Tested Skills Get You Noticed

12 July 2011
cat with fangs showing
Your exam days are far from over, sorry. Freelance bidding sites such as Odesk and Elance require providers to pass a qualifying test in order to register with the system. 

The test is really a clever way of letting you know about the protocols observed on site. Once you pass the initial exam, you have the option to take more skills tests. Should you take them too?

While a lot of people would scream, "Foul!" and tell you that exams are a waste of time and that test scores are not a true measure of your skills, you will find test taking itself an advantageous activity. Here's why:

  • You will enjoy more online visibility and receive more job invites than providers who do not bother to take exams at all. Most bidding sites have a search filter, giving potential clients easy access to the profile pages of tested providers.

  • Numbers give your profile an oomph. A tested skill has more credibility than a shining self declaration. Potential clients want to see some proof to your claim... and test scores are part of that proof. If you're that good, your scores should say so too.

  • Tested skills might just help you to make the cut and proceed to the next round of screening. A client who needs to select candidates from the sea of bidders will find the quickest way to shorten the list. Oftentimes, those who do not have scores on their profile page won't make it.

  • The exam is a good diagnostic tool for self-improvement. You end the test with a clearer idea of how much work you need to do to be at par with the top scorers. There's no shame to having attained mediocre marks, because you're not obligated to post them.

Needless to say, taking tests is not enough to get you hired. You might be considered for the position, yes... but you must achieve scores that will impress the potential client. It is only when you win the job that you can begin to convert your skills to cash. *
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