Working as a software contractor means you have to be a salesperson. You are representing yourself as a brand. You need strong communication skills, a good story, and the skills to justify your hourly rate. We’ve helped hundreds of contractors get work this year. Here are best practices for getting hired through your Moonlight profile.
Communicate your background in 10 seconds
As a remote engineer behind a computer screen, you may think it’s not important to have strong communication skills. But you’re wrong! At Moonlight, we’ve seen that contractors who take the time to prioritize communication are far more likely to get hired. This comes across in your bio, links, and experience write-ups.
So, how can you do a good job of communicating your experience? Be concise in your writing and tell people what they need to know about your background. Don’t assume they will go out of their way to research you.
A founder, CTO, or hiring manager is going to spend around 10 seconds scanning your profile before they decide whether you’re a good fit or not.
Anything you put on your profile should be easy-to-scan, straightforward, and genuine. Try to read your profile through the eyes of a stranger, or even better - get feedback from family and friends before you look for jobs. Use an app like Grammarly or Hemingway to help edit your writing.
You’re unique - tell a good story!
Show people why you’re relevant, how you’re unique, and why they can trust you. There are lots of ways for companies to hire developers, and you’re probably not the only person who can solve their problem. You need to convince them why you are the best person to do the job.
A good story: “I'm a coding philosopher who leads a 5 people engineering team to build scalable code, infrastructure, and team culture. I help companies to build tools and culture to leverage the benefits of modern software best practices.”
This above bio tells the client something about your work style, background, specialization, and something about your personality.
This above bio describes a lot of people - it’s not unique. If it comes down to you and someone else, there’s really no differentiation other than price and years of experience.
Tell them what you’re good at
As a software engineer or designer, you have specialized skills! Highlight the things you’re an expert at, and focus on applying to roles you’re highly qualified for. Since Moonlight is a marketplace for experienced developers, most of our clients are willing to pay higher hourly rates for specialized workers.
On your Moonlight profile, this may mean listing fewer skills. As a general rule, you should have at least 2 years professional experience for every skill you list. Add the most relevant technologies as featured skills by your name, and be sure to add skills to each section of past experience. Clients will trust you more when can see that you implemented those technologies for other companies.
Make it easy for clients to verify your identity
Since hiring managers are going to spend about 10 seconds reviewing your profile, make it easy for them to verify your experience. We recommend that you include LinkedIn, Github, and a personal blog if you have one. Clients want to see how you’ve used your skills to help other companies, and this is an easy way to gain their trust. Plus, when they see mutual connections on other networks, they are more likely to trust you.
Moonlight profile examples
Below are a few anonymous Moonlight profiles with almost the exact same experience, hourly rate, and amount of time on Moonlight. All examples are anonymous, we've switched out the identifying information.
Poor communication: Examples of two profiles that lack context. These contractors have not been hired through Moonlight.
Good communication: Examples of two profiles that have good communication and just enough writing. These contractors have been hired through Moonlight.
- Treat your profile and links like a resume
- Be specific about your interests and experiences
- Use your writing to communicate how you’re unique
- Be concise and check your grammar and spelling