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Streamlined Contractor Profiles

****Update as of 12/22/2011****

We've made several updates to the new contractor profile, based on the feedback we received. To see the list of updates, click here

Today we are really excited to announce a brand new design for contractor profile pages!

The contractor profile is at the heart of oDesk. Employers depend on it to assess the capabilities of any contractor, and contractors depend on it to attract employers and grow their careers.

Knowing how important the contractor profile is, we have redesigned it to be more useful and intuitive. The new design presents all key information in one clean, streamlined page; this makes it easier for employers to assess the capabilities of contractors, and for contractors to showcase information they want employers to see.

Here are some of the highlights of this new design:

  • No extra clicks. All key profile information is on one page.
  • Skills are at the top. Employers often look to the skills section first to determine if the contractor would be a good fit for the position. We are also standardizing skills across oDesk to make it even easier for employers to identify the right contractor for the job. Contractors: make sure to update your skills so you can get the most out of the new contractor profile design. Read more about transitioning your skills here.
  • Cleaner, modern design.  It’s easier to read, and we’ve removed extraneous information so employers can focus in on what’s most important to them.

Check out the new profile design today! Share your thoughts about it below.

Vote Result

Score: 2.6, Votes: 62
A) Agree B) There are

A) Agree

B) There are definitely tradeoffs between both designs. Would anchor links serve some of the purpose here?

Someone, please?


I think there's something that some people at oDesk are not realizing: many people make a living from freelancing here. They pay their rent, their bills, etc., with the money they get from working here. You (oDesk) are messing with their main work tool here at the moment!

You announce a few changes like we're getting somewhere by fine-tuning this disaster. We're not! This new ***design*** is wrong and needs a reversing decision. The basic idea behind it is plain wrong. You guys (oDesk) went for a sleek design by sacrificing information... RELEVANT information that employers (you know, the people who pour money into this machine?) use (or used). An old profile would show, AT A GLANCE, what a contractor is about. In just a few seconds, an employer could assess the level of experience, the oDesk experience, and some other pertinent information. Then, that employer (you know, the people who pour money into this machine?) could dig further on the profiles they liked in the first place... And make their choice. And hire the right contractor, and pay said contractor and oDesk.

That john H. was complaining about Google (!) reporting that employers (you know, the people who pour money into this machine?) were not clicking on tabs enough. Didn't it occur to anyone in there that maybe that was because the 'Overview' tab was doing a perfect job, and that employers (you know, the people who pour money into this machine?) then only had to click on a couple tabs of the few profiles that were relevant to their needs?

Now, what do employers (you know, the people who pour money into this machine?)see? A bland profile DEVOID OF INFORMATION. So, they have to click a few times (5, 10, more, times...), for each profile, to have an idea about what said contractor is about. THIS IS THE PART THAT NEEDS SOME FIXING. Like, display the same amount of information as before.

See, one big part of the problem is that you (oDesk) obviously never put yourself in the shoes of an employer (you know, the people who pour money into this machine?): most of them receive 30, 60, 100+ applications for each job. Scanning 100+ old profiles was already time-consuming... Browsing 100+ new profiles will only happen once or twice. And if you insist on wasting their time, you'll lose the employer (you know, the people who pour money in this machine?) because they don't have to deal with this *: they can take their business anywhere at any time. And they will.

Contractors are more difficult to get rid of, but you (oDesk) sure achieved a lot with this move. Probably a few hundred contractors will try/return to another freelance marketplace, and stick there because, maybe, the other place would not hold them in such contempt.

Again: please do not harm our main work tool at oDesk. I can't believe we have to beg for this : ((

Now, could someone in a management position get real, and fix this mess already?

* = would have been removed by some moderator :>

Hi Doreen, Thanks for the

Hi Doreen,

Thanks for the thoughtful feedback.

1. We will show the entire title. Most contractors who have actual titles in their profile instead of skill lists (like yours) actually do fit into the profile, but you are right in that way too many titles get cut off.

