How to Write a Good Job Post for a Freelance Project
Every client should know that the quality of the job post pre-determines the quality of freelance contractors who will apply to the job post. If your job post is unclear, or misleading - so will be the freelance cover letters you will get. Here are 6 tips for better job post writing when on the look for freelancer contractors on sites like oDesk:
Choose a Proper Title
Let's say you are looking for a translator to help you with translate your English site to Spanish. Many clients would title the job post "Looking for a translator" - and then they will wonder why they get crappy candidates. If you want to maximize the results and get quality freelance cover letters, then name your job post "Looking for an English-to-Russian translator for website content". If you want to clarify it even more, add your niche in the title - "Looking for an English-to-Russian translator for my automotive website content".
Tell Who You Are
This is not a necessary step but it is always comforting for the freelancers when they know in advance with whom they are dealing. You may or may not give your company name and website. It is basically enough to give details about the niche you operate in, what the current team size is, what your goals are or at least - whom the hired contractor will work closely with.
Give Details about the Project
Details like scope of activities, tasks, responsibilities, time frame of delivery, estimated weekly workload, requirements about communication are crucial for the freelance contractors when they make up their mind if they should apply or not. Don't withhold important information for after the contractor has been hired - it is a prerogative for disaster. If you think a piece of information might change the freelancer's mind - say it now and save yourself the time of looking for a replacement later.
Ask Specific Questions
Many clients are discouraged to ask questions in their job posts for some reason. Truth is asking specific question is a VERY good filter for the crappy contractors. It gives you the opportunity to decline instantly those who failed to address your questions and to focus on those who bothered reading your job post and demonstrated their expertise by addressing the questions asked. The quality of their answers will also give you information about the level of their expertise.
Put a Realistic Budget
Do your homework and ask around if you are not a specialist in the niche you are looking for help in. E.g. if you are looking for a designer but you are not one yourself, ask your friends and colleagues about basic details like how much time does it take to design a logo, what tasks are included into the designing process of a website, how much budget will you need provided your specifications, and so on. There is nothing more discouraging for a freelancer than seeing a perfect job post with unrealistic budget. The good impression you make with the top notch job post will be complemented by realistic expectations and budget.
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Have a Code Word
Many laugh at me when I mention the code word but again, it is very easy to get buried in crappy cover letters on freelance sites. Unfortunately there are plenty of spammers and the only way to skip the part where you filter that spam is by asking the contractors to start their cover letters with a code word. Put this requirement in the end of your job post so that only the serious candidates see it. This way, when you open your dashboard, you will quickly bulk-trash the applications of all those spammers who did not start with the code word. And you will spend your time looking through the cover letters and the profiles of the good candidates.