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Who am I?!

New Forum Member
I wonder if, by this time, you think this post is going to be a troll breeding ground, or possibly another spawn of some irate person going crazy because he was scammed. What this is, however, is a fairly legitimate question from someone who is brand new to oDesk and looking to leave his mark. More to the point. oDesk notoriously demands that the 'Title' field and 'overview' field be completely filled and sound professional to boot. In my case, the 'Title' was 'Jack of Trades'. Yeah, I was trying to be creative and honest at the same time there. That was one of the three reasons my profile was suspended until I 'correct the errors'. The issue at hand is my diverse area of expertise. I simply do not know which title to apply to myself. For example, my formal education is bachelor's degree in economics, and a master's degree in project management. The latter by the way means that I have exactly as much knowledge of classic PM as a 20 PMP candidate. This, along with some experience in project administration, allows me to confidently say that I can do most generic (i.e. not demanding esoteric industry knowledge) administrative and managerial tasks. I also have ample experience as an interpreter/translator and have been eke-ing out a living using that particular skill. There are few kinds of translation I haven't done, and I do not shy away from doing things I never have, so subtitling a clip or an animated film - no problem, whisper in client's ear while in a conference or during negotiations - no problem, getting into a studio and doing a voiceover for a lecture or a clip is no more of a problem than the previous two. However, I also write texts (I prefer creative fiction, but was half-tricked into a copywriting job this first time on oDesk. At least I'll get some money out of it). And I, with a little effort, can write up or otherwise assemble a VBA macro to automate that nasty little office process that eats up everyone's time. Oh wait, there is more -- I am considering to expand my skillset into usability testing and design, and possibly acquiring graphic design skills in the next few years. Just one problem. I'd like to get money out of it. And I'd like people to see me not just as a 'remote manager' or 'copywriter' or 'translator', I'd like them to see my skills, and therefore to apply to any job I am good for without being chained down by such things as 'titles'. And this is where I hit a difficulty, because oDesk management seem to want a single, professional-sounding title. Which would be well and good, if I were a single-career specialist. I'm not. Nor, at this point, can I afford to be, nor do I intend, at this point, again, to be. So what would you freelancing dinosaurs suggest I do at this point? If this issue isn't worked out, I'll have little opportunity to get any jobs on oDesk at all, and even then I'll either spend next several months looking for someone who'd hire me as a translator (because I'm an unproven employee to them), or get stuck at copywriting jobs. Please, share your thoughts.
Hi Eugene,

When reading the "Jack of trades" title, the first thing that comes to mind is "Jack of all trades, master of none", which is a very famous saying used to refer to someone who can be somewhat competent in many disciplines, but does not excel in any. So by using that title you are just doing yourself a disservice.

Titles are used only to show one's formal education credentials, so I would just keep it simple and stick to B.Ec, M.P.M (or whatever short forms are used in your country), you can always include more details in the full resume.

Hope that helps!
Community Guru

The fact that you say "get stuck at copywriting jobs" kind of confirms the "master of none" concept. A good copywriter - or graphic designer or translator - is a highly skilled professional who can command a very high rate. The ability to write a grammatically correct English sentence doesn't make you a writer; the fact that you couldn't be bothered to break your huge post up into paragraphs doesn't say much for your writing skills. (My apologies if that was caused by a technical issue.)


Have a think about what you're truly good at. Look at portfolios of freelancers with high profile rates and see how your skills compare to theirs.

Community Guru

"Jack of all Trades" is simply not an appropriate or financially optimal category or self-description on oDesk.


I intentionally leave a lot of things out of my online profile, including skills I possess, work experience I have had, technologies I know well, and languages which I speak fluently, because I want to make MORE money.


Please read this carefully. I leave these things OUT. I do NOT tell potential clients about these skills.


Because I want to make more money.


If you are truly a "Jack of all Trades" then you belong in a James Bond movie. Not on oDesk.

Community Guru

❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄

I am an employeer and have employed several people from oDesk. What I personally look for is a cross between experience and price, as my jobs are mostly small. I just hired a new freelancer lady from the Philippines for $4.44 an hour, which is in my budget for re-writting articles, ...maybe 20 hours of work and if she is good I will give her a bonus and more work. 


As for presenting yourself as a freelancer, in my opinion that a title Jack of all Trades is indicitive of a person of limited skills who can do many things but none of them with the professional ability I am looking for. 


Best to maybe put something like: "Webmaster, html5, JAVA, PERL" etc. which really grabs my attention right off the bat because this is what I often want. If they have skills as an Article Writer and a few other things like maybe research then that is good to put  in the title. I just hired a graphics guy at $8/hr because I liked his good English and samples of his work....which were stellar. He is in the Philippines also. 


I have just hired a lady in India to help me with WordPress issues. We will see.


Then price is important depending on the budget. I see many freelancers who say that they have very good English skills but their profile and/or cover letter is full of errors with grammer mostly. Not good so I pass them up quickly. Do not wait for oDesk to bring you jobs, as it may not happen for a while. A great clear photo is important, sorry to say that I at times do not hire people due to a poor photo or poor profile.

>> "sorry to say"


I'm not sorry you're saying it!


I think it is very helpful to hear from somebody who hires contrators, and to hear what some of his criteria are.


There's nothing wrong with pointing out how important it is to have a good photo and a good smile!


Many of the contractors here point these things out to other contractors looking for tips, but it is good hear from somebody who is hiring.


ODesk SPECIFICALLY asks contractors to have a good photo and a smile. I think it is more professional to do so. If nothing else, it's more professional to follow the platform's directions.


(I actually took a bunch of new photos 2 days ago specifically for the purpose of posting a photo to my oDesk profile which will be more clear and perhaps sport a better smile.)