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For laid-off job seekers, contract or consulting work can be a good way to make some money while in transition. Jane Porter offers several points for consideration in a WSJ Careers article that are not unlike some of the same tactics used in a traditional job search.

  • Specialize
    Identify a niche where you will stand out and where you can save time getting to know potential customers and their business. Look at job postings for contract work to see what hiring managers are looking for. Figure out the unmet need.
  • Know your worth.
    While setting the appropriate rate is difficult, be careful about setting it too low in the beginning since raising it will be harder down the line. You have to compensate for marketing and administrative efforts that are unbilled time. Also, be careful about setting a fixed rate since you never know what you might encounter until you are involved in the project.
  • Get online
    Showcasing yourself online is critical. Use social networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Go the extra mile and create your own personal website.
  • Build relationships
    That first project might not seem like much, but it provides the foot in the door. Many times that first job is the tip of the iceberg leading to more substantial work. Consider taking on pro bono projects or working for nonprofit organizations where board members may be executives at big companies. Building these relationships can help now and in the future.

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While it is true that employees have more leverage now in their job searches, employers still look for and even demand certain qualities and skills.