2. Color Scheme - we are working on making this more usable. Are there specific parts of the profile that are too washed out for you?

3. For portfolios, one of the ideas we have been working on is to have a link to off site things. Our current portfolios don't serve writers the best. This is something we are starting to put design thought towards, but don't have a quick solution for.

What are some sites that host writing portfolios well?

4. Total Wages: This is a larger discussion that has been happening in the community for a long time. I don't have any more updates on this.

5. I agree: Total Feedback is more relevant. We are fixing this.

Welcome back by the way!

Hi Shipra, It seems like

Hi Shipra,

It seems like oDesk is listening to some feedback but not all we've given out. There are other issues apart from what Doreen stated. Take them into account too please.

However this post is to ask you something: it's obvious that you don't know how to exactly fix some issues (color scheme, portfolio) and that you need to change other ones (titles, feedback). Then... why are you still keeping this profile? Wouldn't it be smarter to get back to the old profile while the new is being fixed? Let us work without problems using the old profile and leave the new one as a beta, allowing us to give further feedback about it.

To be honest, right now I feel like a rat in a laboratory... Sad

Work Histroy Problem

The first and foremost problem with the new contractor profile layout is the Work History.

  1. It only shows a list of just 10 projects. That just sucks! Earlier, there was a compact list display LOTS of contracts with titles! Now its been reduced to just 10.
  2. The projects (in progress) should not be shown as they contribute nothing to the Rating system. They just waste space and the employer doesn't see the ratings. Its like no feedback at all!
  3. Because of #2, Contractors who depend on oDesk and probably have more than 5+ active projects running are at a disadvantage in the Work History now because no feedback is shown for them. It just wastes space and gives a bad impression that there's no feedback.
  4. Earlier the number of contracts done was at the top, now its not above the fold. oDesk is not giving any recognition to the contractors who work on Fixed-Fee contracts. I have seen people working on $5/h for 1000 hours increasing there hour count but for those who work on 100 fixed projects. You don't even show the numbers properly! Why such a surrogate treatment to fixed-contract workers

Please fix the Work History. Old one was SO MUCH better.



I agree 100%. Please do something about the points Vaihab mentioned.

Please! Put back the previous profile design...

After the change, I only received an average of 2 invites a week compared to previous lay-out which is very attractive to employers and which can actually drive 6-10 employer's invitations a week. My fear came true! This is the worst thing happened to me in my freelancing experience. This can gradually ruin my business here in oDesk. Honestly, I never choose the other freelancing sites just because of its worst profile layout design even though they had guaranteed payments and escrow for fixed-projects. Every first day of the week I am excited to read plenty of email notifications mostly oDesk invites but now after the implementation of this horrible profile I recieved NOTHING! NO MORE INVITES!

What a disgrace

Same here, although I'm only getting 2-3 invites per week on average, so I can't really know yet if they really dried out. I'm not holding my breath for new invites...

I'm convinced that a lot of employers, who are not as committed/captive here as they don't really care about their profile, will just abandon the place quietly.

The title issue still isn't fixed, 5 days into this debacle. I'm wonder if oDesk's "management" is holding multiple meeting to decide whether the contractor's title is better when truncated or displayed in full... It's just a matter of opinion, right?

This whole thing is such a disgrace. They just ignore us and hope that the issue will go away on its own. What a shame : (((

Once we stop

Once we stop talking about it, they'll heave a sigh of relief and go on with their next "improvement." They're probably just waiting for us to get tired of complaining.

They've already promised some

They've already promised some updates. I expect they're waiting for the weekly wednesday night release cycle for you to see those updates before commenting further.

Jacqui, that's great news. I

Jacqui, that's great news. I just wish this would be officially communicated in advance. You don't necessarily have to listen to your users, but at least make them feel that feedback is considered and communicate this (officially and not in a "post on message board with broken date stamps and see if they calm down" kind of way).

