How to apply for a job online is a good question. If you want to start a career from home, you will be encountering a lot of how to questions in your life. And this is one of the first questions that you will ask.
But before you can ask yourself that question, you need to know what outsourcing website you will entrust your online career to. Odesk.com is one site that I can recommend more than the rest. That is because I have been successful in finding employers through this site. All you need to do is to create an account in Odesk and you can start applying for a job.
But wait. We still haven’t answered the question of how to apply for a job online.
TIPS WHEN APPLYING FOR A JOB ONLINE
Here are a few tips when you are applying for an online job.
1. Build a great profile. Before an employer gets in touch with you, they will be looking at your profile first. Provide details like your skills, work ethics and your availability. The last one is very important because a lot of employers online are not necessarily in the same time zone as you are. Indicate if you are willing to work night shifts just to coincide with their schedule. If not, state that in your profile as well. Your profile must also include your photo. It helps ensure employers you are who you say you are.
2. Create a strong portfolio. When a friend of mine was teaching me how to apply for a job online, she strongly recommended that I create a portfolio. Looking back, I realized that my employers probably didn’t care about my corporate work experience. When I started in oDesk, I had no real online experience. I was shifting from the retail industry to freelance writing. That was two very different niches. However, I took the time to create a portfolio where I placed samples of my written articles. I believe that was what employers looked at to gauge if I had the right skills for the job.
3. Choose your employers. This probably goes against the principle of someone who is just starting to learn how to apply for a job online. Hear me out. It’s not really about being choosy – you are just being cautious. I have read about several contractors who have been scammed out of their hard work. After they submit the output, the employer suddenly disappears and they are left with no payment for the job they did.
In Odesk, they have a verification method that tells contractors if an employer pays for a job. It is what they call guaranteed payment. I usually go for this type of payment method so Odesk itself will make sure I get paid. Outsourcing websites have their own verification. Take the time to read about them so you know what you should look for in an employer.
4. Read through feedbacks. I always read through feedbacks from past contractors before I apply for a job. It gives me an idea about how employers treat their contractors. If read one or two negative comments about the employer, I skip the application and move on to the next job opening. I always trust my gut feel about an employer. If something about the feedback does not feel right, I back away.
It’s not really difficult to find out how to apply for a job online. But reading through the experiences of actual contractors has helped me a lot. Feel free look for community forums about online employees and contractors. You will really learn a lot. You can browse through the Odesk Community Forum for contractors to find out more tips.
Update: Odesk is now called Upwork (www.Upwork.com)