When you want to get hired, there’s one thing in common for all aspiring employees - you must look good for your employers because in the first place, they’re the ones going to get you hired! “Looking good” certainly does not refer to your physical aspects (although it may sometimes have its benefits) but rather the credentials that make you worthy to be hired. As a freelancer, how you land on a job heavily depends on the first glance of an employer at your profile, hence you must take this advantage and make your profile stand out from the pool of applicants you’re competing for a job with. It’s important that you consider doing the following so that you can attract the eye of every employer you’ll apply for:
Make a professional resume/CV
Aside from your profile, what validates your achievements and skills is a professional resume and curriculum vitae. A resume makes your application legitimate as it shows your credentials - from your educational institution to every workshop you’ve attended related to the field. It should also display the set of skills you have that would apply for the project you applied for. All of these, alongside your profile, would give the employer a much clearer picture of the person they’re hiring. Your resume and CV must make your client want to know you more and explore your skills enough to make you hired. These two are crucially essential when you don’t have reviews yet. The qualifications you list on your resume or CV would be their sole basis. It’s important that you give emphasis on this especially when you don’t have reviews to back you up.
Be early on your interview
The interview will make the employer know you more on a deeper level now that you’re literally face to face. Arriving early on the interview already gives a positive message to the employer: you take their company seriously. And of course, that’s the kind of employee they want! Know the exact time for your interview and estimate how much time it’ll get you to venue at least 10-15 minutes early. Arriving earlier than your interviewer is a big, big plus for the image you’re establishing.
Although you’d call yourself a freelancer, you’re still bound to follow some etiquettes as a professional. Different companies have their own distinct culture so dressing ‘appropriately’ varies from one company to another. Some company may require you to wear a suit and tie while some, usually small startups, don’t mind if you’re in your jeans. It’s important to know what kind of company you’re going to work for and identify what kind of people you’re going to deal with. You certainly don’t want to overdress, but underdressing isn’t an option either.
Ask questions during the interview
If you think you’re the only one who’s going to get questions thrown at during the interview, you’re wrong. Yes, the interview should be about you and your capabilities that would make you an asset for the company. But aside from that, you’re given an opportunity to throw some questions back at your interviewer. What for? Why do you need to ask questions? Because they are a potential company you’re going to work for. You need to know what kind of environment you will soon embrace at the moment you get hired. Asking questions to your interviewer also gives the positive impression that you want to be immersed in their company - you want to belong. Take the interview as a venue to establish your identity while getting to know theirs. But most important of all, stay genuine whether answering or asking a question.
Research about the company
Read as much as you can about the company you’re going to work for. Who are their targets? What are their goals? What kind of people are you going to work with? Certainly, some answers to these questions can’t be obtained from the internet if you’re applying for a small startup, so take advantage of the interview (see above). But for big enterprises, you can most likely find any information online. Researching about your company does not only give your bosses the impression that you did your homework but also equips you to adjust to a new environment you’re going to work in for the next months to come.
Know your bosses
Knowing who you will work for beforehand will give you an edge whenever you’re interacting with your boss. Aside from that, it makes them remember you. You’re a creep!, you’d say. But addressing your boss with a ‘Sir/Ma’am’ then their name, breeds familiarity compared to just calling them by generic titles. It’s that personal touch they will cherish (since now they’re pressured to know your name, too!). It’s a simple gesture but it’ll surely make them appreciate you more.
Contrary to the popular adage, a good impression lasts especially in the freelance business. What you show to your client will become a determinant of your success. So, put extra attention in making yourself look good because it certainly will pay!