key ways to find your first contract role. This section helps you on your way if you're new to contracting.

4. Setting up your company - Limited, Umbrella or PAYE?
An overview of the different options available to you and advice on the best way forward.

5. Your first contract
Once you have secured your first contract role, agreed a rate and a start date, a contract needs to be signed...

6. I've got my first contract, now what about IR35?
Congratulations! You’ve done the hard bit. We now need to consider IR35. Click here for our guide, together with details of how to get your contract expertly reviewed.

7. Financial Matters - No nonsense summary!
To put it simply... If you are working through a limited company, you will pay yourself a monthly salary (many take a small salary). Those caught by IR35 will pay themselves a 'deemed salary'.

8. Financial matters - IT contractor insurance
There are various insurances that you might need, but Professional Indemnity is the must have for most contractors these days.

9. Financial matters - Can I still get a mortgage as a contractor?
The answer is yes, and sometimes with deals better than you could get as a permanent employee! Click here to find out more.

10. Do I need an accountant?
If you have decided to trade through your own Limited Company then you really ought to have an accountant to help you with the various forms, obligations, taxes etc.

11. Timesheets & Invoices
As a contractor, you will be required to fill in timesheets detailing the work you have done for the Client, and the number of hours or days you have worked in a given time period. Your manager or team leader will typically authorise your timesheet.

12. Final considerations
So, you’ve found your job, beaten IR35, got yourself an accountant and started trading. What else is there? Well, what about training to keep your skills up to date, what happens if you get sick etc. Click here for ways to mitigate these challenges.

You should seek advice from a professional advisor before acting on any information contained in our First Timers Guide