About six months ago, Pete Carbutti—an IT consultant in Wallingford, CT—joined the Software Contractors’ Guild (SCG)—a worldwide organization of software contractors and consultants. Carbutti said that although he hasn’t accepted work from anyone who has seen his online resume yet because he has been working on an extended assignment, he does receive calls “almost every evening from recruiters who saw my information on the guild [Web site].”

Like Carbutti, 2,200 other IT professionals have joined and posted their resumes with the guild. According to the Webmaster, traffic on the home page averages between 600 and 1,000 hits per day, and every weekday, two to four more contractors or consultants join.

Joining the SCG is an easy way for consultants and contractors to get their names out there and find work. We’ll tell you what the SCG can do for you and how you can use its services to seek a new consulting job.

Fees and services
The fee for software consultants and contractors to join and post a resume is only $20 per year, and there’s even a free 30-day trial period before you have to pay. The guild offers four primary services, which are as follows:

  • A resume database. Each member can post a contact information page and a resume page. The information is indexed several different ways to make it easy for companies to find specific types of contractors or consultants.
  • Job postings. As of this writing, more than 300 jobs have been posted on the site.
  • Company lists. The site provides lists of contracting and consulting companies as well as companies that hire contractors.
  • Local chapters. SCG has chapters in several locations, including Maine, New York, California, France, the United Kingdom, and Bulgaria.

The guild isn’t a contracting agency. It doesn’t screen IT professionals or make contracting arrangements. There is no charge (other than the $20 membership fee) to the consultant who finds a job through the site, and there is no finder’s fee or any other charge to the company that hires a consultant. In fact, companies interested in hiring consultants contact them directly.

How you can join
The only qualification to join the guild is that you must be working as a software contractor or consultant or actively pursuing such a position. The guild accepts members worldwide. Carbutti said the sign-up process is simple and straightforward. Simply click the Join The Guild link on the site’s home page and fill out the Profile Entry Form. You can then choose a password and fill in your contact information, availability date, and years of experience.

You also can check boxes indicating the type of contract arrangements that are acceptable to you (e.g., “I do use contract agents/recruiters,” “I am a Limited Liability Company,” “I am an independent sole proprietor,” or “I use an umbrella company as employer of record”).

After you submit the form, an Information Profile page will be created for you. Go to this page to review your entries. If you need to change anything, click the This Page button. You can use the Reload button on your Web browser to see the changes.

Click the Resume button on your Information Profile page to open a form with a large text area in which you can paste your resume. You can enter it in plain text or HTML. Click the Skill Set button on your profile page to select the software categories that denote your expertise. Click the Location button to indicate where you’re willing to work.

You can post your profile without first paying the membership fee. The guild will e-mail you an invoice for the first year’s dues, and if you don’t pay within 30 days, the staff will assume you don’t want to join and will delete your entries. To pay your dues, go to your profile page and scroll to the bottom. Click the credit-card icon and fill in the form. You can also pay by check in U.S. dollars, drawn on a U.S. bank, or the equivalent in Canadian dollars drawn on a Canadian bank.

The guild suggests you update the information in your profile—especially your availability date—every four to six months. If you don’t update it for six months, it will be marked as out-of-date. After a year, your information will be removed unless you renew for another year.

Thomas Pack is a freelance technology reporter.

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