With the Gig Economy in full swing, and millions of jobs available, consultants and freelancers are moving forward faster to connect with companies who want, and need, their expertise. The fact is, most freelancers and consultants are paid more than companies pay people who work 9-5 jobs. Consultants and freelancers can accept jobs they prefer, work where they want and when they want.
One important part of appealing to companies via freelance sites/platforms is it’s the normal process to bid on jobs you’re interested in. Because you are an independent worker, you must specify – to each company you want to offer your services to or to companies who connect and want to hire you – what your fee is and exactly what work is included within that fee. This is part and parcel of what’s called the ‘bidding process’.
It’s absolutely necessary to know how to utilize the bidding process to your advantage in order to secure jobs you are qualified for.
Companies post jobs on freelance sites hoping to quickly find individuals who are skilled and experienced for specific jobs they are immediately in need of completing. A well-written Job Bid can show both your personality and ability to communicate besides delineating your skills and expertise.
There are several important steps to take to increase the chances a prospective employer will consider your bid, first, and hire you.
Here are 5:
First of all – and very importantly – we discovered words you include in your bid do matter. And writing more is generally not helpful. The fact is hiring pros and decision-makers are busy people, who are scanners, freelance marketplace moderators say. So get to the point quickly.
While your Profile page acts as a marketing tool for you 24/7 you can often receive job offers on the strength of that alone. That said, it should be periodically updated and include any new samples of work you’ve completed. But generally it’s the combo of the Bid and Cover Letter – together – which raise the bar, encouraging a hiring pro or decision-maker to contact you for a conversation about the job, say freelance pros.
Tip 1 – Do your ‘due diligence’.
Unless you already know it, perform some simple research to discover what the current pay rate is for a particular job you intend to bid on. While a job you’re interested in may utilize several of your skills, the job being advertised may not be a specific job you’ve encountered in the past. Perform some simple research using a salary calculator; which will provide an idea of what pay you can expect to receive for almost any job. Several freelance marketplaces have free salary calculators for use.
It’s important to know what the current pay rate is for each job you bid on. When you don’t know the current pay rate for jobs in your category or niche, you might submit a Bid which may be so far off the mark it’s ignored.
Tip 2 – Update your work portfolio – showing your most current work samples before bidding.
Profile Page: Freelance marketplaces say you should have a complete Profile page – portfolio, current personal photo, recommendations, skills and expertise posted. Having an incomplete Profile, say freelance pros, can cause you to lose out on being awarded a job; though you may be well qualified.
Pros, tell us, a poor profile page can signal someone who fails to follow set guidelines. Plus it’s considered unprofessional.
Portfolio / Work Samples: If you want jobs to be awarded to you quickly, you must have samples of your work, or portfolio, either uploaded to your profile page or with links to access the info listed on your Profile page. This, say freelance marketplaces, is absolutely essential. Uploading them, so they’re available for viewing once a company decides to contact you, can make the process of being awarded a project go faster, say pros.
Copyright your portfolio and work samples: As with all content and work posted online, you must protect it. Samples provided should bear a watermark or other appropriate identification such as the Copyright symbol. Free copyright symbols .
Add in good photos of your work: Poor quality photos can make great work look questionable or poor. If you have them, upload some photos which generally relate to the type of job you are currently bidding on. Needless to say, you should upload only your best work.
Tip 3 – You must choose posted jobs and/or projects which match your skills and expertise.
These should be jobs or projects you have experience performing in the past – or are currently being hired to perform. Some freelance marketplaces require you have at least one skill to qualify for a job. And information included, in your profile, which proves that. And in some cases accreditation, or certification, for certain skills, will be required.
Tip 4 – Read the project / job description carefully.
First, read the job post or project information, from start to finish. Then return to the beginning and re-read it; taking time to digest it and determine exactly what the hiring company is requiring of you.
Be aware – a company may have added into the job post a unique word, phrase or numbers they require you to include within your bid in order to have it considered.
Before writing up your bid, first type in the unique phrase or word. Then write a line or two about what you understand the project to be. This would technically be considered a summary. This shows the company posting the job you actually read the post, know and understand what you are expected to do to complete the project. Note – Adding in a unique word or phrase is done by many companies to make it easier to eliminate those who don’t understand the requirements. Adding a summary – 1-3 lines – will help keep you in the running for the job.
Tip 5 – Write a Bid which is clear and concise.
A well-written proposal (Bid) can help you stand out from the competition and market you, subliminally, as the best person for the job. In short, freelance pros say solid, winning proposals (Bids) are simple, concise and easy to read.
NOTE: The employer may have received dozens of bids. But aren’t likely to read each and every word you write. They’re scanners; so make every word count.
Tip 6 – Personalize each bid for the job you choose.
Freelance marketplaces have discovered hiring companies dislike what’s called ‘boilerplate’ bids. These are the ‘copying and pasting’ – resume-style – of generic information about yourself, skills and expertise.
Also – failing to address the specifics of the job you’re bidding on can get your Cover Letter or Bid ignored or tossed. Doing this doesn’t allow you and your expertise to stand out from the crowd as the best person for the job.
Tip 7 – Don’t be wordy; be concise.
Don’t be wordy with your Cover Letter, Bid or Profile page. It should be tightly written; devoid of useless words. Bottom line – make every word count.
Wordy Bids, with unnecessarily long descriptions, will be ignored say freelance pros. Don’t encourage any hiring pro or decision maker to ignore your bid by writing descriptions of skills and experience filled with unnecessary verbiage which add nothing of value to your Bid. Instead, be clear and concise.
One more very important tip – don’t add in unasked for information. While you can add a line – near the end – with expertise and skills which could also be used for the job, but aren’t stated in the job bid, NEVER add in information not originally asked for in the job post. This will simply ‘muddy the waters’ (confuse the reader), get the hiring pro off topic. And could potentially lose you the job. When you eventually communicate with the hiring pro you can bring up this info if appropriate.
Submitted by – Jean L. Serio CEIC, CDI, CPC, CeMA
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