Online Work Tips & Best Practices
March 7, 2012 by Amy Sept

Does your online profile captivate your potential clients and leave them wanting to know more? Or does it just leave them wanting?

In a recent article for Forbes, business consultant George Bradt said there are just three true job interview questions:

Can you do the job?
Will you love the job?
Can we tolerate working with you?

Particularly when it comes to online work, the responsibility for your first — and sometimes only — impression is often shouldered by your online profile. Does your profile hit all the right points?

Bradt observed that all job interview questions relate back to the same three themes: Your strengths, motivation, and fit for a particular position. If your written profile doesn’t at least touch on these topics, you may be missing a big opportunity to effectively introduce yourself — and move forward.

It is impossible to anticipate what qualities or skills any random person reading your profile might need. But what would your ideal client be looking for? Try to envision — or, even better, take time to research — the characteristics your ideal client would typically look for. Write your profile with them in mind.

Can you do the job?

Before you start writing, define your strengths and the type of work you’re looking for. Bradt noted that technical skills are important, but leadership and interpersonal skills matter, too.

Beyond your ability to do the job, what unique qualities can you bring to a position? You should keep your profile brief, but you may be able to choose particular words and phrases to make your profile more reflective of your unique approach.

One hard truth: Focusing on a particular skill set may lead to lost work. People looking for skills you are not promoting will continue looking for someone who can meet their needs. However, if you focus on the work you want to do — not just the work you can technically do — you are more likely to attract clients who need help with the projects you enjoy most.

Will you love the job?

Why do you do what you do? Business leaders increasingly recognize that people are motivated to work harder on projects they enjoy doing. Does your profile hint at the excitement you feel when faced with a new challenge? When trying to capture that excitement, ask yourself what inspires you to keep working instead of changing to a different career.

Can we tolerate working with you?

Working on a team always has benefits and challenges; the same is true when you are working remotely. While writing your profile, let your personality come through. Ask yourself: What sort of team member would your ideal client be looking for — strictly professional, business casual, playful, or even perhaps edgy?

Many different factors impact how a potential client will perceive your strengths, motivation and fit — and not all can be addressed through your profile. However, if you can start to answer these critical questions and provide an intriguing glimpse into who you are and what you can do to help someone's business, you may just be able to edge out your competition.

Is anything missing from this list? What profiles have you come across that you felt were fantastic? Share your comments and examples in the comments section below!

Amy Sept

Managing Editor

As Managing Editor at oDesk, Amy Sept has more than a decade of communications experience and a passion for helping nonprofits and small businesses succeed. She is an experienced freelancer and the founder of Nimbyist Communications, a marketing and public relations business specializing in nonprofit promotions. She has previously studied both journalism and music, and before launching Nimbyist was manager of communications for a mid-sized… read more

  • sashank

    sir/madam i have question but not a comment & if u can reply to my question it will be helo full to me.......
    many interviewers ask tell about your profile/ what is your profile?
    what is correct answer to it & what is profile related to in this question..?

  • http://www.promarketerhub.com Eapen

    These points are the key aspects in grabbing the interest of a potential employer. Very well said Amy.

    • http://www.nimbyist.com Amy

      Thank you very much, Eapen!