How To Apply For Freelance Jobs Online [2021 Guide]

With competition [and jobs] showing to continuously increase online, you need to make sure you know how to stand out

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One of the most exhausting parts of being a freelancer can be looking for work. Being part of a freelance job platform can make things easier, but to be successful you must know how to apply for freelance jobs online. 

Applying for a job offer may sound very easy, but not everyone knows how to make the best of it to get the best results.

If you want to be more likely to be successful, you should optimize your profile, invest time in your proposal, know how to stand out, and follow other recommendations that you will find here.

1. Complete Your Profile


Nobody wants to hire a complete stranger. Just as when you are looking for a job you want security and avoid being scammed, employers also look for the same. 

The more complete your profile looks, the more trust you will generate in customers. 

Take into account that employers can see a lot of profiles per day and that if they find incomplete fields in yours, it is very likely that instead of stopping to ask you questions, they prefer to jump to another profile where everything is clear. 

Your profile will tell employers if you have what it takes to work with them, so try to give all the necessary information, such as work experience, academic experience, answering questions about what motivates you or what you are passionate about, profile photo, and of course contact information.

Pay attention to all the profiles by which an employer can contact you for a job and do not neglect any. Each profile is an opportunity to be discovered, so be sure to complete each of them, whether they are profiles on online job platforms or social media profiles. 

Remember that completing each piece of information on your profile is like giving them an introduction about who you are, do not miss this opportunity to give them a good first impression.

2. Pay Attention to the Job Description


One mistake beginners make is applying for job openings where they do not fully qualify, hoping employers will have some consideration. 

Although it is not something impossible to happen, it is still very unlikely that it will happen. 

When an employer publishes a job offer with a list of requirements, it is because they are necessarily looking for someone who meets those expectations. 

By investing your time and effort in sending a proposal to that client, you will surely waste your time since when they see that you do not fit the profile, they will discard you immediately. 

This will surely make you feel frustrated, which you should not because from the beginning you were clear that that offer was not for your profile. 

On the other hand, employers genuinely need someone to meet the requirements, and submitting your proposal will also waste their time. 

Be patient and do not despair, there are many offers in the job market that do fit your profile, even if you are just starting to work as a freelancer. To get a job, you must know how to aim correctly.

3. Invest Time in Your Proposal


Personalize Each Job Proposal


To show the client that you really care about their job proposal, it is best to customize each job proposal. 

To begin with, if you know the name of the client, you can start by greeting them and mentioning their name or the name of the company. 

Make your proposal fit the job offer, that is, do not write in such a general way but responding to the points they are looking for or the characteristics they ask for from a freelancer. 

For example, if they are looking for someone with a year of experience, mention that you have it and who you worked for.

Make Sure You Answer Everything Needed


When you read the description of a safe job, you will come across a series of questions that employers will need you to answer to know if you have what it takes to fill that job. 

You must answer these questions because it is probably what they are most interested in knowing. 

If you submit your application and do not answer the questions, they will probably interpret it as a lack of interest in the project. 

Answer questions in a friendly, complete, and direct manner. Do not ramble a lot or write unnecessary details and most important of all, never lie. Be completely honest.

Go Over It Before Sending


After you have written your proposal or job application, make sure to double-check everything you have written. Compare your application with the offer and check that you have answered each of the questions or requirements. 

Sometimes employers hide words within the text that they will ask you to include in your proposal, to see that you have read the entire proposal in detail. 

It is also very important that you check your spelling and see that you do not have any mistakes, as this can cause a bad impression on the client. Once you are sure that everything is perfect and to your liking, you can send it.

Template on How to Write an Application


There are basically 5 things that your application must include.

Greeting: Simple, greet the client If you know their name or the name of the company you could use it. Depending on who is the client, you should consider whether to be formal or informal.

“Hi, Joseph! Thanks for the invitation to your project.”

Introduction: In this part, you include your presentation, who you are, what you do, what experience you have.

“I’m Anna and I have three years of experience working as a graphic designer. I specialize in logo creation and I love giving creative ideas to my clients.”

Body: Here you expand the information according to what they propose in the job description. You can write about how you will respond to their need or answer questions they ask you.

“I like the ideas you have for creating your logo but I think it would be better to use another color palette and another typography that better conveys the personality of your brand. Apart from creating the logo for your brand, I would also give you the user manual of the logo. I would use Adobe Illustrator to create your logo.”

The close: Here you conclude, you thank the client for their time, attention, or for inviting you to participate and you say that you hope you can work together. It is not necessary that you include contact information because they will already know how to do it within the platform.

“Thank you very much for your time, looking forward to working with you. Have a nice day.”

Guidelines to Proposals


  • Keep them short: It is not necessary that you extend too much but you manage to communicate what is necessary within a short text.


  • Concise: Do not ramble on about things that are not related to the topic. Answer the clients’ questions and that will do.


  • What would your client receive by hiring you: Make it clear to them what they will get from you if they hire you and why they should.


  • Take care of your writing: Avoid spelling errors and double-check the application once you are done.

4. Know Which Jobs to Apply For


One of the main reasons you do not get positive responses to your job applications may be because you are targeting too high or even too low. 

You must apply to proposals that are compatible with the skills you have, if you consider that you are a novice in what you do, you should apply to jobs that are aimed at that type of freelancer. 

If you are someone with more experience, apply for more complex jobs. If you are someone with significant experience, knowledge, and qualities but you apply to vacancies for beginners, the employer may feel that you are overqualified and that they cannot offer you payment according to your expectations and skills

If you are a beginner, start with simple vacancies to build experience and reputation, but plan to go for more ambitious projects in the future, as your experience grows. 

