How to Set Up Your oDesk Profile and Stand Out

Having your oDesk profile filled out at 100% is the fastest and easiest way to get noticed. Make sure you take your time and pay more attention to the following areas:

Basic Information

Here you type your full names as they appear on your national identity card, driving license or social security number. It will be required again when choosing and verifying your payment option. Remember this is serious business. So, no faking here.

Other details to fill in are:

• Email address (Advisable to create one specifically for jobs)
• Country (where you are currently residing)
• Username that you will be using
• A unique password that cannot be guessed by anyone

Next you will fill in your title. There are thousands and thousands of freelancers offering services here.

  • So, which services do you want to offer?
  • Is it Customer Service?
  • Is it WordPress Customization?
  • Are you a writer? Do you do Social Media Marketing or Search Engine  Optimization?

Be specific, professional and choose a catchy title using keywords of the services you offer. This way you will be unique and will stand out from the crowd. You will make it easier for clients to notice you and send you a job offer. So, make it count.

Examples of catchy titles

• SEO, SMM, Data Entry, Web Research and Many More
• Web & Graphic Designer: PHP, HTML5, CSS3, WordPress, E-commerce
• Joomla1.5/Wordpress/Oscommerce/Magento/Zencart Expert

Note: Use keywords in your title that will catch the eye of the client. They will easily show up in search engines and the clients will notice you faster.

How Do I Apply to Jobs?

The job application is a 5-step process and is as follows:

1) Finding Jobs

When searching for jobs to apply to, you will select from the following categories:

• Customer Service
• Web Development
• Writing & Translation
• Software Development
• Administrative Support
• Sales & Marketing
• Design and Multi-media
• Business Services
• Networking and Information Systems etc.

This will be done at the sign up stage. You get an opportunity to choose categories that interest you. You are also allowed to choose more than one category. Every day you will be notified via email of new jobs being posted that might be a match for you according to what you selected.

On the oDesk interface, once you’ve logged in, you click on the Find Work button and you will be taken to available jobs that match your qualifications. This is called My Job Feed. You click on one of them and check it out. Read the title and the body of the post to make sure you understand the client’s instructions. Also, make sure it’s a job you can successfully complete. It is also advisable to check out the client reviews.

What to look for in a client’s profile:

  • How long has he/she been on oDesk?
  • Does he have reviews?
  • If yes, are they positive?
  • What do the contractors say about him?
  • Does he have a verified payment method?
  • Does he/she pay his contractors and is it on time?
  • Does he leave positive feedback?

It’s easy to find this info just by checking the client’s profile. After that, click the Apply to this Job button.

2) Application Review

Here the client will review contractor applications. The best candidates with matching skills, experience and noteworthy cover letters wills be contacted for interviews.

3) Interview Stage

The client can send a message to ask freelancers to take a paid test so he can see how well they can work together. If it’s a hourly project he may suggest working for 2 or 3 hours then track the time using the time tracker as you would when working on a real project. Make sure you are hired first before agreeing to this.

Alternatively, the client may send you a message and request to schedule a Skype call. If this happens reply as soon as possible and ask the client what would be a convenient time for him to receive your call and for how long so you can both be prepared. Log on Skype at least 30 minutes before the call and have a few questions prepared to ask the client regarding the project. Make sure they are appropriate and thoughtful.

4) Accepting the Offer

If the Skype call or the paid test goes well you will be offered the job. This will come as a notification that you must accept within 7 days. Once you accept it the contract will be automatically created between you and the client. At this stage you will start working for the client as agreed.

You can also check out How to Get Started on oDesk and Make Money in case you missed it. Stay tuned for more interesting posts!

How to Get Started on oDesk and Make Money

Are you a graphic designer, virtual assistant, customer service provider or transcriber and is great at bidding? If you are, then you will find an amazing site. It is the world’s largest online marketplace that offers both freelancers and businesses a convenient environment to do business. was founded back in 2003 Campbell, California, United States. It has tools and resources that will properly equip you and enable you work online successfully. Just go to the site. Set up your profile and start bidding on projects (I will help you with this in later posts). It’s as simple as that.

Other sites similar to it are:  Elance, Freelancer, Guru, People Per Hour and vWorker.

How Does oDesk Work?

I know by now you must be wondering how the site works. Well, it’s a free to register website. You sign up by filling in personal data in preset fields. Then, choose a variety of tests to undertake according to the services you provide. You will be allowed to apply to 20 jobs per week if you pass at least 5 of their set tests. These tests can be: US Basic English, Office Skills, Telephone Etiquette, WordPress, Customer Service test just but to name a few.

How to Pass the oDesk Readiness Test

There is also an initial oDesk Readiness Test that every freelancer must take if you are to work with the site. You get to apply to 2 jobs per week without doing the test. Once you do the test the application quota will be increased to 10 jobs per week. Doing 4 or more tests will give you 20 jobs per week. It should take you about 60 minutes to complete. You can retake the test if you fail. So, do not worry.

Topics covered in the oDesk Readiness Test:

• oDesk Policy
• Applying to jobs
• Working on contracts
• Payments
Click here to find answers to the oDesk Readiness Test

Are There Fees?

This is a question that lingers in everybody’s mind, “If it’s free then how does oDesk make money?” For every project completed oDesk takes 10% of the total earnings. This amount goes to site maintenance and other related activities. In my opinion, it’s a fair bargain to the site, the client and the service provider.

For example, if you did a project worth $100, $90 will be paid to you and $10 retained by the site.

Click here to view my oDesk profile as a freelancer and here as a client.