CV for Self-Employed outside of IR35


Making sure that your CV and online presence is adjusted for IR35 as of April 2020 is essential.

So what does a post-IR35 reform CV look like? And what steps should Limited Company Contractors take now to get their primary work-seeking paperwork reflective of their genuinely self-employed status?

CV, under the currently IR35 legislation of 2000: Does your CV have a section entitled ‘Employment History’?

Now, if you answered ‘no’ then good for you. You’re one step closer to being the bonafide contractor that you likely are, and want to be recognised as. But I can assure you that many contractors are still sending their CV off to Agencies and Companies for contracts blissfully unaware of this glaring oversight – having ‘Employment’ etched onto their documentation!

Of course, genuine contractors are not employed, so having an ‘Employment History’ section is nothing short of a spectacular own goal. Simply renaming it to ‘Professional Experience & Assignments’ (or something similar), will elevate it out of the danger zone. But this simple oversight is a microcosm of how contractors often overlook small details that could portray them as being inside IR35.

Obviously, consigning Employment History to history on your contractor CV is an easy fix to make. Fortunately for hard-working but often time poor contractors, there are a number of other quick changes to make to your CV to promote your ‘in business on own account’ status.

CV for Self-Employed outside of IR35

  1. Writing your CV in an implied first-person style, rather than using pronouns such as ‘I’ and ‘My.’
  2. Mentioning your Limited Company name and having a proper business email address/domain.
  3. Mentioning your independent contractor/business status in your opening summary.
  4. Promoting outcomes not tasks (true businesses don’t talk about tasks in marketing literature).
  5. Talking about what you do for clients and how you deliver business benefits.
  6. Using marketing case studies in your CV to showcase client assignments.
  7. Using commercial/contractual terminology such as ‘engaged to do xyz’ rather than ‘hired to do xyz’.
  8. Including ‘recommendations from clients’ rather than ‘references are available on request'.
  9. Mention your P&E Insurance levels, VAT registration etc.

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