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Naomi, This is an excellent post. By far the best advice I have read to date! If you have a moment, might you take a look at my profile? I have been seeking feedback in that I sincerely appreciate that every culture has its norms. I simply do not know the norms here. Any pointers you might offer would be so appreciated. Thank you. Connie
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Thank you very much for this wonderful post! This is a good advice for newbies here at oDesk. I am aware of the fact that including questions about the job in your cover letter will increase your chance of having the employer interview you because, most likely, they will answer the questions you will ask. It just made me smile that your post confirmed that I am beginning to think like an 'oDesk veteran'. Here are my thoughts: (This is not a separate post. Just an idea from a contractor's point of view.) Employers go to oDesk to look for contractors. They are the ones looking for people to work for them. So, never, as in NEVER beg for a job! Employers want the service of contractors for oDesk and they are craving for it. They want your service. If not, then they would have not posted a job at oDesk, on the first place. Don't hesitate to ask questions. It is the responsibility of the employer to clarify all points about the job they posted. Asking questions mean that you are interested for the job and you are detail-oriented. But don't ask silly questions like the example given at this post. Well, these are just some additional thoughts on how to land your first job. Hope this might help. @nleger: Please feel free to give necessary feedback about my reply post.
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Tips on how to get the first job by the original poster are very valid and are the necessary first steps. Here are my thoughts ($0.01 worth)on what to do next: 1) As someone new to oDesk, consider the experience as a numbers game. Don't expect that your employer will find you and your almost perfect profile from the thousands of available providers. It's like finding the needle in the haystack. It could happen but the probability is close to nil considering you don't have oDesk history. Once you signed in, you are allowed only two (2) apps per week. To maximize your chances of getting hired, you must pass the ODesk ready exam first(Don't take the other ability tests yet). The oDesk exam has no time and number constraints. It doesn't matter how many times you fail this test, you can hide the "failed" results. The important thing is just PASS it! Once you pass this exam, you are now allowed to submit twenty (20) apps per week. You have now increased your hiring chances by 1000%. Think of it this way: You are in the foul throw lane of a basketball game. Instead of the regular two free shots, you are now given twenty shots. What are the chances of you making just one shot? 2) Take the side of and think like an employer. Buyers post their needs in oDesk because they don't want (or can't afford) a full time employee. Maybe their needs are only temporary; perhaps we're not directly dealing with them but just sub-contractors. We don't have much on the profile of the employer to make an intelligent offer, but it will help if you submit bids which are below non-virtual or real world rates. With this in mind and understanding their needs, you can polish your cover letter to impress upon the buyers that you are their best choice. Also, while waiting for any calls from employers, try to familiarize yourself with the oDesk team program. I wish oDesk will provide us with a live dummy company video presentation on how we can maneuver around the program and how to go about logging our billable hours, diary, etc. We can only get to practice it once we're hired! Not only do we have to contend with the confusion or problems in organizing our work for our first assignment, but we also have to deal with and learn how to log our billable hours, use the diary, snapshots, short URLs, etc. Please tell me if there's a simpler way.
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your post is very informative and truly helps a lot in my endeavor in making my first hire in Odesk. Although i have not yet received payment on my first contract, and i am rather wondering if i will ever get paid, i have learned a lot though in the past few days of my stay here in odesk and more so when i read your posts. Thank you very much for sharing this valuable information.
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I was an empty handed since I joined oDesk last October, 2010 but when I read your advice on how to get that first job and try to follow .... at last I get hired with a bonus and 5 stars feedback. I really want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH!
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i felt better after reading your post. i was starting to feel like a loser because im about to fill out the 20 applications and i havent gotten any jobs yet. goodluck to me