In the current economy and job market, blue collar workers - such as construction workers, manufacturing workers, plant and factory workers, and many other skilled trade industries - have been hit the hardest with unemployment. One sixth of all blue collar workers lost their job at some point during the recession, according to Labor Market studies. For every construction job open in most states, there are an average of 65 applicants. For every manufacturing job - whether auto manufacturing, goods and products manufacturing, or anything else - 25 applicants, on average, are in line for each open position - and on and on. The same is true for administrative assistant jobs and entry level professional jobs typically applied to by recent college grads. In all stretches of the job market, jobs have become a precious commodity - not something to be taken for granted, quit on a whim, or tampered with, because of some disgruntling workplace occurence. People that have jobs aren't letting go, and those that don't are applying to every position they qualify for.
When you apply for a job with 65 other applicants in front you, your chances of getting that job are extremely slim - one out of 65, to be exact. If this is the case for almost every job you've applied for, it's no wonder that getting a job has been next to impossible. Even employees whose hours are cut back because the company has taken some hard losses, what can they do? Find another job? Not likely. For the employed and unemployed alike in the current job market, they have to settle for what they are given - even if its less than what they need.
Fortunately, an online service marketplace awards jobs from customers and buyers, at rates and averages that are much less grim and depressing than the job market. They are constantly flowing in, they have fewer "applicants," or proposals and bids per job, and chances of being awarded any given job, are much higher than the "non-virtual" world.
But - that doesn't mean there isn't still frustrations that arise.
What is up with this bidding thing, anyway, many of you have probably thought. I feel like I've bid on 900 jobs and haven't been awarded one yet. This is especially commonplace for new service providers who don't have much of an on-site profile, feedback or reputation established yet.
When you bid on, or "apply" for jobs in an online service marketplace like this, competition can range from overwhelming to minim. Other times, it can seem like there's hardly any competition at all - which can actually be even more frustrating when it seems like you bid and bid, and never get awarded a job. It can cause frustration, self-doubt, confusion, and many other causes of concern, when any provider bids several times in a row without a response from the buyer. Hopefully the following sections will help provide a little guidance.
The bottom line is, not all buyers look for the same qualities in a service provider. This is why it's important to read a buyer or customer job description carefully, and do your best to "read" them, in order to determine what qualities and what service needs are priority.
Obviously, common factors exist across the board, such as ability to stay on task, proof of capability and competence, etc. For services within Home and Commercial, it is safe to say that all customers expect professional services - not someone who paints dog houses occasionally on weekends for extra money. The same is true for web programmers, designers and developers, and most anyone within IT and tech. However, within creative arts and freelance writing - believe it or not, it is not uncommon for a buyer to place professional experience or aptitude at the bottom of the list. This is typically found in writing gigs that simply require someone to rewrite articles 50 times, or do some online ad placements. Obviously, pretty much anyone can do those jobs.
Quality is usually a priority for a buyer, but again, such in the case with things like article marketing and directory article submission - buyers who don't know much about SEO, are willing to settle for less-than-professional or less than grammatically correct writing, in exchange for extremely cheap labor (this is faulty thinking, by the way - articles and related writing, no matter how little seen or read, should never be less-than-professional, when representing a business or any professional entity).
Despite the few examples cited, 95% of the time, both professionalism and quality of work are going to be high priorities of the customer or buyer. However, it is the balance of those in combination with cost that can greatly affect who the job is awarded to. Most buyers - not all, but most - look for a good balance of high quality and modest or fair price. They won't necessarily award the lowest bidder, but they won't typically award the highest bid either, if they can find another bidder who has the same level of quality and professionalism. However, there are buyers who look for top quality services, and they usually identify themselves. These customers, and the jobs they list, tend to have higher competition.
The best thing you can do is to read a buyer or customer job description carefully - several times if need be, to ensure you don't miss anything important. Put yourself in their shoes. What kinds of qualities would you want if you were hiring someone like you? What would you want in a proposal, as proof of professionalism, quality services, and fair prices? This can often help to fill in gaps that the job description does not cover.
The hardest kinds of job listings to bid on are ones that are extremely vague. Like, " I need a carpenter to build a deck," with no other details, measurements, etc that will give a service provider enough information to make an intelligent bid. Some other examples are "I need a website developer," or "I need some articles written," and "I need home care services during the week." You will undoubtedly see this kinds of generic listings once in a while. More often than not, these customers or buyers aren't committed, and usually are just looking to see what reponses they get. The minority of generic job descriptions are simply from customers who aren't aware that details are needed. If you see a vague, generic job description that leaves so many questions you don't know where to start - ask the customer before you bid. Don't be afraid to offer gentle suggestions about the kind of details they might add, to help you and other providers make relevant bids. This usually works. If the customer or buyer doesn't respond to your questions - then you should probably not waste time bidding.
This often happens especially to new providers, as mentioned above. Don't give up, and don't allow discouragement to deceive you into thinking that this will always be the case. If you've bid and bid and bid, and still haven't been awarded anything yet, try some of these things:
There is no way to guarantee that you win every job, every time - or even most of the time. If you know you have optimized all areas of your provider profile, bid and proposal content, skill levels, estimates and rates, and anything else pertinent, and you know you are giving your best within each proposals - that is all you can do. It will pay off, especially as more and more jobs get listed on our new service marketplace.
Sometimes, all you really need, is just a little patience.