How To Work From Home

How to Start Freelancing on oDesk

Freelancing and telecommuting are now popular methods of earning your keep. oDesk has rolled out a number of changes since then. If you want to know how to start on oDesk, aside from having a trusty computer and internet connection, here are simple tips that you can follow.

1. You need to create an account on oDesk. I would suggest a Gmail account because it is more reliable.
2. Choose a username that sounds professional. This will give the clients an impression that you are serious. oDesk now allows you to sign up using your Facebook, LinkedIn, GitHub, Stack Overflow, or Google accounts. Choose one. Multiple accounts on oDesk is a ground for termination of account.
3. Once you have registered, fill out your profile to the best of your ability. If you are able to reach 100%, all the better.
4. Take the oDesk Readiness Test.
5. Download the oDesk team client.
6. Take the identity verification. It takes time but it adds to your credibility.
7. There are a of skill tests on oDesk such as English tests, Office Skills test, and so much more. These tests contain 40 items and be sure that when you are going to take it, answer to the best of your ability. A failing grade is not displayed on your profile and you can retake the test after one month.

How to Get Hired on oDesk

Applying for a job on oDesk is pretty much similar to your normal job application in companies. The difference is that application is done virtually. You have to write an impressive cover letter, present a resume, undergo an interview, undergo a testing phase, and all those stuff.

 Are itching to land that first job? Here are a few tips that might come in handy.
1. Complete your profile and take necessary tests related to your experience. This is one way of proving yourself worthy.
2. Do not use a generic cover letter. Your cover letter must convey your interest for the job. Sell yourself. This is the time to boast about the things that you are good at.
3. Read the job description and follow instructions. There are job posts that test you such as letting you write a word on top of your cover letter to see if you are able to follow instructions.
4. Since you can dictate your rate, do not sell yourself short. Indicate a fair rate that you think you deserve. Some would put up insanely low rates especially if you want to gain experience on oDesk.
5. Have a webcam and headset ready in case the client prefers a video call.

How to Get Paid on oDesk

Not getting paid after doing the job well is frustrating. I've had my share of clients who ran away and wasted my time by not paying me. It is a risk in itself - applying to job in oDesks especially Fixed Price contracts. To minimize non-paying clients, here are some things that you need to know.
There are 2 types of contracts on oDesk:
!. Hourly
2. Fixed price
The Difference
Hourly - you are ensured payment. When client does not pay, you are protected by oDesk guarantee.
Fixed price - you may or may not be paid. The most you can do is report the client to oDesk. oDesk does not guarantee payment for thus type of contract.

Tips When Accepting Job Invites or Applying to Jobs

1. Check the feedback score of the client. Read the feedback of previous contractors so that you will have an idea on the track record.
2. See if there is a green check on the payment method verification. Be wary when applying under jobs that have no verified method of payment. This means that their credit cards are not on oDesk systems and you may not get paid.
3. You can also check the number of hours and the amount spent on oDesk. This is a good indication of the client's capacity to pay and credibility.
4. For fixed price jobs, as for an upfront payment. This is one way of ensuring that you are not totally on the losing end in case the client runs out on you.