Elance Blog

Advice From An Elancer (Volume 21)

Welcome to Advice From An Elancer – a place to ask your Elance questions (through Elance’s LinkedIn page) and get them answered as thoroughly and personally as possible. My name is Dorothy D. and I have worked with Elance as a freelancer since April 2009. I have always tried to help other Elancers understand how things work and how to accomplish more. In Advice From An Elancer I will address as many questions as I can each week. In some cases, questions have been edited for clarity.

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This week, I will address one question that is recurring. New freelancers who join Elance are continually posting this question in our LinkedIn Elance Professional Network. Hopefully, this will answer the question thoroughly and the new Elancers can look here for answers.

Question #1:

I have been on Elance for a few months and bid on several jobs but have not had any jobs awarded to me. How do I get a job?

Advice from an Elancer:

• Make sure you are in the right category for your skills. I have seen many freelancers with IT skills trying to find jobs in Writing and Translation. Choose a category that fits your strengths.

• Complete your profile. When I say COMPLETE, I mean every part. Verify your identity. It costs nothing and provides an extra layer of trustworthiness in the eyes of the client.

• Add a photo that is either a professional looking image or a company logo.

• Make your subtitle descriptive of the job that you do. “Awesome freelancer” does not provide insight into your area of expertise.

• Make your Overview/Resume clear and provide a little bit of what your clients can expect from you.

•Clearly state what services you provide.

• State any payment terms such as, “Escrow must be funded before work begins.” Even though this is policy, not all clients read all of the material.

• Add any references you have.

• Verify any licenses or certifications.

• Include a portfolio of work, ensuring that the client for whom the work was completed does not object to using it in this fashion.

• Add skills and take at least a few tests to verify your expertise in some of the areas.

• Add relevant keywords. Do not try to put multiple keywords together because it will hinder search results

• Make sure your proposal is not a template that you use for every job. Personalize it for the job you are bidding on.

• In your proposal, tell the client what you can do for them. Be honest.

• If you are not a native English speaker, either ask one or hire one to proofread your profile and proposals. Spelling errors and grammatical mistakes can reflect poorly on you.

• Make sure your portfolio is comprised of YOUR BEST WORK. I have seen portfolio samples that are so small they cannot be examined and some that have multiple misspellings. This is supposed to represent what you can do. Make it your best.

• Before bidding on a job, make sure you have all of the skills necessary to complete it. It is better to wait for a job that is a good fit than to bid on everything and anything that comes along.

• Join the LinkedIn group. Read the discussions. If you ask about how to get your first job, you will read most of this advice again. Instead, read some of the current discussions. Link to some of the members and look at their Elance and LinkedIn pages.

• Be patient. It may take several attempts to be awarded that first job. Keep working on your profile and proposals to make them client-friendly and attractive.

Hopefully this list will help you to land your first… or second job. Connect with me in the group and let me know how it’s going. Good luck!

That’s enough for today. If you have questions or want to follow the conversation of other Elancers, visit the Discussion page of our LinkedIn page.