Creating an Eye-Catching Profile on oDesk

Title

The title section of your profile is very important because it is your one chance to stand out from the other providers in your niche. Your title should let potential buyers see at a glance what you have to offer. For example, if you are a freelance writer, your title might read:

Experienced Web Content Provider, 3 Top 10% Skills – eBooks, Articles, Landing Pages, More

What does this let the buyer know about you? Number one, that you have experience (which is important), and that you have experience writing web content (which is also a sought-after skill). Your title also lets the buyer know that you have taken three oDesk skills tests and placed into the top percentile. The remainder of the title shows that you are skilled enough to create eBooks, articles, landing pages, and more. This is an exemplary and eye-catching title.

Portrait

The portrait section of your provider profile allows you to upload a portrait of yourself. A professional photograph allows the buyer to put a face with the skills that you have. Some providers also choose to use a graphic as their provider profile picture. Whatever you choose, don't leave this place blank because it makes you appear less than authentic. Also, be careful that the picture you choose is in good taste and that you look as if you're ready for a job interview in the photo.

Personal Email

This is the email that oDesk will keep on file in order to send you messages, account alerts, account notifications, and more. Also, this is the email that buyers will use to contact you for interviews. Make sure that the email you list is one that you check frequently.

Hourly Pay Rate

The hourly pay rate that you establish when you create your account is the amount that any jobs you are hired for will be billed at. You will always have the option to raise or lower your hourly pay rate as you see fit; keep in mind that the hourly rate you set is the rate that the buyer will pay minus oDesk fees. For example, if your hourly pay rate is $18, the buyer will be billed $20 per hour. When applying for hourly assignments, you will also have the option to raise or lower your rate for each particular job during the application process.

oDesk Readiness

Your profile will indicate to buyers whether or not you are oDesk-ready. Being oDesk "ready" simply means that you have completed the "open-book" oDesk Readiness Exam. You cannot work on oDesk until you have completed this exam. The oDesk Readiness Exam ensures oDesk that you understand their procedures and guidelines.

Profile Access

When creating your oDesk provider profile, you must decide if you want everyone to see your profile, or if you want your profile to be viewed by authenticated users of the oDesk system only. If you choose to allow only authenticated users to view your profile, then only those users who have been authenticated by oDesk will have access to your profile.

Weekly Availability

Your weekly availability simply states the number of hours you are available for work each week. Be sure to set this at a comfortable figure; you don't want to overbook yourself.

Objective

The objective that you state when filling out your provider profile gives the buyer a better look at what you bring to the table and why he should hire you.  If you are looking for jobs in the administrative support area, your objective might read:
I am a native English-speaking administrative support professional residing in the United States who has placed in the top ten percent on three oDesk examinations: Windows XP (92nd percentile), computer skills (95th percentile) and office skills test (97th percentile.  I am a highly proficient typist who keys an average of 85 wpm without error.  I am familiar with most office software, including MS 2007 and earlier version, Excel, Access, and Quicken.  During my ongoing academic career, I developed great research and writing skills that allow me to quickly write reports, letters, and more.  I am very dependable and pride myself on punctuality and meeting deadlines.

Portfolio Projects

The portfolio projects section of your provider profile allows you to show potential buyers what type of work you have done in the past. You can upload documents, pictures, and videos to the portfolio section that are original works that have been completed by you.

Employment History/Educational History

Both of these sections of the provider profile are completed much like an online job application. Fill in dates that you worked or attended school, where you worked at, the name of the school, the job title you held, the degree(s) you received, etc.

Certifications/Skills/Other Experience

This section of your provider profile should list any certifications you have received, any other skills that you have, and other experience that makes you qualified for the projects/positions that you wish to apply for.
 
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