Are you a newbie who wants to join this booming industry of digital nomads? There are thousands of freelance jobs available out there and finding your place is a difficult task. If you read this from start to finish, you’ll have an idea where to start and how to apply to top freelancing sites and land in your dream job.
In my freelancing story I mentioned that I used to work in a normal office set up for more than 6 years before deciding to work from home. It was the best decision I ever made and I’m thankful for it. Extensive research was the number one thing I did before making the decision to leave my previous job.
Today there are people who can testify to you that this industry works. Many continuous to make a living out of being a freelancer for years now. You will be able to find out how to create that impressive profile and win the project or job.
In this article, I will share with you the top sites to find freelance jobs and complete guide how to apply.
Formerly Odesk, this job hunting site has evolved massively through the years. It was through Odesk that I found my first ever online job as a moderator. Today maintaining an active profile in Upwork has become increasingly challenging. Knowing the right things to do is an advantage to landing in that job and avoiding your profile to be unpublished.
Here are the steps and tips you need to get hired on Upwork.
First thing you need to do is sign up and complete your profile. Your profile consist of 5 basic parts – a brief description, skills, tests taken, employment history and education. You can add more segment to your profile such as portfolio and certifications if any, which I will discuss in a bit.
Here’s screenshot of the brief but complete description of your professional background, what services you can offer and how much you’re willing to get paid.
I highly suggest that you write a very detailed highlight of your background in this section. When clients look for a VA to join their team, this is the number one thing they see on your profile. It is important to catch their attention during the first 5 seconds they look at it.
Much like most people do, they skim through the profiles and something must be there to catch their attention.
Knowing how to sell yourself is the key factor here. So it is very important that you know who you are and what you can do. List your top skills and strengths. Don’t be too general by saying ‘I can do customer service’. You have to be specific in what type of customer service tasks you can do.
Email, live chat support and phone support and state how many years of experience you have in those areas are important to be showcased in your profile. If you are a web designer, it is important to put out there what kind of web designing you can do – landing pages, E-commerce stores, dynamic website layout etc.
In this section you can list up to 10 skills to display on your profile. I recommend to put only those which you’re really good at and significant to the type of work you are applying for. Giving the clients a glimpse of what you can and do how you can help their team if you will be hired.
These skills should be the ones that are required and relevant to the type of job you are applying for.
You are required to pass the Upwork Readiness Test before you can apply to any job posting. However there are more than 300 tests that you can take and display on your profile for clients to see. This serves as an additional points for you so clients can decide if you are the right candidate for the job.
These tests can be related to customer service, web development, English test, office skills test and more.
It is important to showcase the past employment history and highlight the tasks you’ve done that are relevant to the job you are currently applying for. Our work history pretty much tell our clients what and who we are. It is where the client will determine if your past experiences are a good match to the position available.
Your employment history should be a strong marketing tool of yourself to get the job. Your skills and accomplishments will show if you will be an ideal team member. This section must be honest, organized, relevant and provide enough information to convince the client that you are the right person for the job.
As the name suggests, this section tells the employer information about your formal education. For me it’s still a vital part of your profile especially if it’s something that you can highlight during the interview. In my case, I am a social media manager but I finished a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting.
It’s still something I mention during interviews by saying my strengths are strong analytical skills and being detail-oriented, both qualities I acquired from being an accountant.
As I mentioned previously, you can also add a portfolio and testimonial section in your Upwork profile. These two are very important in presenting your past works.
Portfolio is a collection of your past works. Do not confused this with work experience. Portfolio is a documentation of your work samples while work experience is the company or jobs you had in the past.
In case of web developers, graphic designers, social media managers, portfolio can be your museum of past successful jobs. It speaks a thousand words to employers and can definitely help you get that position or project you are applying for.
Testimonial is a section where your past employers give a recommendation about you. It is a formal statement from your previous client testifying about your character, work ethics and quality of work. They are usually those who are extremely happy and benefited from the work you’ve done.
