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Freelancing Tips: Checklist before Placing Your Bid on a Job

Updated on January 11, 2013
Checklist before placing your bid on a freelance job.
Checklist before placing your bid on a freelance job.

How to land a freelance job that is easy to do and pays well? Every freelancer wants to know the trick. Every day, thousands of jobs are posted on outsourcing platforms like oDesk, Elance and How can you land a job? Which job would be easier for you to get? What should you check before placing your bid? Here we have tried to answer a few of those questions. Especially about choosing jobs to bid on, because getting any job from a freelance platform is not what freelancers are looking for, they want the right one for them.

Most outsourcing platforms allow limited number of bids per month or week (like 20 per week or 30 per month). So, you must be picky about placing your bids if you want to use those limited number of bids to maximize your chances of getting a job.

But, which job you should bid on and what things you should measure before placing a bid?

Below is a checklist that you should remember and check before placing your bid on a job.

  • Read the full job description. This is very important; you have to understand what the buyer is looking for.
  • Check the profile of the buyer. Is he a new buyer? Has he completed other projects before? A buyer who has already spent some money on outsourcing his projects is likely to pay and help you with all the details about the project.
  • Check his reviews. See what other freelancers that worked with him have said. This not always gives a clear picture as most freelancers say good things about buyer whether that person or company is good or bad as long as they get the payment. But, still you will get something from this.
  • Check if the buyer has a verified payment method.If the buyer is new, check if he has a verified payment method or not. It is always risky to work for a buyer with no verified payment method. If you want to bid, ask him to verify the payment method before starting the project or you can ask for an upfront payment. If you thing this is rude, you should at least work with small milestones like if it is an article writing job, he pays you after every article you deliver. That will reduce the risk of getting ripped.
  • Check how many freelancers have applied for the job. Check if the buyer has contacted any of those. This option I think is only available on oDesk, if you see buyer interviewing 3 persons that means he has communicated with three persons already. It is likely that the job will go to one of those three. So, think about it before placing your bid.
  • Has the buyer invited someone for the job? See if the buyer has invited someone or not. In Elance it is easy to check, the row above the bids shows how many bids are placed and how many invites are there. In oDesk, expand the applicant list and see if any is initiated by the employer (that means invited by the buyer). If buyer invites someone, it is likely that the invitee will get the job. So, better not waste your bid and place it somewhere else.
  • Read the job description again. Before placing the bid, read the job description again and evaluate if it’s worth your time and you are capable to deliver what the buyer is expecting in the time period mentioned in the job description.

Follow the checklist before you place your bid on a job. Remember, if you get a job that you cannot complete or get a conflict with the buyer while doing the job, it can really put some dents on your profile. A good profile that has lots of good feedback from the buyers will make your freelancing career a lot easier. And to get good feedbacks, you must find suitable jobs.

*Buyer can also be referred to as employer or client.
Different freelancing platforms call them differently.


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