True, your oDesk profile overview is one of the first impressions you’ll make with prospective clients. But do you really need to load it up with a ton of keywords and fluffy language? How much does the overview statement impact your position in the oDesk search results?
Let’s take a closer look.
(Please be advised that effective May 2015, the oDesk marketplace was renamed to be called the Upwork marketplace. The tips in this article reference the oDesk marketplace, but they still apply. Learn more here.)
How to Write an Overview that Appeals to Prospective Clients
While I can’t speak to the oDesk search algorithm, I can offer the following advice (having billed over 4,000 hours as a freelancer via the platform):
Write an Elevator Pitch – Your oDesk profile overview is really just your “elevator pitch” for why a client should hire you. If you were in an elevator with someone, how would you describe your skills and the value you bring to the table? Get to the point quickly and focus on client value.
Don’t Be All Things to All People – I usually avoid hiring contractors who say they are skilled in a bunch of seemingly unrelated areas. For example, I see this all the time: “In the past, I have planned social media posts, designed websites, and I am also skilled in the areas of customer service and sales.” You can’t be good at everything, so don’t overdue it.
Carve Out a Niche – Your oDesk profile overview is a great oppotuniay to begin carving out a niche and establish your credibility. For example, if most of your clients are tech companies, why not state it in your overview? Again, you can’t be an expert at everything and every niche.
Less is Probably More – Most people are going to glance at your overview and look for glaring issues. If you pack your overview with too much information, you may actually reduce the likelihood that someone will contact you. Save a little magic for the interview.
Cluttered = Blah – Poorly constructed sentences, random links, and general clutter can create doubt in the minds of prospects. Clean and simple is better than crowded and crazy.
Here’s What My Profile Looks Like
For what it’s worth, here’s a screenshot of my profile. I hope you find it helpful in your pursuit of an oDesk profile overview sample:
What tips do you have? Comment below to share your secrets.
Matt Keener is the original "Executive in Sweatpants," having built a successful online consulting business (from home). His best-selling book offers tips for capitalizing on outsourcing and freelancing. Matt holds an MBA and has been featured by many recognizable brands, including Upwork (formerly oDesk), Elance, Insightly, the Dave Ramsey Show, and Entrepreneur.com.