Once you’ve completed your Upwork profile it is now time to find projects or clients. You can do this by going to Find Work in the top menu or searching through your job feed. Your job feed is based on the categories you chose when you were setting up your profile.
So how do you get hired?
Write a very compelling job proposal. This is the number one mistake of freelancers out there – writing a generic cover letter and answering preliminary questions in without understanding what the job posting is about. I suggest that you write a cover letter as detailed as possible by showing you fully and completely read and understand the job posting.
You can use phrases such as:
“I am glad to know that you are looking for a detailed-oriented person…”
“The position strongly appeals to me because…”
It is important that your cover letter has powerful lines to catch the attention of the client and make you get that interview. It has to be well-written, error free and professional. This will greatly increase your likelihood of getting the interview for having a well thought of application.
Your application should be the best representation of your skills and strengths.
You can submit up to 60 connects (proposals) but I do not recommend using this all up. Yes I always say to put yourself out there but this thing doesn’t pretty much work with Upwork. Upwork can now unpublish your profile if they think you are spamming or submitting too many proposals without getting even a single interview.
Make sure to only apply to jobs which you are sure you can get, at least interviewed.
Upwork may tag you as spammer and punish you by unpublishing your profile. This means clients won’t be able to see your profile if they search for VAs unless you apply.
It is also very important to accept interviews right away as this affects your score if interviews are not being responded to or worst cancelled by the client.
I recommend MyOutdesk because I personally experienced working for this company and they have great compensation and benefits package. This is the only virtual company I know that gives freelancers benefits almost the same as regular office based companies.
If you are a rockstar on sales, cold calling or with real estate background this company is definitely for you.
Upon passing their qualifications, interviews and training, you will be endorsed to clients not only once but for as long as you are not hired yet.
What I really like about this company is how organized they are. They have coaches who monitors your performance and weekly sessions to help you improve on your KPIs. Coaches are very approachable and helpful too.
You can start from $500 and increase your rate as you tenured in the company. I started before at $600 and on my first year anniversary my pay went up to $800 plus HMO. How good is that?!
To start off sign up the application form according to the position you are most qualified. You must have your home office set up before doing so.
There are three types of positions available – Appointment Setter, Marketing VP and General Admin VP. It is important to know that job descriptions of these three positions so that you will know the best job right for your knowledge and skills.
Prepare for the interview, be confident and get hired. Once you are hired by MOD, you will undergo paid training for two weeks. After that you will be endorsed to your client for another interview.
During your employment with your client, you will still be a contractual of MOD. This means that in case your client decides to let go of you, MOD will endorse you to another client.
I recommend MyOutdesk to freelancers looking for a secure and employee benefits oriented online company.
Onlinejobsph is on my list primarily because this site posts hundreds of jobs for freelancers. In addition, I got almost all of my clients from this site. I can say it’s pretty easy to get clients from Onlinejobsph. However, I must warn you there are also scammers posting fake jobs in this site.
There are a lot of freelancers in our Facebook group posting scam post found on Onlinejobsph. The salary offers in this site are also quite lower compared to other freelancing websites. You must be really careful and do a backgroud checking of the company to make sure you are applying to a legit job.
You can also tell from the conversation with the employer if their job posting is legit. If you are being asked sensitive information such as bank accounts, IDs I highly suggest to back out right away. Salary payments of freelancers are 90% done via Paypal. Other freelancers are being paid via Western Union or Payoneer depending on your agreement with your employer.
To apply jobs on Onlinejobsph register by creating an account. Once registered, you will have to take the the DISC Personality Test, IQ test, and English Proficiency Test to have higher chances of getting hired.
Once you’re finished taking the tests, go back to your profile and rate your skills as shown below.
You can only rate 5 skills as 5 stars, 12 skills as 4 stars, 20 skills as 3 stars and 2 stars for the rest of your minor skills.
On your profile page, set up your job description, salary expectation, experience and education as shown below.
Once your profile is complete you can start browsing the job postings and apply. Remember you can only apply to job posting that you are qualified for according to the skills you placed on your profile. Submit a very compelling cover letter as we discussed above and prepare for the interview.
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