Tests, Ratings and Credential Verifications
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If you want to go beyond the “usual stuff”, such as education and experience, most freelancing sites provide additional options that you can use to enhance your profile. These areas are designed both to help clients learn more about you, and to also help provide them with more confidence that your profile is legitimate, and that you are qualified for the kind of work you want to do.
The best way of demonstrating that you are competent is via a portfolio, a work history and a good track record of past feedback. But what if you’re relatively new, or work in a field where a portfolio isn’t really appropriate? One option is to take tests provided by freelancing sites, which allow you to show clients that you know your stuff in a variety of areas. These are usually computer-generated, multiple-choice tests that ask you questions, then assign you a score that you can display on your profile.
Most sites offer tests for free, and they don’t usually take very long to do, so there’s no good reason not to do them, especially if you’re a new contractor. However, there’s a few caveats to bear in mind.
First, don’t take too many tests, and don’t bother with ones that aren’t directly relevant to your freelancing field. A long list of tests can seem like “resume padding” to some clients.
Second, be sure you understand the rules about test score display for each site before you take any tests: the most important issue is whether you can choose to display or suppress test scores. Taking a test and then scoring poorly on it is much worse than not taking the test at all! And bear in mind that in this context, “poor” often means “anything less than excellent”—clients want the best people, not average ones. And they definitely don’t want those who are just barely able to scratch out a passing grade in something they claim to know well.
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Last Site Update: February 1, 2012
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