If you can be a digital nomad off enough working relationships or an existing client portfolio, you already have a HUGE head start. In that case, you just have to continue doing what you already do: in another location. But what about if you’re just NOW starting to be a digital nomad, a freelancer or even looking into online jobs? You have to build your freelancing career from scratch, which is something that takes a long time to achieve. Hell, you probably will do it your whole life in a sense, unless you find a gold mine of constant jobs. No matter how strong your relationship is with a client, his / her business will always be above it. Sometimes it only takes a holiday, sickness or simply be busy with another job to lose a client forever.
And of course, there’s always someone else ready to perform the same job.
Creating or upgrading your client portfolio comes after a very strong and persistent capability of finding online jobs! Given that you’re trying to essentially work online (well, even if you weren’t, job-seeking, in general, is moving that way nevertheless), it makes sense that the search is also made that way. And that means job websites. Yes, there’s an enormous amount of job-related websites out there, with many new ones arriving every day. However, I’m not going to bother you with a long list, or even a list for that matter. Given the general purpose of this article (I’ll make others for translation, for example), for the time being, I’ll just suggest UpWork.
UpWork has become the largest job search website in the world, greatly aided by the merging of two previous industry powerhouses. To go along with that status, UpWork also features the most thorough and pain-in-the-ass kind of requirements and security mechanisms you can imagine. They deserve an article of their own, but for now, what I mean is this: if you can have a strong presence and actually perform jobs on UpWork, you can make it anywhere. Thus, I created the following checklist partly based on common sense job finding tips, as well as other situations that online jobs make you go through.
Here’s a list of job search-related items or actions that you should be prepared to comply with in order to increase your chances in online jobs:
1 – A great CV
Regardless of how you were searching for jobs up until this time, you should already have a CV by now. Not only that but a great influencing CV too. This, of course, is a very large topic in job-related communities and media. There are now many fancy and modern ways to show your CV. More and more paper-based and traditional resumes are being replaced by presentations, videos, interactive formats, websites, while CV-generators also embellish old and boring aesthetics. My most basic suggestions are to create something that relates somehow to your specialization area and really work on the presentation.
2 – A respectful media presence
First of all, you don’t actually need to have any media presence at all. But given that most people have, regardless if you connect those profiles with the job-searching platform or not, eventually you will be found. Sometimes you even signup to those websites using Facebook, right? Ultimately, it’s a good idea to have a clean, consistent and, if you can, high-impact social profile. One that does not demote you but actually promotes you.
3 – A strong portfolio
“Portfolio” is the Internet word for “experience”. Most, if not all, of the possible specialization areas you may have online, can be backed up by a portfolio. Essentially it’s a collection of the projects you’ve performed in the past. Asking for experience or a portfolio is probably the most famous job advertising classic. Be sure to have one built and ready, possible styled the same way as your CV. If you struggle to build a long list, try to include things you did on a personal level, university, etc.
4 – Patience to endure endless profile creations
I hate this part. Even though you have created the fancier CV possible, most websites will still force you to manually insert all your relevant information. I understand that data has to be singled-out in order to be used in algorithms. But still, it’s a freaking pain the ass, especially if you sign into multiple websites.
5 – A compelling cover letter
No matter what people say, you must have some kind of standardized cover letter ready. I really wished we lived in a world where clients read our beautifully crafted motivations for working with them. The truth of applying for freelance or online jobs is very ugly though. You must be fast and often you must be cheap. So at least in the time criteria, be sure to have something ready adequate for the type of job at hand. For example, I use one for each specialization area.
6 – Be available to reply
When you find a job you want to apply to, that’s stage 1 of the process. Stage 2 would be when the client replies. He / she may contact you to settle something they missed or missunderstood in your cover letter. Worse, they may ask for a tiny bit of information which, unknowingly, will immediately dictate your possible exclusion from the job. No matter what is the content of these interactions, make sure you answer FAST. I’ve lost many online jobs in a matter of “dinner time” or even less. Always remember that there’s someone out there faster than you.
7 – Apply to online jobs!
“Practice makes perfect. Water dropping day by day wears the hardest rock away. The road to success is paved with failure.” These are just some of the sayings that describe the experience of then actually applying for jobs. Like photography, do it many times! Only then you’ll actually have the chance of getting the jobs, learn from any mistakes you’re making and improve on your introductory and presentation skills.