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10 Red Flags to Watch Out for when Applying for Jobs Online

11/16/2016

Earn dollars.
Work from home.
Spend more time with family.

Sounds inviting, right?

Inspired to live a more lucrative lifestyle, you have finally decided to join the work from home bandwagon. Welcome aboard! What a great time to dive into the freelancing world. It's a growing market and there are lots of opportunities available for tech-skilled people online.

BUT, don't put your hopes up too high. I must warn you that freelancing is NOT GOING TO BE EASY and job opportunities in the freelance marketplace are not always what they seem to be. For every legitimate job posted online, there are also jobs that are fake! Scammers are getting more creative nowadays. And they prey on newbie freelancers with little to no knowledge about the freelance industry.

Having been in the freelancing industry through Upwork for over 5 years, spotting dubious clients has become a no-brainer to me. I have experienced working with a variety of clients. And I've learned how to be selective and be wary of projects that are just not worth the hassle and waste of time.

If you're a newbie freelancer, you may want to be careful when applying for jobs online. I am sharing with you the most common RED FLAGS to watch out for when looking for jobs online, specifically on Upwork.

10 Red Flags to Watch Out for when Applying for Jobs Online

1. PHISHING guise as SHORTENED URLS/LINKS


You have a job invitation and you're excited! The client is asking you to click an obscured link and download something. DO NOT DO IT.

Be wary of job posts that contain obscured/shortened URLs and ask you to download a fishy software or document. This may redirect you to a login page that looks like a legit (Upwork, Gmail, Paypal etc) account but is actually NOT. It's probably just a copy of a login screen that aims to steal your username & password. So be careful on clicking obscure links like these:

http://ow.ly/(randomletters&numbers)
http://x.co/(randomletters&numbers)

Legit clients post actual URLs and not the covered ones like the above links.

So don't click unknown and suspicious links. And don't enter your login credentials on unfamiliar sites.


2. PAYMENT FOR SOMETHING (REGISTRATION FEE/SOFTWARE TO USE)


A company offers you a job but you need to pay for a software or registration fee to get started and earn money. This DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. Whatever reasons they may tell you, you should never ever pay for something or send money to a prospective employer.

Legitimate companies don’t ask for money. If you’re asked to pay for something, beware.


3. EASY CAPTCHA WORK


SKIP it. It's not real work. It's actually used to automate SPAMMING.


4. FREE SAMPLES


Don't do samples unless paid.


5. TO MANY PEOPLE BEING INTERVIEWED BUT ZERO HIRE


Don't trust employers who send out too many invites, accept a lot of interviewees but hire no one.

They are just probably marketing something or just splits a project up into smaller ones and gives it as test projects to all applicants, thus gets the output for free.

So, check the number of people being interviewed against the number of people hired. If it doesn't add up then just move on to the next one.

10 Red Flags to Watch Out for when Applying for Jobs Online


6. PAYMENT METHOD NOT VERIFIED


Clients with an unverified payment method are either first-time Upwork users or scammers. You can give first-time users a chance but be very careful. Never start working until the client's payment method is settled.

Personally, I don't apply to jobs with no verified payment method. Freelancing is already a gamble, don't make it more difficult by working with clients who have no capacity to pay. Not worth the hassle.


7. VAGUE JOB DESCRIPTION


Good clients can clearly state what they want, what qualification they require, their payment policy and the project duration upfront. If a client just beats around the bush and doesn't clearly state the above things, don't bother applying.


8. LARGE QUALIFICATIONS, DEMANDING JOB but RIDICULOUSLY TINY BUDGET


These are job postings from clients with unrealistic expectations that pay PEANUTS. They will give you too many responsibilities, require too many skills but will pay you for a few bucks only. Not worth it.

You should know your worth.


9. SEND IDs


Don't send IDs or other personal documents. These can be used to empty your account and steal your identity.

Only verify your Upwork profile directly through the platform. Never send out personal IDs/documents directly to a prospective employer.


10. SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE


Job listings that require no skills, give easy work and promise to pay a ridiculously big sum of money. No business in their right mind would actually provide that. If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. STAY AWAY.


KEY TAKEAWAY


Before diving into something, READ & RESEARCH first. Before applying for a job post online, read the job description in its entirety and check the client's history. You will easily notice if something is not right.

TRUST YOUR INSTINCT and use your COMMON SENSE. If you feel that something is off then SKIP and move on to the next one. It will save you a lot of time and from a lot of stress.

Remember, you have skills to offer. The competition may seem fierce but it is possible to make money from freelancing, you just need to learn how freelancing works and filter the bad apples. Be vigilant and think twice when red flags show up. Freelancing is rewarding but can be scary if you don't know what you're getting yourself into. Good luck and be careful out there!

5 Proven Ways to [WINNING JOBS ON UPWORK]

11/04/2016
We live in a rapidly changing world. Whether at home or work, technology has revolutionized a lot of things, including work. Believe it or not, work is now gradually shifting its landscape from corporate to gig-economy (time & location-independent type of jobs). Thanks to the internet, most work can now be done remotely. So if you're someone with relevant skills, someone extremely creative to not be boxed in a 9-5 job, someone who wants more flexibility, and someone who's not afraid to maneuver his career in his own hands, then you may want to take advantage of this rising industry - the freelance industry. And one great way to kick-off your career in the freelance industry is to penetrate one of the biggest freelance platforms in the world, UPWORK.

