In the previous, I’ve discussed how to get oDesk jobs with the traditional hunt and apply method. Today, let’s take a look at how to snag oDesk jobs with the sit back and wait method.
Sit Back and Wait Method
This means, after you’ve polished your oDesk profile, to literally wait for interview invitations. Typically, if you’ve built a good reputation (i.e. has a high feedback), clients will be the ones to initiate the interviews. But even new providers can attract these invitations with no work history or feedback on their credentials.
How to get an Interview Invitation?
In my experience, it’s a combination of skills and qualifications, rate and a shiny profile. Think of it as selling your self. If the client sees you as a person who has a lot to offer for a fair rate, then he will think of you as a good deal and might click that Contact button next to your profile. Having a good feedback is also important, as I’ve said above, because feedback reflects the quality of your work. Actually, interview invitations are easy to come by especially if you’re a seasoned provider with a reasonable rate and a great profile. And of course, a lot of luck helps.
Client-initiated interviews give you a bigger chance of bagging the job because you’ve already earned the client’s attention and interest. He’s less likely to look at other candidates and will focus instead on the ones he has on his interview list.
There are two ways to land oDesk jobs: you can hunt and apply or you can sit back and wait.
The Hunt and Apply Method
This is the traditional method in any form of job application, whether online or offline. In oDesk, just click on the Find Work tab and you’ll be given a few job listings that may interest you. You also have the option to search oDesk jobs by keywords or browse all job categories.
Both will bring you to the oDesk jobs list page. Here, more details about each job are given such as job description excerpts, skills required, job type (hourly or fixed-rate), estimated time and budget. You can also filter the jobs according to categories, job type, workload, duration and even client ratings.
Clicking on a particular job will direct you to the individual job page where more information about the job opening is provided.
Details about the client is shown on the right-hand column of the page. This is important because it gives you pertinent information about the client i.e. if his payment method is already verified by oDesk (sort of a guarantee that he will pay), how many jobs he’s posted, and how his previous providers rate him. Normally, you’d take one’s job post with a grain of salt if he hasn’t verified his payment method yet and he hasn’t paid anyone before (especially if he had posted many oDesk jobs already and has been an oDesk member for a considerably long period). But a non-verified payment method is normal for new employers who haven’t properly setup their account yet. So it really depends on your discretion and instinct to weed out the scammers from the true employers.
If you’ve been applying for months in oDesk but still haven’t landed a single project or an online job yet, then this post is for you.
Before I enumerate the reasons, let’s take a look at the oDesk Oconomy. *As of this writing, there are almost half a million providers competing for available positions in oDesk. And there are only about one to two thousand new jobs posted every day. You don’t even have to be good in math to figure it out – there’s just too many online service providers. No wonder that first job is so elusive.
But the ratio of providers to job openings in oDesk has nothing to do with your inability to snag a job. While it’s true that competition is steep and the market is overly saturated, one fact remains: other people (including myself and my husband) are able to thrive in this arena. And if living off the online income is any indication of a successful freelance online career, then there are a lot of individuals inside and outside of oDesk who are making a living out of this and are reaping success.
“So why in the world can’t I find an online job?” You’re probably asking. Any one or a combination of these following reasons could be the culprit:
1. You’re new and you don’t have a feedback yet. In an online job community like oDesk, reputation is built on the feedback previous employers gave on your performance. It is like a grading system by which potential clients will use to gauge how likely you are to do a good job in the tasks that they will give you. So naturally, if you’re new, you don’t have the advantage of a feedback yet.
Working online and earning money from home starts with a good and impressive online resume. So to start your online career right, I’m sharing a few tips on how to create an online resume.
What is an online resume?
Like in the offline world, an online resume is a document (although, in this case it is digital and available on the internet) that will showcase you skills and other pertinent information about you and your qualifications.
While still in college, we were told that resumes should be concise, scan-able and without unnecessary adjectives . The traditional way of writing a resume can apply to an online job setting, but you can afford to be generous with words to a certain extent to impress potential job providers. The goal is to catch their attention and paint an image of yourself as an efficient web freelancer in their minds. Often, telling them how you do what you do, other than telling them what you can do, helps achieve this.
In the past, I always encounter people saying, “My skills are only MS Office proficiency and 50 WPM typing skills. Are these enough to get an online job?”
There’s nothing wrong with those skills, and if those are all you’ve got, it doesn’t mean that you won’t succeed as a web freelancer. But when you write your online profile, stating them as is won’t likely work to your benefit.
You are working and earning money from home. And you are successfully doing this for a while that you’ve decided to quit from your regular job and concentrate on being an online freelancer. You are more comfortable in this setup. You feel you can work better and are probably earning more. Or spending less. Either or both translate to a bigger income. You relish with the new sense of freedom (from the office, that is) that comes with working online.
Working online is not all about earning money from home. If you’ve been doing this for quite some time now, you will realize that you cannot be totally carefree because online work is not exactly the most stable career in the market. Projects and contracts end, abruptly sometimes. One day you have work. The next day, you’ll suddenly receive an email from your client or employer that your services are no longer needed or they are abandoning the project or shutting down.
Things like these are common when you are working online. And it can happen even to the most seasoned of us. So you’ve got to get your act together and start forming a plan to ensure you’ll have enough to get through the low/no income months.
A few weeks ago, I did something I haven’t done for a long time: I started applying for a new online job. My current client who I work full-time for, has decreased my working hours. She said she is a little cash-strapped and needs to trim down on some expenses. But she doesn’t want to abandon all our projects, so just asked me to work for a few hours everyday until her sources of income become more stable.
I normally don’t want to have more than one full-time job, but I don’t know how long this part-time work setup will last, so I decided to find another job. And the first thing that I did was update my oDesk profile and my cover letter.
Your oDesk profile and cover letter are the two most important things you need to consider when looking for a job in oDesk. Together, they must always highlight your skills to attract the attention of potential employers.
And based on the recent changes that I made, I came up with simple and, I hope, effective ways on how you can beef up your profile and write a compelling cover letter.
Blog commenting is one of the earliest ways to get backlinks to your site (or if you’re a link builder, to your client’s site). Although many seasoned internet marketers and SEO personnel no longer see this activity as an effective link building technique because aside from the implementation of the nofollow tag, which allows blog owners to stop the link juice drain from their blogs, Google seems to give less and less worth to the links found in the comment section. All these in an effort to make it harder for spammers to get a quality backlink.
But others still believe that there’s some value left in blog commenting as long as you know where to comment and how. In this link building post, I explained the attributes of a good backlink. One of the most important factors to consider among those I enumerated is if the blog you’re about to comment on is a dofollow site.