There could be many reasons why a contract can end early, projects get canceled, a new manager may start who is not keen on paying contractor rates, the role may change due to unforeseen circumstances or you aren't just technically up to the role.
Now you can't do much about some of these reasons, you can make sure your skills are up to the task, but this is another post all together.
So if you find that for some reason your 6 month contract ends 4 months earlier here's what you need to have ready to get looking again.
- A current up to date CV, while GitHub accounts and blogging are becoming more important in showing what you can do. In the UK the CV that you can send out in a email is still the first point of contact for a new role. So your CV needs to have your current role, the skills you have gained in this role are there and most importantly what you've done within this role.
- A update LinkedIn profile. Now I'm not a massive fan of LinkedIn, but agencies use it and for contracts you need to be able to let agencies know that you are available. LinkedIn is the quickest way to do this. You do need to manage who you accept invitations from as you'll get bombarded with request from agencies who just want to know who to call in the places you have worked at.
- Examples of work. This is getting more and more important now. I'm sure one day CV's won't be the first point of call for applying for a job and your GitHub or website will be the place where agencies and companies find you, but still the CV is a starting point. Code examples are usually asked for. People want to see examples of the code you write, having a GitHub account with a project you are working on is a great way to show the code you can produce especially if the last few contracts you've been on have all been corporate jobs where you can't send links of the projects you've worked.