UPWORK.com is the biggest online platform where business owners and skilled freelance contractors connect and collaborate. But acing quality projects on UPWORK is a pain in the ass. Particularly if you're a beginner. With over a thousand of registered freelancers on the site, expect your applications to get rejected multiple times. And this is frustrating and disheartening most of the time. I know the feeling because years ago, I've been through that phase as well. Competition for projects on Upwork can be tough and you can just easily back down if you're not determined enough. But do not give up. If you could just invest time to MASTER how the PLATFORM WORKS, winning projects on Upwork shouldn't be that rough.

Armed with over 5 years of freelance experience, I have developed effective ways to winning contracts and retaining repeat clients online. These are SIMPLE and STRAIGHTFORWARD strategies that if done right, can work wonders in landing your future Upwork projects. You never know, you may be the next freelancer to receive project offers from Upwork enterprise clients.

Upwork Tips Effective Ways to Winning Jobs on Upwork

1. FIRST THINGS FIRST, COMPLETE YOUR PROFILE


No client is impressed with an incomplete or mysterious profile. Clients are searching for trustworthy freelancers to work with, so complete your profile and make it look LEGIT. Make sure that it is 100% complete and authentic. Make it certain that the information you enter is true. Publish your true identity and be proud. How can a client trust you if you don't even have a decent photo? Upload your high-quality profile photo. Write a SIMPLE and PRECISE JOB TITLE, keep it to less than 10 words and make sure that it highlights your SKILLS. Take Upwork tests and aim to be in the TOP 10% of people who passed. Also, add a portfolio that is related to your niche. Improve your profile and ensure that it showcases your skills and expertise in the best way possible.

An impressive profile is important to landing jobs on Upwork. Having a 100% complete and well-written profile is critical as it represents YOU, your SKILLS, and what you can OFFER to prospective clients.

2. APPLY TO RECENTLY POSTED JOBS


Refresh your job feed and apply to the newest job postings. When clients post jobs on Upwork, they will most likely see and notice the first few applicants. So try to be one of the first few people to apply. Jobs that have been posted for hours or days will most likely have 100+ applicants in it and the chance of getting your proposal read is weak.

You can still apply for jobs that have been posted for a while but check if it has a few number of applicants so your chance of getting seen is still high.





3. GRAB ATTENTION BY STARTING YOUR PROPOSAL WITH THE CLIENT'S NAME


You only have a few moments to stand out from a pool of applicants so maximize it. 

Include the client’s name in your cover letter and you will have the client wondering how in the world had you known his name.

This attests that you paid attention to READ their JOB DESCRIPTION and researched even further. Also, addressing them by their name makes the proposal more PERSONAL.

So how do you get the client’s name?

Check the client’s Upwork history and read the reviews written about them. Other freelancers may have addressed them by their first name or company name in the feedback section. Use that. Sometimes the client's account will be used by multiple hiring managers. Still use a name that you can find. It will CATCH the reader’s ATTENTION.

I have gotten a lot of responses to my proposals due to this method. It's effective, use it.

Here's a sample of a client's work history and feedback which can be found at the bottom part of a job post.

5 Proven Ways to Winning Jobs on Upwork


4. KEEP YOUR COVER LETTERS SHORT & TAILORED


Keep your proposals SHORT, on point and conversational.

Read and take advantage of detailed job descriptions and customize your cover letter accordingly. You can prepare a template cover letter and use it to save time, but make sure to TAILOR it to suit the client's job posting. Most clients will give you clear information on what they're looking for so let them know that you have the required SKILLS and AVAILABILITY to do the job. Echo the client's needs and let them know how you can help.

Also, look for filters. Some clients set specific request to be fulfilled during the application to help them FILTER "copy pasted" applications. If you’re asked to include a keyword or answer specific questions in your cover letter, make sure to include it, else your application will be ignored.

Proven Ways to Winning Jobs on Upwork


5. DO GREAT WORK & TURN 1-TIME CLIENTS INTO REPEAT CLIENTS


For me, getting the job is just the start. The final goal is to deliver quality results and offer a good working experience so they can partner with you again.

Once you land a job, make sure that you don't just work, but DELIVER A GREAT WORKING EXPERIENCE. Communicate, ask questions and adhere to the set deadlines. Be pro-active and responsive. This way, you can turn your clients into repeat customers who will keep coming back because you are so DAMN GREAT TO WORK WITH.

Once you've established yourself as someone who knows what he's doing, dependable, competent and easy to work with, clients will want to work with you more. They will likewise recommend you to others. Thus, CUTS the JOB HUNTING TIME TO HALF. You don't need to search for jobs over and over again.

upwork top rated freelancer profile
just celebrated another year top rated :)

Proven Ways to Winning Jobs on Upwork
upwork profile review
Proven Ways to Winning Jobs on Upwork
Proven Ways to Winning Jobs on Upwork
Winning jobs on Upwork, one of the biggest freelance platforms in the world, can be a STRUGGLE. But DON'T LOSE HOPE. Keep UPDATING YOUR SKILLS, keep IMPROVING YOUR PROFILE and keep applying to jobs. Try these strategies, mix it with your own methodologies and find what works for you. It is not going to be easy, but eventually, you will get better at landing jobs on Upwork.

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