• Advice

These profile mistakes could cost you the gig

If you’re a member of a freelancing site, it’s important to learn all you can to maximize your chances of getting the freelance jobs you want. There are some mistakes by experts and beginners alike that affect their chances of getting hired — even when they're the perfect fit for the position. Avoid them yourself, and set yourself up for success.

Not spending enough time on your profile

If you’re missing any aspects of your profile, potential employers won’t be able to tell if you meet the criteria for skills or experience that they want. If you don’t list what you can do, you also will have a lot of trouble coming up when clients search for those skills.

You should do everything you can so clients can find and get to know you easily by creating a profile with personality and character. Post a high-quality profile photo showing you in a professional, friendly light. Be clear about what you can do by including a list of services, as well as the necessary keywords for you to show up in a search.

Not updating your profile regularly

Once your profile is done, you can’t just let it sit there without reviewing it regularly. Make sure your profile is always up to date and shows your current skills and employment information. If you haven’t made any changes or updates in over a year, you can assume it’s time.

Regularly add work to your portfolio and include that work in your list of services. Be sure to ask for feedback from employers once you finish a job. Be aware of skills that are in demand and if the platform permits, take the necessary skill tests to back up your claims.

Including only generic information

The last thing you want is for your title and work description to look the same as millions of other freelancers. It’s a sure way to not get hired. Instead, think about what makes you different and why the services you offer are unique to you.

Take a moment to look at your profile from the perspective of a client. Consider if you’re using language that they might use when they search for a freelancer with your skills. Run a search yourself for jobs that are interesting to you and look at the keywords that client use in their descriptions. Be sure to include those keywords in your own profile. Don’t hesitate to look at other freelancers in your field and if they rank well, find out why.

No branding

Even though you’re not a company, you want to show your personal brand. That includes the language you use in your profile and pitches. If you’re too informal, it’ll seem unprofessional, but too formal is often not well received by clients. Think about your intended audience and which communication style they might appreciate.

Lack of a portfolio

It’s essential to show examples of your work. That allows employers to feel confident in hiring you and knowing what they’ll get. Be sure to attach a sample of your work to your profile. If you don’t have anything that you can show, think outside the box. Create something just for your portfolio.

Too much in your portfolio

On the flipside, if you put every single thing you’ve done, your clients will be too overwhelmed and might overlook your best work. Choose the pieces that go in your portfolio carefully, and be sure to organize it well. Show different services with different pieces. As the saying goes, you want to value the quality over the quantity of items.

Ellie Coverdale Ellie Coverdale enjoys sharing tips on how freelancers should market themselves and build their business.

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