Sunday, October 4, 2009

Some tips for oDesk

I have had few folks email me because they are having trouble getting hired on oDesk. I do believe it is hard to get hired as a newbie, so here are some tips for a successful oDesk experience:

1) Once you are signed up with them, take extra tests in areas you are familiar with. Take as many as you think you can pass. While you are testing, open a second browser window to look up answers if you're stuck. oDesk doesn't expect you to know everything, just smart enough to find it. Assuming you score well, it will be posted on your profile, which will attract employers.

2) When you are applying for a job, make sure your cover letter is perfect. Send samples of your work, especially for writing jobs. Tell them why they should give you a chance to prove yourself as a newbie.

3) Make sure you aren't bidding too high. Be sure to look at the average bid for the job, then bid lower. An average bid means that some have bid higher and some lower, so if you want the job you will need to underbid the average.

4) Look for jobs other than your main interest. For example, if you are looking for writing jobs, consider data entry. Try to get a few small fixed price jobs to boost your "rep" on your profile. The more positive buyer feedback that shows on your profile, the more likely you are to be hired for a bigger, better paying job.

5) Apply for as many jobs as oDesk will allow. Apply for anything you are capable of doing. You will build a good reputation quickly. The more jobs you do, the more jobs you will get.

6) Do not ever agree to be paid outside of oDesk. You will risk being banned, and you will probably get scammed (I did). If someone is so broke that they need to save a couple of bucks on oDesk fees, do you really think they will pay you at all? I wish I had realized this when I first started, because I got scammed out of several thousand dollars. It was a hard lesson learned, and I am tellng you in the hope of saving you from the same heartache.

Don't give up! If you keep applying you will get hired. Once you get that first job, more will follow.

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