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Table Of Contents  The Online Freelancing Guide
 >  Planning and Managing Your Online Freelancing Business

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Helping Your Family and Friends Make the Adjustment
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Selecting an Appropriate User Name
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Building and Tuning Your Profile and Portfolio

When you apply for a full-time job, you send in a resume, which provides pertinent infor­mation about your training and background to help convince an employer to hire you. With online freelancing, the equivalent mechanism is the contractor profile. Your profile lets potential clients learn about your education, work experience, and even something about your personality, to help them decide if you’d be a good fit for them and their projects.

The profile is an essential part of ensuring success in online freelancing, yet one that a surprising number of contractors do not devote enough attention to optimizing. The profile is what a client will look at if you apply to a project and your proposal is at least good enough to elicit interest. However, profiles are also viewed directly by clients who do searches for contractors before posting projects. If your profile is good, you have a higher chance of increasing that most valuable resource: the project invite. If it’s poor, you may be cheating yourself out of opportunities that you’ll never even know existed.

This section contains a great deal of advice for creating profiles on freelancing sites that I hope you will find useful. I start by discussing some of the issues involved in choosing a user name, and also look at the ups and downs of profile pictures (the number of issues involved here is surprising!). I give you tips on how to structure your introduction, summary information and tagline for maximum effectiveness, and go over some of the issues involved in selecting an hourly rate. I then give you some ideas on how to fill out important profile sections, including education, experience, keywords, tests and credentials. I conclude with recommendations for setting up a work portfolio that will help showcase the best of your work to future clients.

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Last Site Update: January 30, 2012

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