Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How to Land Your First Writing Job on Elance

Since you are reading this article, I presume you know what is Elance. It is the world's leading site for online work. They have every kind of online jobs for just about every online worker. The last time I checked the site, they had about 18,000 live jobs available on their dashboard.

Sounds great! IT and Programming alone had over 7500 jobs, while design and multimedia had over 3500 listed jobs. While Writing and Translation was at the third place with about 2500 jobs. On the lower side, while Engineering and Manufacturing featured under 400 jobs, Finance and Management showed barely 300 jobs, and Legal segment showed a measly 183 jobs. From the available figures, it is clear that IT and Programming professionals have the most lucrative opportunity on online work sites including Elance. In other words, if you're technically skilled, you will not have to compete severely for jobs. Here is why? In all there are about 620,000 professionals vying for all jobs available on Elance. Of these, about 538,000 are individuals and about 82,000 are companies.

From available figures, it is clear that over 600,000 professionals are vying for about 18,000 jobs at any time on Elance. On average, there's one job for approximately every 35 persons competing for jobs. This indeed makes landing with a job very competitive. Here's some more statistics. There are about 168,000 IT and Programming professionals competing for 7500 jobs which means about 22 to 23 professionals compete on average for one job. In other words, IT and Programming professionals are at a slightly advantageous position than the rest. In the domain of Writing, 139,000 professionals including companies are found competing for about 2500 jobs, which means on average 55 to 56 professionals will compete for one job. The obvious conclusion - on average a writing professional will find more than two times tougher to get a job in comparison to an IT and Programming professional. Additionally, the average wage of a writer is likely to be less than half of the average wage of an IT and Programming professional.

Moreover, with increased demand for technical writing and the higher wages for the same, IT and Programming professionals have both writing and IT jobs open to them. Therefore, writing professionals would do well to learn technical skills to survive the competition.

Here are some strategies for the writing professionals to land with your first job.

Register with elance and complete your profile. Employers prefer to hire workers with complete profile. Showcase your writing samples in your profile. Employers invariably go through your sample before selecting your bid. Showcase your best work samples.

When bidding for the job, put yourself in the shoes of the employer and try to see what solution the employer is looking for. Tell the employer how best and unique is your solution. Tell them everything you will do and your expectations from the employer. Don't overstate or claim more than you can do or more than you are capable of. Give evidence for your claims.

Take the professional tests available on elance. The score on these tests will inform employers about your expertise. You have the chance to improve you score, so don't hesitate in taking tests.

Try to connect with the employer one on one. Engage them with questions that will help you improve the outcome.

Never bid more than the amount the employer has indicated. Better still, if you're trying to land your first job, bid low.

Don't get disheartened if you do not land a job in your first month or month after month. On average for every 55 or 56 bids you make, you are likely to land with a job. That's the average - you may get more or less. However, with completed profile and few professional tests, you're likely to improve your successful bid counts, better than the average.

Finally, it is the persistence that pays. Keeping on bidding effectively when a time will come, you will begin getting jobs. Among all the professionals bidding for the jobs, there are actually very few who continue to persist, the rest are weeded you naturally because they have no patience to continue the struggle and continue improving skills. The quitters in fact make the task easier for you.

Half of those currently listed under professionals are not serious. So, don't get disheartened by confrontations with a very large number of bidders. If you can continue and persist, you will likely break ice before you can imagine.

Remember, landing a job on elance requires not extraordinary IQ or talent. All it takes is a systematic course of action combined with persistence.    

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