oDesk is a marketplace where freelancers and employers meet. Job openings posted by employers could range from web designing, to programming, to article writing, to admin support, to data entry, to forum posters. With these kind of job openings, freelance web designers, writers and programmers are now able to have the opportunity to get paid either by the hour or per project doing what they’re good at in the comforts of their own homes. Yes, an employer from the US could hire a freelance web designer from the Philippines, or an employer from Australia could hire a virtual assistant from India. While this setup maybe what most would call a “dream job” or the ideal job, it still takes quite some effort from the part of a freelance provider to get noticed by an empolyer. Fact is, with freelancers having similar skills and different rates and with employers having different preferences, it’s not always easy to land on a job at oDesk. However, it should be noted still that the first thing an oDesk employer looks at is the profile of an oDesk freelance provider. And that is mainly what a freelance provider should work on.
Here are some great tips that will help you land on that first oDesk assignment:
1. Spruce up your profile. Remember that there are thousands of oDesk providers that have the same skills as you do. You need to be assertive enough to market yourself to get that first oDesk assignment. Check out other profiles to get ideas on how to do it.
2. This next tip is very important. Don’t get discouraged when you see low hourly rates. Stick to your guns and bid what your skills are worth.
3. Never grow tired of applying.
4. Be the first to check out the new Job openings at oDesk everyday. Although oDesk sends you a daily update thru email of the latest job openings, you would be at an advantage if you get to apply while there’s still a short list of applicants.
5. While waiting, take tests that match your skills. Show scores that really prove that you have mastered your skill. You wouldn’t want an oDesk employer to see a score of 2.5 out of 5.0 in Article writing if you are promoting yourself as an article writer.
6. Prepare a good cover letter. When I say good, it must be really good. Ready made cover letters are fine, but if you are really serious about your application, it would be best to come up with something that is tailored to the needs of your prospective employer.
7. Be available on instant messengers for a chat interview. If you mentioned in your cover letter that you’ll be available on Skype or Yahoo Messenger from 8am to 12pm Eastern Standard time, then you have to be online during that timeframe.
8. Once an interview is finished, send a thank you email to the employer. It may sound redundant since you would be thanking the interviewer at the end of the chat session. But believe me, it helps. Remember, you are not the only one who’s being interviewed by that employer.
9. Build a good relationship with your employer. Make sure that you meet his needs (don’t overdo it though). Building a good relationship has a lot of lasting benefits. Not only will it help you get a good feedback score at the end of the assignment, you also increase the chances of getting your employer to hire you again for future assignments. That I guess is the most fulfilling part – establishing trust.
Once you’ve followed these tips, and have successfully ended an assignment with a good feedback score (that’s 5 stars, of course), you now have the option to either stay with your current rate if you’re already comfortable with it or take it a notch higher, if you think you’re worth it.
Happy Job Hunting!
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