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.
One handy tip is to reply to the invitation as soon as you can. If he sends you a message and instructions on how to contact him for interview, responding to it immediately will make the impression that you’re really interested in the position and might give you the edge over the other candidates he invited but who replied much later.
Normally, if the client is still online by the time you replied, he’d conduct the interview right away. And if you play your cards right, you can get yourself a new job before the interview ends.
But be suspicious of clients who sent out interview invitations to more than 20 providers in a single day as they are most likely spammers. Spammers are so prevalent in the Internet and oDesk is not spared.
How do I know if I’m invited for an Interview?
A notification will show up on your account page, under the Job Applications page. Information about the project such as name of the buyer, type of job, and budget/duration is provided. Clicking on either the Job Title or Info link will direct you to more details about the job.
After reviewing the job details, you can choose to accept or decline the interview. Accepting the invitation (by clicking on the Accept button) is like applying for a job, you’ll have to submit your bid and cover letter.
But you may need to create a different cover letter specifically for accepting interview invitation, because when a client invites you, he usually has a message directed to you. This time, a good cover letter is the one that answers all the inquiries that buyer may have in his message. I normally start my cover letter by thanking the buyer, giving a brief introduction about myself and my skills that are relevant to his requirements, then addressing the points or answering the questions in his personal message. It’s also important to include your preferred schedule for interview (times and days that you’re usually available online) and your contact details.
If, however, you decided to turn down the invitation, just click on the Decline button, which will take you to the Decline Interview Invitation page. You are required to state your reason for declining.
Why would I decline an invitation?
Actually, there’s a lot of reasons why someone would decline an invitation for interview. Sometimes, a client will invite you to apply to his job opening, but your skillset and strengths do not fit the qualifications required for the position. Other times, you just have too much in your hand that you cannot take another job anymore. Or there could be times when you’re just not interested in the project, maybe it’s because the rate is too low or you’re not available on the hours required.
oDesk has a set of common reasons for declining an interview invitation that you can choose from a dropdown menu. There is also an option to a custom message. Normally, I would start by saying thank you to the client for inviting me and stating my reason why I am turning down his invitation. Then, I would end the message by telling him to keep me posted of his future job openings, in case I’m already available by that time. It’s a great way to politely decline the client and might even give you opportunities for work in the future.
Whichever method you decide to use, keep in mind the oDesk limits the number of applications that you can send out. oDesk states how you can increase your job application quota or the number of oDesk jobs you can apply to:
How to increase your job application quota
1. Before you get feedback:
- New contractors can increase their job application quota by taking, passing and posting the oDesk Readiness Test, which will increase it from 2 to 5 applications.
- Taking, passing and posting four or more additional free skills tests after the oRT will increase your quota to 20.
- Contractors can also verify their identity to get five more applications.
2. After you get feedback:
- Once you have a feedback score, it determines your Job Application Quota.
- The better the feedback, the better the quota. A feedback score over 4 will give you 20 applications.
- If you are ID-verified, you get an additional five applications.
Overall, practice patience when applying to oDesk jobs. Good things come to those who wait and persevere. And make sure that you’re not wasting your application on jobs that you don’t really like because the perfect freelance job for you might just be in the works now.
Happy oDesk job hunting and Goodluck!