Enter Elance – Part 2

Just got here? Here’s Part 1.

Next, you set up your profile by adding education and employment info. You don’t have to, but it helps you get jobs, because the client can see what you can do. Papers [or lack of them] are not necessarily a disadvantage online. On the internet, most people don’t care if you’re a boy or girl, if you’re black or yellow, if you have three PhDs or a high school diploma. What they care about is your skill, and you can show that clearly in your bid.

Speaking of skills, Elance has lots of free tests that you can do to prove how good you are. All the tests are multiple choice and are timed at 20 to 40 minutes. Some of them are pretty hard. When I first joined, I was afraid to bid and fail, so I procrastinated by spending six hours doing tests. I told myself I was improving my chances of being hired, but I knew I was just stalling. I did about 12 tests and failed two of them. Four more tests were registered as incomplete because I chickened out after doing three or four questions. Incomplete grades you as auto-fail by the way.

Depending on the type of membership you have, your profile will show between 5 and 20 test skills. They’re important because when you bid on  job, the client will check to see if you have the right skills for it. Fortunately, you have an option to hide your failed tests, so phew. Also, if you fail a test [or if you want a higher score] you can resit the test after 14 days.

Let’s see, what else. Oh, you have a number of connects every month which allow you to bid jobs. Most jobs need just one connect to bid, but the higher the budget, the more connects you need. Free  membership gives you ten connects a month, which means you can’t bid on more than ten jobs, although you can buy more connects at any time. 10 extra connects cost $5. I have a paid membership, so I pay $10 per month and get 25 connects. I generally bid on one job per day. Combine this with GAF and I’m trying out for 6 jobs every day, though I don’t bid when I have clients waiting; I don’t want to be overwhelmed and end up breaking deadlines.

Being the Queen of Technobofia, I had a few issues registering on Elance. I somehow managed to book myself in as a programmer, so I couldn’t bid on any writing jobs. I tried to correct it but got nowhere, so I registered a new account, this time as a writer, but it wouldn’t acknowledge my membership so I couldn’t do any tests. Then, because I had two account on the same IP, both accounts were suspect and kept asking me to prove that I was really me. *russumfussumsecretquestions*

I asked Support for help, and this awesome lady named Sophie helped me out without so much as a giggle. She deleted one account, corrected the second account, and upgraded me to 25 connects. I’m amazed she was so patient, as it took 10 emails between us to fix everything. I’m clearly a Passenger D kind of girl, but you rock Sophie.

When I finally got over my fear [and ran out of tests to do] I bid on four jobs, then I went to sleep. Two bids were $100 each, one bid was for $250 and the fourth was for $300. I used up four of my 10 free connects. That day had been particularly rough, because I hadn’t won a bid for five days. I went into panic mode and bid on seven GAF jobs plus the four on Elance.

… to be continued …

Crystal Ading’ is a professional author, editor, rock lover and mother. Her work is available through www.threeceebee.com.

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  1. […] Just got here? Here is Part 1 and Part 2. […]

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