This article offers some helpful advice for freelancers for getting their first gig. With jobs being scarce these days many are finding work as a freelancer. The advantages are numerous, such as doing what you want to do and, for the most part, when you want to do it.
However, getting that first freelance job can be challenging. No matter how good you are at what you do, nobody knows it but you, and possible your family and close friends. Some message boards and online job sites offer plenty of opportunities for freelancers, but it can be tough getting that first job.
If you like this article, you might be interested in some of our older articles on Places to Find Web Design Jobs, Beginning As Freelancer, Ebooks For WebDesigners, Top 5 Skills Web Developers Need Today, and Posting On Other Blogs vs. Having Your Own Blog.
Companies are also interested in freelancers, especially on temporary projects. They don’t have to go through the in-house hiring process and bring in someone full-time or even part-time and there’s usually no animosity when the job is done and they aren’t needed anymore. However, with no dearth of freelancers working online, competition is stiff and you have to make yourself stand out from the rest.
Standing out as a freelancer doesn’t mean you have to wear the newest fashions or dye your hair some obnoxious color in order to get attention. You have to make the pitch based on your experience and demonstrate a willingness to get the job done on deadline and within any cost constraints. Some of the things you can do to even get potential employers to look at your resume will be in your cover letter. Be realistic, for most online freelance jobs, an extensive resume probably won’t be read in its entirety.
In your cover letter you need to be succinct, explaining what you do, how long you have been doing it and, when appropriate, whom you have been doing it for. Your life’s story is not important at this point. Stick to the information in the job description and extol your own virtues in that area. For example, if you are trying to get a freelance job as a webpage designer, listing all of your abilities as a photographer or a writer, probably won’t get you the job.
Develop A Portfolio
Develop a portfolio as many online contractors want something they can see. If you design web pages, a portfolio of three or four should be sufficient. Keep it short and to the point as long lengthy cover letters and resumes over two pages long will likely not get much attention. Most employers simply do not have the time.
Hit The Spot Rightly
The employer has listed in the job announcements what they need to have done. When you apply for the job explain exactly what you can do to complete the assignment and how hiring you will benefit them. It’s OK to brag a little about your expertise, just don’t go overboard, sounding pompous.
During the initial process you also shouldn’t try to tell the employer that they are going about the project the wrong way. This is just not going to over very well with any employer. They will want the job done a certain way and while they may appear to welcome your suggestions, there is a good chance you will not hear from them again.