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April 22, 2015

How Important Are the oDesk Skills Tests?

Do the oDesk skills tests really matter when you consider the answers are available everywhere on the web?

Thing is, the upside of getting high scores on these tests is very limited; however, the downside of NOT having them is enormous.

Here’s what I mean:

Do the Tests Matter?

They matter in the sense that if they’re not there clients will wonder why.

Imagine a client looking at 10 different freelancer profiles. Nine of them have a PHP test with a score in the top 1% and one of them doesn’t have it at all.

That will stick out to them and could be enough for them to pass on your profile.

So, the prevalence of the tests on freelancer profiles makes them important have.

However…

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You Won’t Instantly Get Clients Hiring You in Droves Because You Pass the PHP Test

The upside is very limited. Clients will see it, like that it’s there but it won’t do a ton to convince them to hire you.

Think of it as a hedge.

The tests are about eliminating a negative not generating a positive.

Especially, since a lot of clients know the answers are available all over the web. They don’t put a ton of stock in it.

But…

This Brings Up a Larger Issue

The truth is… there’s not ANY one thing on your profile that will suddenly make clients trust you enough to hire you.

It’s about ALL the things.

It’s about:

  1. Specializing and make a very specific offer on your profile
  2. Creating congruence among all the items ON your profile

Meaning, everything on your profile should be relevant to the specific offer you’re making.

Your headline, service description, photo, tests, certifications, job history, portfolio, testimonials… all of it.

I purposefully keep things I’ve done off my profile and website because it’s not perfectly relevant to what I’m offering.

Makes sense, but here’s the thing…

To Know and NOT Do Is Really Not To Know

I’ve mentioned a lot of this stuff before. Some of it I even harp on in almost every podcast I do.

The problem is, I see so few people still doing it… and it’s so fundamental to having success as a freelancer.

So, I challenge you to put this into action:

  1. Identify your niche. What specific offer can you make to clients?
  2. Upgrade your profile. What changes do you need to make so everything is relevant?
  3. Bid on RELEVANT jobs. What relevant jobs exist NOW that you can bid on?

Start doing these things and you should see more success.

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