oDesk is one of the leaders in the market of freelancers. Like many other freelancing websites, clients post jobs, job seekers apply for jobs, clients can then short list via looking at portfolio, job history or tests taken by the job seeker. Yes, a lot of people are making money by working at oDesk, but then again there are a few problems!
First lets check out the cons:
Too many job seekers!
Especially the newbies are applying for the jobs like anything. In one hour you can get more than 50 applications. Sorting them out could be a hassle but to help you I have this post that will help you with posting jobs at oDesk.
This is really annoying as there is no limit to the minimum dollars per hour, people are getting hired for 0.5 dollars per hour as well. And again the newbies! They are even willing to work for free!
Good for employers bad for employees!
The above two reasons make oDesk a perfect website for the clients to throw their projects, but it is way too difficult to get jobs at oDesk as the competition is so high!
Getting the first job is a big hassle!
Naturally, why would you give your work to someone who has never worked on oDesk before? Doesn’t matter if you have years of experience and a great portfolio, if you have never worked at oDesk, you are not one of them! You will have to work real hard to get the first job and then earn peanuts for that!
People without payment method verified.
A piece of advice about them, stay away! I don’t know why oDesk allows them to post jobs, maybe to show off how many responses they get. But for job seekers’ security this should not be allowed.
People post jobs and never come back!
There is a thing called job quota, for example you can just apply for 20 jobs in a week. Many times clients post jobs and you apply, clients never respond or short list you for an interview. Now you can only apply for 19 jobs! Annoying!
Fixed price jobs are not secure!
There are two types of payment methods, per hour and fixed. oDesk guarantees per hour jobs but the fixed price jobs are not secure. So be aware before applying!
Having said all this, I would still agree that one should have an account at oDesk, because there are many pros as well:
You get invited for interviews even when you are not applying!
Seriously, I havn’t worked with a new client from about six months now, but there are many companies looking for “work-from-home” people, they send invitations for interviews. They have a different hiring process though, but in my case getting an interview invitation is better then your resume just lying somewhere at some website like monster.com etc.
You might find good employers!
Yep, there was this lady who was willing to pay me $5 per hour just for data entry and Google research work! Now, who does that?
Like I mentioned earlier I have recently not worked with any new client but I have been working with someone I found at oDesk. He is on my LinkedIn as well now. He has been recommending people, getting me more clients that are not from oDesk.
A job for everyone!
One thing I really like about oDesk is that there are all sorts of jobs at oDesk starting from simple data entry to large web development projects. Even if you are a photographer there might be a job for you.
For those who do not have a work experience, they can have their skills verified to some extent by taking tests. If you are good at lets say Photoshop, there are many tests of different versions of Photoshop. You can take those test and prove you skills.
Work Diary keeps track of hours worked!
As mentioned earlier there are two type of jobs. oDesk guarantees the per hour jobs thanks to the work diary that keeps track of everything being done on your screen. So client will have to pay for the job!
Bottom line, if your question is be or not be? I say you be! Do create an account at oDesk, complete a your profile, give a test or two, create a rich portfolio and apply! It is worth a short! Worked for me!