Grabbing Every Good Opportunity and Sharing It...

06 April 2009

Tips on How to Get that First oDesk Assignment

First off, I would like to congratulate those people who signed up on oDesk recently. You are on your way to earning a good weekly income. To those who have not signed up yet I suggest you do (Here's the link).

The On Demand Global Workforce - oDesk

For those who don't have any idea of what I'm talking about, you may check out my blog post about earning from home. You'll also see my weekly earnings there.

Next, ever since I posted a screenshot of my weekly earnings from oDesk, a lot of people have been asking me how I did it. I figured it would be best to post 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 timeframe.
  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.

Happy Job Hunting!

Related posts:

Earning from Home

How to Become An oDesk Freelance Provider


Gem said...

Nice tips. Those are also the ones that helped me land my first job.

Do you think oDesk gets saturated already with providers? I do. I wonder if there are jobs that are enough to satisfy newcomers.

Anonymous said...

I am just new to oDesk and haven't got my first gig yet. I just finished oDesk readiness test the other day and still have to take some more test to prove my skills. I believe oDesk is the way to go specially if you want to earn extra money, and just doing it at home. I am looking forward to earning a regular income in oDesk, that's why I am reviewing and honing all my skills from all previously learned softwares and applications. I may take me sometime to get my first job, but I think it will be worth it. After I got my first job, I'll post again. Thanks for the inspiration. - Orlando O.

JC said...

You're welcome, Orlando. While it may be a challenge to wait for that first gig, it is also an opportunity for you to spruce up your profile by taking tests related to your skills and building up your portfolio. Don't give up! Allot time in applying for jobs related to your skills. Also, take time to come up with a "buyer-friendly" cover letter, as that is the first step in establishing relationship with the buyer. I hope you get that first assignment soon! I wish you all the best!

anil said...

I landed here from the oDesk newsletter in my mail box. There are talks that go around saying that you deserve what you get depending on what you quote..that a lower quote reflects the quality..:(
I haven't landed one so far on oDesk in spite of nine tests scores on display?

What do you suggest?

Elean said...

Anil, I think the quote doesn't necessarily reflects the quality of work you do. It's just being competitive amongst others, especially if you are a newbie.
But once, you've earned your good ratings (as many five stars ratings), thus proving your worth, it would follow that you could quote as high as reasonably as you can. :)
Good luck to us all!!!
Go Pinays Go!!!

JC said...

Very well said @Elean. It will also help if you cover all bases. While taking tests that show your skills will give buyers an idea of what you can do, beefing up your profile with your portfolio, coming up with a good business objective and title, and composing a really good cover letter would also increase your chances of landing on that first assignment. Good luck!

Mielou said...

Hi! Thanks for the tips! I followed your tips and I was invited for an interview for a job I haven't applied for yet! :) I'm going to continue coming to your site. Thanks again! :)

JC said...

Hello, Mielou! That's great news! I wish you all the best in your oDesk career!

Anonymous said...

hi, im just new to odesk. just wondrin what should my basic hourly pay be?

現在建築式™ said...

My Blog
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Marinela said...

Do you need a paypal account to receive payment? Do you know of any similar sites who use bank accounts instead? Reply would be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Liz said...

I am also earning from odesk now. :)

Anonymous said...

hi.. a am new to odesk and starting to work now but still having problems on how to get my payment cause i dont have a paypal and bank account is it possible that they pay you thru Cheque?

Md.Kamal said...

I agree with you.This is very informative post.Thank you very much

Md.Kamal said...

I agree with you.This is very informative post.Thank you very much

Anonymous said...

It took me 2 months before I landed my first project but it was all worth it. You just have to be patient and everything else JC suggested :) Together with my portfolio, I also managed to get high ratings and great testimonials which I feel helped me now to get more interviews as well as a regular client! I truly love the way I work now!

earn money online said...

Great post but the problem with odesk nowadays is that it has been plagued by all kinds of s**t, there are employers who are very abusive as well the influx of low quality workers whose affecting those who have talents. It is now very hard to find a job in odesk unlike before where right away I get a lot of invitations and interviews. I guess now Odesk has been going into the direction of being the same with microworkers.

Anonymous said...

thanks for your nice tips and inspiration.

Crystal Yorker said...

The problem with your first oDesk job is the same problem you'll have with your 100th assignment...writing cover letters over and over trying to sound original. Since finding (where no cover letters are needed), I spend my freelance time actually WORKING and making money instead of writing cover letters...just my two cents.

Nheri Rose Gumayagay said...

Thanks for sharing! You can also be a home-based data entry specialist and start earning money. For more information, kindly visit

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