There can be nothing more infuriating than losing out on a good gig without having any clue what the other person did better. There are dozens of good freelance and contract job boards scattered about the Internet, but no matter how good you or the board is, it won’t mean anything if you don’t stand out from all the other eager freelancers.
The two main places that you have the freedom to separate yourself from the crowd are your profile and your replies to the job posting. Using both of these features to their fullest will set you far ahead of countless other freelancers who do not put the time or the effort into their job hunts.
1) Listing your Skills:
This isn’t supposed to be a course in advanced SEO (search engine optimization); your profile is supposed to showcase your abilities and convince the employer to choose you over other qualified applicants. With each skill that you mention, give practical examples of work you have done in the area, as well as a brief description of what proficiency in thatskill means to you.
2) Attracting the Right Employers:
What type of employer would you like to work with? Formal, casual, or somewhere in between? Think about the kind of employer you’d like to attract, and reflect this preference in your profile. A small trendy design firm would contrast greatly in tone to a large corporate consulting company. Since you can’t appeal to everyone, focus your profile on the type of employer you’d most like to work with.
3) Adding Your Personal Voice:
No matter which type of employer you are targeting with your profile, you’ll want to add a bit of style to it. Don’t be afraid to show that you have personality, but stay within the bounds of professionalism
Replying to Job Posts:
1) Why you?:
It’s not good enough to list your qualifications and be done with it. Even with piles of certifications and dozens of years experience, you want to convince the employer why you are perfect for the job. So be sure to elaborate a bit, emphasizing practical experiences or recent projects that apply to the job. If you don’t have any experience that would help you do the job, you probably shouldn’t be applying for it in the first place.
2) You Get What You Pay For:
Contrary to popular belief, the lowest bidder is not always the one that gets selected for the job. Your relevant experience is a large factor, but perhaps the most important thing you can do is to present yourself properly. At the very least, taking some time in your response will show that you have already invested time into thinking critically on their project.
3) Show Your Professionalism:
Your bid is normally the first impression that the employer gets of you. Make it a good one by using proper spelling and grammar, making a personalized response, and letting them know that you can carry the same enthusiasm for the project that they do. Also, avoid USING ALL CAPS (annoying, isn’t it?) and spell out all your words. This means no ‘thnx’, ‘k’, and ‘u’.
Both your profile and your responses show what kind of contractor you will be. Sloppy writing, form letters, and poor presentation will get you nothing but rejection left and right. Strive towards professionalism and respect, and you might find yourself with a steady client.