Contractor Profiles

In my own perspective, the new profile design is not impressive. I agree with you guys,but in fairness nobody is perfect. We should understand their own standpoint, I guess this design was made and approved by the board. But, contractors have also right to give any feed back.

But, this is my suggestion; oDesk should remove score/test interpretation like Below Average etc... After I took the test, it says passed although my score is not really good. But, as I checked my profile so frustrating with the new profile design. You should put score then interpretation is passed not Below Average, A, AA etc.....

oDesk thanks for understanding.....

Percentiles were better

The main thing is, there wasn't any problem with the original profile. Changes should improve on things, not make things worse. The percentile score in the old profile was a lot better and more accurate, rather than simply putting "above average" or "below average." With a percentile, clients can evaluate contractors better... not lump all the "above average" people in the same lot.

100% -- below and average

100% -- below and average makes all crows and eagle stand in same queue that both can fly!

Working on fixing what they have destroyed

Helene S. wrote:
The main thing is, there wasn't any problem with the original profile. Changes should improve on things, not make things worse.

Shows that this new profile is a total failure. What are they doing now? fixing the mess.

I assume the old profile has been deleted Sad because it would be smarter to put it back..

I would be ashamed to show

I would be ashamed to show this profile as any sort of online resume to try to get a job. Ashamed. It looks unprofessional. The old one didn't look uber-professional, but it was still better than this. I used to send it out as links while marketing so that potential clients could read more about me. Now I will be just creating my own CV and sending that to potential clients and hopefully I can get them to skip this abomination all together.

See... you guys keep trying to take out clicks because you think people are too lazy to click - or maybe you just don't like clicking. But the nice part about the tabs was that a client who was looking at a profile could look at exactly what he or she wanted. The client could concentrate on the area they wanted to look at - be it work history, skills or overview. It was easy, it was simple. Items that weren't filled out were hidden so that the overall look of the profile didn't suffer. If a client wanted to see the objective, he could without hassle or being distracted by other things. Now the objective looks laughable because it has been truncated so much. And you have to scroll to see anything good - because all you're displaying for me is how much I've been paid in the past (thanks for that by the way - something we've been begging to stop showing because it's no one's business what my income is... but that you manage to keep right there working) and an empty portfolio (well, it's not empty, but it sure looks like it). What are you going to do when someone complains that they don't like to scroll? Go back to the tabs and clicking method?

I know you aren't going to please everyone, but honestly, I was making better-looking resumes in high school when I was learning what a resume was. This thing is shameful. You would honestly show this to someone in hopes that they hire you? This thing looks unfinished. Because my portfolio consists of links to sites, it looks like I'm lazy and don't feel like uploading photos. It looks horrible and it makes me look unprofessional. My objective looks laughable because less than 1/3 is showing, the past 6 months for hours and feedback is being highlighted for some stupid reason that I can't figure out, but my actual feedback is missing because I have an incomplete list of projects that are "in progress".

An an employer, if someone handed me this thing, I wouldn't even read it. It would be lining the bottom of my garbage can. I want resumes that look like the people put effort into them - and this thing looks like absolutely no effort was put into making it.

This is why I don't use your search anymore. This is why all of my clients - all but 2 of my current clients - I get from outside oDesk. I find them through my own referral system and marketing endeavors and I bring them to oDesk to post a job and hire me. Because the "resources" you have available to "help" us get jobs are in a constant state of bad. Even the ones that worked or held advantage you're breaking now.

No complaints from employers? Rubbish

I am an employer and think the new interface is terrible. There is loads of information missing or hidden that I used to use to evaluate prospective contractors that I now can't find, plus it is taking me two to three times as long to do it.

One other thing: You may think that the market testing you did trump any feedback you get from 'customers' (contractors or employers). But read any decent research on customer feedback and you will find that each person who complains (or praises) represents between 10-20 people who feel the same way but who just don't take the time to actually do anything about it. And if you look at the comments in these posts, just do the math as to the general feelings and what that means to your larger client base.

