Hi everyone. I just became active on oDesk. I've used other freelancing sites with little success. Does anyone have any suggestions for improving my chances of finding work? My profile is 85% complete, but still needs work.
I'm open to any ideas. Thanks much.
I am going to give you some advice which applies only to you, and not necessarily to any other oDesk freelancer:
For a person with zero work history on this platform, and with your particular background and skills, you are posting WAY TOO MANY different skills and core competencies.
The main skills posted at the top of your profile are not even related to each other:
Pick ONE of these. Pick the one you are BEST at. Get rid of the others from the top of your profile. If you want to have multiple skills at the very top, then pick a few that relate to each other, not 4 which are normally done by completely separate people.
As I client, here is what I think your profile says:
"I have a computer and I have dabbled in using some different software packages while I was in a community college program. I heard about oDesk and I want money from oDesk."
So what you need to do is completely re-write your profile so that it tells me WHO YOU ARE as a contractor who can help ME (the client) in ONE KEY AREA.
You need to emphasize ONE skill area, and mention others only in passing. (Mention no more than 3 other skills in passing.)
Show me ONE skilll area with your profile and tests.
You have only taken 2 skill tests. But there are easily 5 to 10 skill tests you could take in each of the skill areas you claim to be proficient in. Take skill tests in ONE area. Don't even post test results related to other areas.
And post portfolio pieces of work you did entirely by yourself, even if you need to spend substantial time creating good profile projects. Projects that you do for free, specifically for the purpose of showing off your skills. Not projects that you are doing for a real client, but projects that you do for yourself that look like the kind of work you would do for a client.
That is, if you have no such work already done for clients. If you have such work, and if your clients will allow you to share it or reference it with screenshots, then show those.
Show me a reason I should hire you other than the fact that you want money.
"Continual Improvement" is an ongoing process. Work on your freelancer profile in order to stay competitive and to improve all sections of your profile to the best of your ability, sections: Overview, Work History and Feedback, Portfolio, Tests, Certifications, Employment History, Education, and Other Experiences.
For example, in the profile Overview section, there is a mention of "Certified IT professional," yet no certifications are listed in the profile Certifications area. Use the Certifications area to show off your accolades!
Similarly, the Employment History, Education, and Other Experiences areas within the profile should provide supporting evidence of your qualifications. Don't stop there....
Content Creation? Show us! Demonstrate your writing skills starting with your oDesk freelancer profile.
Diversify or specialize? Even though I have a very diverse skill set, I have realized that on oDesk it is best to specialize. Before the advent of the oDesk "mad robots" (algorithms), oDesk once posted an article in their blog stressing the need to "specialize."
Now, just because specialization is the trend for the future, that doesn't necessarily mean we should not leverage a well thought out group of interrelated skills -- oDesk allows ten skills -- that's ten for purposes of SEO -- and, of course, all highly relevant as required by standard SEO practices ("database management" doesn't fit; with a little imagination, aka "ceative writing," the other skills [keywords] will).
Oh, and one more thing, think ahead! Study the freelancer search for jobs features available on the oDesk core site. The way you decide to use those search features and the applications you submit as a result, have a lot to do with how well you complete your freelancer profile. One word: relevant