Consulting to Hire

Consultants and freelancers get a bum wrap. People don’t believe their job is a “real job” because they don’t work for someone else, and if they try to find a regular job their work history (or lack thereof) may hold them back.

So what’s the best way to escape the consulting and freelance gig and get in to a regular nine-to-five? I can’t say for sure, but let’s toss around some theories. We can relate some of these to product marketing.

Social Proof
On my resumé I list not only my previous jobs, but also key customers and a quick blurb from them about my work. This will give that new employer a quick idea of what other managers and companies have thought of my work. It can be easier for people to try something if they see that others have tried it and are satisfied. The sheep mentality is real, whether HR wants to admit that they have it or not. A great way to knock this one out is to use LinkedIn, and make sure you have a large network with a lot of recommendations. Once you have that, include your LinkedIn profile in your resumé.

Be Professionally Social
These days, employers check Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter when looking at a job candidate. Nothing we can do about that, right? Either set your privacy on these sites so that only your friends can see them, or watch everything you say and do. Employers are less likely to hire candidates who openly curse, talk about highly personal details (no one really cares about your bathroom activities anyway, right?), or share in conversations about topics that may make them less stable than other candidates (like binge drinking…don’t go on with your buddies about the awesome keggers you threw every night for the last month).

Be Socially Visible
Those who actively socialize are generally more acceptable in new positions than those who don’t like to talk to anyone. Get out there, network, make friends, and chat people up. Being a consultant or freelancer can mean that you spend a great deal of time alone (I’ve been carrying on a conversation with myself the whole time I’m writing this), making employers think that you wouldn’t work well with others in a traditional job setting. Partner up with other freelancers on projects, maybe volunteer some time, show that you don’t hate all of humanity (and throw a sheet other that death ray when using your webcam).

These are a few of things I can think of that would help to increase your chance of finding a nine-to-five, can anyone add anything or correct me where I’m wrong?