Put your money where your mouth is. If you really believe that most users approve of the changes, then put up a survey front and centre where all users can respond, not just those using the Feedback forum. I don't believe you will because a) you don't have the guts and b) you are clearly refusing to admit you were wrong.

I pity the newbies. With a

I pity the newbies. With a profile like this it'll be even harder for them to stand out and grab their first gig.

Veni, Vidi, Vici.

Tabbed profiles were much

I've figured this out. When oDesk decided to revamp contractor profiles, they posted a job to find a designer and then they happily hired cheapest bidder.

Tabbed profiles were much better enabling employers to focus on specific skill area while for contractors it enabled them to portray themselves better.

New profiles sucks big time!!!

Are you listening to us oDesk? No, I don't think so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


New profile is not attracting employers and I have not been invited for any job since this rubbish has launched.

First they destroyed the whole look of odesk and now they are damaging the profiles of the contractors.

Next thing would be destroying Agency Profiles, they changed it for one day a few days ago but reverted it to the old one, hope they won't change it to the so called new look again.

Finally, I would say that odesk should give an option to choose the navigation. We need our old look back.

Just saw the new changes in the profile

Glad you finally completed the title and edited the test scores (still think percentiles are better though). But the work history and feedback still leaves a LOT to be desired! Still too much white space that don't do anything, too many clicks needed to get to the details of the job, as well as too many clicks needed to see the contractor's whole history.

Tab system was a LOT better!

Hi Helene We are working on

Hi Helene

We are working on improving the information display in the Work History section.


Skills grouping

I would like to have an ability to display a skills by groups.

Instead of watching a bunch of skills would be good to group them.

For example:

  • VoIP
  • voip, asterisk, sip, freepbx, h.323, videoconferencing, etc...

  • Scraping
  • web-scraping, data-scraping, data-mining, etc...

  • Python
  • python, beatiful soap, scrapy framework, etc...

  • System Administration
  • linux, linux-system-administration, embedded-linux, shell-scripting, freebsd, windows-administration, etc...

  • ...
  • Embedding
  • embedded-linux, embedded-systems, embedded-c, etc...

Why embedded-linux is bold ? Because it is not a logical to put at the 1-st 'embedded-linux' in the line '..., linux-system-administration, embedded-linux, shell-scripting, ...' (because it's linux related), then 2-nd in the line '..., embedded-systems, embedded-c, c, c++, ...' (because it's a) embedded, b) c-related).

My imagination that should be a group politics. Right now it's just a skills heap.

I would like to hear a feedback of that feature both by employers and contractors

Hi Shipra, That's good to

Hi Shipra,

That's good to know! Looking forward to the changes.

Portfolio still needs work

Many of us are NOT graphics designers so the image in our portfolio (if there even is an image) is not as important as what we have to say about our previous work. Now you have to click on the item, then scroll to below the bend of the page to see what we say.
Please make it better for developers and writers and anyone who is not a graphics designer. Our portfolios used to be just right, now it really stinks. In the old system you could see what was said as well as the image at the same time.
Please remember that those working here are not all graphics designers.


Thank you!

We look forward to seeing what you come up with Smile

That's great news.

That's great news.

Ah! once upon a time

Once upon a time oDesk used to stand out from the rest, now seems like mixing with others and its really painful now to determine oDesk as once upon a sad....I thought developments are done to make things better... now what should one say where these developments are leading to..............................the only hope is we would get used to it and forget about that once upon a time oDesk used to stand out from the rest.....end of sadness may be....


I think the best way the work history can be shown is in two columns
- on left jobs which are in progress
- on right jobs which are finished

^ what he said, and please

^ what he said, and please please separate the finished hourly from the finished fixed price jobs. They are different indicators for a contractors' reliability and shouldn't be mashed in one. Also, find a new icon for 'No feedback given' - just because someone hasn't bothered to leave me feedback it shouldn't display as 0 stars on one's profile.

/// Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it's the courage to continue that counts.


Those empty/unyellowed stars where the employer did not bother to give feedback can do a contractor no good and can even create a negative impression. It might be misunderstood by employers quickly browsing through work histories to make a hiring decision as something negative, and that's bad for business. It would be better if they were not there.

I don't mind the profile. The

I don't mind the profile. The layout is nice and easy to scan. Consider these things:

1. Batch upload of portfolio images and the ability to group items somehow. Uploading one at a time and copy pasting descriptions is a major PITA

2. Ability to reorder portfolio images after upload.

3. The ability to reorder items such as "Work History & Feedback", "Portfolio", etc. in the main column. I want my portfolio right up there below my name. That's very important for designers, while maybe not so important for others.

Also, this message board could use some work. There's no simply reply at the bottom of the page, you have to scroll up to post a new comment if you don't want to reply to a previous one.

Thanks Ian, We are working on

Thanks Ian,

We are working on making it easier to upload and manage portfolios. Your idea about being able to re-order sections is interesting. What else would you re-order (apart from putting portfolios on top)?


I would want

I would want the option of getting the tabbed profile back. All the white space is giving me a migraine whenever I look at it. Before, I used to browse a lot of contractor profiles when I hire, as I could see at one glance the applicant's work history. Now I have to spend so much time clicking, making my head ache in the process. Do you oDesk people really think this looks good and is better than the old one? I really wonder. Seriously.

Portolio - Job Descriptions & other issues

At first I rather liked the new clean look of the profile page, but I now realize that it does offer some limitations in terms of functionality.

Most importantly, since the last site update, it is no longer possible to view the job descriptions of past jobs that have been rated, or current jobs in the contractor profile. This is quite problematic as some contractors (myself included) select specific jobs to build up a portfolio of past work experience in a specialized field. Before, prospective employers could click on your past jobs and view job descriptions to get an idea of the scope and complexity of previous work that a contractor had undertaken. This is no longer possible. Now the employer has no idea if your previous contract was an academic writing job or a technical writing job that required extensive research, or simply spinning and rewriting someone else's articles. They also have no idea about the subject matter unless it is portrayed in the job title. Is there any good reason for this, is it possible to change settings if we want our complete profile to be available for prospective employers to view?

I agree with previous posts about ratings from previous jobs not being visible – only 4 jobs are displayed and if you are busy with more than 4 jobs, none of your hard-earned shiny stars from past jobs are displayed prominently.

I also agree that past earnings should be private – or at least be optional to display. It's all very well building up a portfolio of past experience and credibility that warrants increasing your hourly rate, but some clients will see that you worked for peanuts when you started on oDesk, and expect you to accept offers that they make based on your low previous rates. Also in my case I do work for an NGO at a much lower rate than my normal hourly rate. When prospective employers see this they assume that they can negotiate me down to this lower rate, or think that I am being ambitious with my asking rate.

If you can resolve some of the above then the new look will be acceptable by me.

This could be done on the old profile only

[since the last site update, it is no longer possible to view the job descriptions of past jobs that have been rated, or current jobs in the contractor profile.]

If the contract was not private. Now you can't view any, does not matter if it's public.

[but some clients will see that you worked for peanuts when you started on oDesk, and expect you to accept offers that they make based on your low previous rates.]

Smart Employers know most contractors start at a lower rate in order to get feedback. If some assume you can work for the same rate as when you started just tell them they assumed wrong. I don't see why this is such a big issue for some.

I fail to see the clean look. What is clean and modern about it? That it's white and no tabs just like Elance? Old profile used to stand out from the rest..

****Update as of

****Update as of 12/22/2011****

We've made several updates to the new contractor profile, based on the feedback we received. To see the list of updates, click here