If you are an independent professional you know how difficult it can be to find your next project.
There are several methods available for finding contract jobs including referrals and repeat clients. But when you’re stuck in a rut with no work coming your way or just want to expand your reach globally it may be time to turn to the web.
In this article I have reviewed three very different sites for finding independent contract projects. First off I reviewed Guru.com for people looking for short term offsite and or onsite work, ComputerJobs.com for those of you looking for long term contracts with larger corporations and elance.com for individuals looking for small to large projects.
Guru.com is one of the most popular job sites with over 400,000 registered users. Guru provides an organized easy to use interface with two ways to browse for jobs, the search function and a Yahoo like directory. Using the advanced search you can find gigs based on job type, location and hourly wage. Use the directory if you’re not quite sure what you are looking for or if you want to broaden your search.
Guru.com like many other job sites will send you an email when new listings relevant to your search criteria are added to the site, that feature can be useful but you should monitor this site at least every other day.
When you sign up at guru you will need to create a profile. A profile includes a list of your skills, an overview, education, experience and references as well as a brief description of your ideal gig. Everything in your profile is optional except the overview but you’ll need to include all the information you can if you want to standout among the other 400,000 gurus.
After you complete your profile you might want to do a search for key words you listed in your title and description to see how an employer will see your profile. Guru.com deserves your attention if you are looking for a wide variety of projects small and large.
If you don’t mind working onsite with large corporations ComputerJobs.com is your best resource. New jobs are constantly being added most like I mentioned are large corporations and recruiters looking to fill long-term contracts and permanent jobs.
Be prepared to go through a long rigorous process if you decide to apply for a job on this site, reason? Recruiters usually put their prospects through a more thorough screening and interviewing process.
The ComputerJobs.com site is easy to use and with an advanced search feature finding what you want is fast and easy. Setting up your resume is rather simple but there are some problems with the resume system like the fact it limits you to listing only eight skills. Luckily email addresses are provided for every job listing so you can send a more detailed resume directly to your potential employer.
If you offer consultant services ComputerJobs.com allows you to list your services for free in their Consultants Corner but with over 6000 consultants listed you should try to add a unique spin to your service or find a niche.
Overall ComputerJobs.com is an excellent resource for seasoned professionals looking for corporate projects.
eLance.com is a unique site that allows you to bid on individual projects. You can choose from several categories including page design and graphic design. In all the categories competition is very fierce with bids poring in every minute. Bidding usually lasts for several weeks so you will need to be patient and check your bid status often.
All bidding is public on eLance.com that means not only can your bids be seen by all, the messages you post to the buyer can be seen as well. If an email address is available you are better off taking your conversation private via email.
The whole process can be very exciting and educational if you have the time and patience but be very careful if you decide to bid on a project because sometimes the project details are very sketchy. Not knowing what it will take to complete the project you could get yourself in deep before you know it. Again email the buyer if you have any questions then place your educated bid.
As you build a career as an independent contractor remember these online sites should not replace your offline efforts. No site can replace happy repeat clients or clients recommending you to others. That said online sites could expand your reach to global clients while exposing you to new long-term client relationships.