Reah's Blog | Education, Language, Technology

Get a Freelancer through oDesk

By on May 28, 2011 in Online Jobs | 1 comment

Freelancers in can do your projects, big or small. Thousand of freelance workers, referred as contractors in oDesk,  are applying to thousands of job postings. My husband and I have hired contractors in oDesk aside from getting work through it. You have two ways to pay your contractors or freelancers. Hourly or fixed rate projects. Whatever it is, you pay an oDesk fee that equates to 11.11% on top of what is being paid to the contractor. The general categories of jobs you can posts are: Web Development Software Development Networking & Information Systems Writing & Translation Administrative Support Design & Multimedia Customer Service Sales & Marketing Business Services How to Post a Freelance Job in oDesk Step 1: What you need to do when you post a job is find the appropriate category and sub category for it so that contractors with the right skills can find your job posting easily. Step 2: Enter a title for you job posting and description. At the description section, type in the details about your project. You can be as detailed as you can if you want to make sure the right applicants are the only one applying. Ask the applicants questions or a special word to include in their application letter so you can easily sort those that are not qualified. Step 3: Choose if it is an hourly or fixed price project. With hourly, freelancers use a program to track their hours. The program will also capture screenshots, mouse clicks, and keyboard activities. On fixed-rate projects, you just tell the freelancer your conditions for payment. Perhaps the hours of work do not matter as long as they bring the project in on time. Step 4: Also enter the job duration  and estimated workload so your applicant knows how soon the project is due or how long will it last. Step 5: In the job visibility section, choose how you want to find your freelancers. Would you like to post the job publicly so anyone can apply or just make it private where only invited users can apply. If you choose to make it invite-only, you need to scour oDesk for freelancers with publicly visible profiles. Step 6: Fill out the advance section if you want to customize your job posting with attached files or skills you are looking for. Step 7: Review your job posting and post the job when it is perfect.   How to interview and hire applicants Once you have the job posted, and whether it is publicly visible or invite-only, you will get applicants. This time you need to review which are the most qualified among them.  Start the interview process by sending these short listed candidates a message, one by one. With your message you can ask more questions about their work experiences or their understanding about the projects. You can also set-up interviews on chat, voice-chat, or calling them over the phone if they are in the same country where you are. When you found the perfect freelancer for your project, go to their profile and click the hire button.   But first of all, create an oDesk Account Create an account, and fill out your company profile in oDesk and have your credit card verify as soon as you can, so that freelancers you hire can work right...

oDesk Review and Tips

By on May 28, 2011 in Internet Marketing, Online Jobs | 15 comments

In August, I will be two years in Odesk.  I joined the site while I was in the Philippines and it has been an on and off work for me by choice. I have accumulated 673 hours so far not including those non-hourly jobs I have accepted. I withdraw my oDesk payments weekly to be sent to my bank account or PayPal account. Here is the link to my profile so you can assess my work experience from oDesk yourself. Even my husband who is an SEO, more experienced than me, take consultancy jobs in oDesk. While my friend Joy has worked 876 hours since April of 2010. The way oDesk works is that employers will post jobs which can be paid hourly or fixed rate. Then contractors like us will apply to these jobs. oDesk will then get a little percentage for whatever is paid to you. Hourly jobs are tracked through a software and is more guaranteed, while fixed rate jobs don’t require a tracker but is risky. So far, I’ve been happy getting work through  oDesk. If you plan to find online jobs through this freelancing website here are my tips, which helped me get jobs through this website: Complete your profile. Make sure that even if you are a newbie your profile is complete and there is something to see there when a prospective employer checks it. Attach your bank or PayPal account where you want to get your payments later. Upload a picture that your face can be seen. Please make your profile look more professional by letting your prospective employers see how you look. It does not need to be taken in a photo studio but at least make your face be seen. Do not upload tiny pictures where we need a magnifying glass to look at it. I am guilty of the latter for some reason but I uploaded a better picture now. Take the oDesk readiness test. So you will make yourself familiar in how oDesk works. If someone already showed you how it works, still take the oDesk readiness test to make prospective employers trust you that you know how oDesk works. Take Other Tests. I finished 20 tests when I started. I believe as a starter I need to impress my prospective employer with tests. So, give your best when taking these tests even you may find some of them ridiculous. The higher your scores are the better. You can hide test results if you didn’t like your score. Taking the tests actually helped me a lot since they found me more credible and it also increased my limit for job applications. Apply on simple easy jobs first. If you are having a hard time getting job interviews on jobs with your skill level you can get lucky applying on jobs with low skill requirements. The way you stand out is with your application letter. Also find job postings that accept newbies. Do not send samples that you need to spend time on. Only send samples from your previous projects. Usually, employers who ask free samples are tricking you. Send custom application/cover letters. Do not use templates when sending out your application letters. Read the job description carefully so that you can make a personalized application letter. Some employers ask questions so answer these as best as you can. Attached files that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Reply as soon as you can when you are invited for an interview. Usually the employer asks how else they can reach you, perhaps Skype, GTalk, or Yahoo Messenger. If they didn’t ask you can offer them how they can reach you and ask when the interview will be. Some interviews just happen inside oDesk, exchanging emails. During this process you are usually asked for more proof of your work or assessing if you understand the project. This is also your time to examine the project closely. Do your best on job interviews but don’t overdo it. Interviews are done online, on chat or voice. You have to express to your employer why you are better than other applicants but make sure you can prove these claims. Lying about your skills will backfire you when you cannot complete a job or you turn the project to them with horrible outcome. Be honest when working especially on hourly rate jobs. Do not play Facebook games or chatting with your friends while your oDesk hourly tracker is running. And please do not extend a 20 minute job to an hour job. You are wasting your employers money and even making yourself dishonest. Your employer might generalize that online Filipino workers are dishonest which will make our reputation embarrassing. Do not ask your employer to lend you money. No matter what your circumstances are in the Philippines, do not attempt to borrow money from your employer. Yes, your employers are foreigners and earn more than you do but it does not mean you can abuse them by asking money. They even not know you in person and this behavior is not professional. (Yes, this one happened, an employer shared his experience to me.) Do ask your employer if you don’t understand something about your work. It is better to know the right thing than working on something you don’t exactly know how and end up annoying your employer. Rephrase the instructions and...