Occasionally, people choose to take on contract work for professional development or financial reasons but they are still hoping for a permanent role if it is a good fit.
What’s the best way of including contract work on your LinkedIn profile without confusing your message to potential employers?
The first option is to change nothing. Put an end date on your previous role, don’t include the contract work and deliver a strong value proposition in your headline and summary. You may decide to add the contract work retrospectively if the gap starts to widen too far between your last job and the present.
The other option is to add the contract or consulting work as a “New Position” but to play down the details so as not to distract from your key message. For example, in the title field of a new position, use “Consultant” or “Project Manager” of “Various companies” and not “Principal” of a “Business name.”
The first example below expresses you are working in a short-term capacity. There is no mention of a business name, and there is a suggestion that you are using your professional skills for short term engagements.
In this second example, there is a suggestion that you own a business and that you may be directing your attention to developing it. It seems more permanent, more branded as a business rather than highlighting your skills and experience.
Avoid using the phrase “Open to Opportunities” as this does not add any particular value to your message. If you create a compelling value proposition in your summary and headline around what you can offer to a company or organisation, your profile will be more effective.