Tips on How to Get that First oDesk Assignment

Here some tips that could help oDesk newbies out there to land on that first assignment.

Here goes…

1. Spruce up your profile. Remember that there are thousands of oDesk providers that have the same skills as you do. You need to be assertive enough to market yourself to get that first oDesk assignment. Check out other profiles to get ideas on how to do it.   

2. This next tip is very important. Remember that the first thing an oDesk buyer looks at is your hourly rate. If you've just registered and haven't received any assignments yet, it would be best to go for a low rate first. Believe me, it works. I cannot stress enough how important this is. I guess I can only tell you that a lot of my fellow oDeskers were surprised to learn that I got my first assignment in less than a month while they had to wait for several months to get their first gig. 

3. Never go tired of applying. 

4. Be the first to check out the new Job openings at oDesk everyday. Although oDesk sends you a daily update thru email of the latest job openings, you would be at an advantage if you get to apply while there's still a short list of applicants.

5. While waiting, take tests that match your skills. Show scores that really prove that you have mastered your skill. You wouldn't want an oDesk buyer to see a score of 2.5 out of 5.0 in Article writing if you are promoting yourself as an article writer. 

6. Prepare a good cover letter. When I say good, it must be really good. Ready made cover letters are good, but if you are really serious about your application, it would be best to come up with something that is tailored to the needs of your prospective buyer. 

7. Be available on instant messengers for a chat interview. If you mentioned in your cover letter that you'll be available on Skype or Yahoo Messenger from 8am to 12pm Eastern Standard time, then you have to be online during that time frame.

8. Once an interview is finished, send a thank you email to the buyer. It may sound redundant since you would be thanking the interviewer at the end of the chat session. But believe me, it helps. Remember, you are not the only one who's being interviewed by that buyer. 

9. Build a good relationship with your buyer. Make sure that you meet his needs (don't overdo it though). Building a good relationship has a lot of lasting benefits. Not only will it help you get a good feedback score at the end of the assignment, you also increase the chances of getting your buyer hire you again for future assignments. That I guess is the most fulfilling part – establishing trust.

Once you've followed these tips, and have successfully ended an assignment with a good feedback score (that's 5 stars, of course), you now have the option to either stay with your current rate if you're already comfortable with it or take it a notch higher, if you think you're worth it.