Doing this will also help you grow as a professional and encourage you to expand your knowledge and qualities, to offer higher-level services.

5. Include Your Best Work


When applying for a job offer you will also have the opportunity to attach several samples of your work. For this, you will have to choose your best jobs but also select the ones that best suit the type of job you are applying to. 

For example, if you are a writer and the job offer is from a website about celebrities, send articles that are related to that topic or that are entertaining, avoid submitting articles on topics such as medicine, politics, or economics. 

Other than that, you only have to choose two or three work samples to send, which shows the client that you are qualified for the job.

6. Apply to Recent Jobs


Pay attention to the publication date of the jobs you are applying to and try to apply only to those that are more recent. You may find very attractive proposals on the online job platform but up to a month old. 

Usually it is likely that those offers have already been filled by some freelancers, they are vacancies abandoned by employers or you could even run into a scam. 

If you apply to a recent job, you will have the assurance that they are actively looking for freelancers, that the process is taking place, and that you could receive an answer soon.

Tips for Applying for Jobs


1. Stand Out


When you start working as a freelancer you will realize that just like you, many other people are looking for work in your niche. People with different levels of work and academic experience, and specializations. 

In the United States alone there are 57 million freelancers, so how to differentiate yourself from the competition? The key is to become a valuable freelancer, one that every client should have on their team. 

What you know is never enough. You live in an environment where everything ages in a short time, everything quickly goes out of date. You have to constantly adapt and update your knowledge to stay relevant to the competition. 

The digital professions are becoming more multifaceted and professionals are forced to master many tools.

For this you must stand out from the rest and a good way to do it is to constantly study issues related to your niche, train yourself in various areas, so you will expand your resume and improve your skills. 

There are many online study platforms where you will find special courses to learn more about the skills that are necessary to function in your niche. 

If you take courses and get certifications, you will be able to offer better quality work and increase your professionalism and experience.

These are some of the platforms where you can take online courses:

  • edX 
  • Skillshare 
  • Udemy 
  • LinkedIn Learning 
  • PluralSight 
  • CodeAcademy

2. Have a Portfolio Website


A portfolio can be the gateway to new job opportunities and the key to getting the attention of recruiters of companies that require your services. 

This is a website or profile on a web platform where you will publish the different jobs you have done so that potential clients can see it and contact you if they want you to work with them.

To make an online portfolio, large doses of creativity and originality will be necessary when organizing and structuring your work to add personality to the portfolio. 

Luckily in most platforms, there are already default themes that you can use or customize until you create a style that fits what you want. 

If you think of creating your own website to display your portfolio, you can try platforms like Wix or WordPress by following this guide on how to create a portfolio website.

By having a portfolio website, potential clients could find you on the web and you can also attach the link in your job applications (if the platform you are using allows it) or profiles on social networks. 

It is a practical and fast way to share your work.

3. Optimize Your Social Accounts


Your social networks can also be a tool to get more job opportunities and are even a good way to show your work and have a kind of portfolio. 

Of course, an account in a social network will not be as professional as a portfolio website, but it will serve to increase your online presence and make your work known. 

Social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn lend themselves to spreading what you do and connecting with other people in the same niche. In these social networks, other people can share your content and thus make it reach other people. 

They will also help you create a network that will increase your chances of getting a job and joining projects that interest you.

4. Work On Your Feedback


The testimonials of your clients will also serve to increase the confidence of potential clients in your work, so every time you finish doing a job for a client, ask for feedback. 

In general, freelance job platforms have a section where clients can evaluate the work you have done, so do not forget to ask them to share their opinion. 

This will help improve your reputation within the platform and so you can get more projects to participate in. If you have a portfolio website, you could also include a section where the opinions of your clients appear.

5. Always Do Your Best


The most important thing to find new job opportunities is to work hard at what you do and do it in the best possible way. 

For example, if you want to receive a good rating from your clients, you should be responsible, attentive, punctual, and deliver quality work. 

Many people take freelance work as a part-time activity, but things change when you prioritize it and treat it as if it were a full-time job. That is when you will start to grow as a professional and start to generate a stable income that allows you to live off your freelance job. 

If you work well, your clients will recommend you to others and more will want to have you in their work teams.

You have to know that by opting for a freelance career, you will be your own boss so you need to have a lot of discipline and initiative. 

Winning projects and clients, managing your time, and meeting deadlines to deliver a project are some of the characteristics of this profession.

6. Update Your Profile Regularly


If you are in constant work and job growth, make sure to keep your profile updated. Every time you take an online course or work with a new client, include that information in your profile and you will increase your level as a freelancer and qualify for new projects that you could not before. 

It is important to keep your profile updated because that way you can choose new types of work and clients will want to include you in their projects.

The Essentials to Apply for Freelance Jobs


In short, remember to:

  • Design a proposal tailored to your client, dedicate time, and love to it.
  • Present your idea correctly: It is not enough that you understand your idea, the client also has to understand it. Watch the language, the design, and all the resources you use to develop the idea.
  • Choose projects with which you have the most affinity, that you are sure to have the necessary knowledge to execute them.
  • Empathize: Put yourself in the shoes of your potential client. They are not interested in what your professional history is, they can already consult that if they are interested. When it comes to raising the idea, your project is what should take center stage.
  • Walk the extra mile: Research the customer and all the perspectives that are beneficial to them. Make it known that you have worked and that you have been interested in the proposal. They will appreciate it.
  • More than one option: Suggest more than one idea to solve their need. For example if you are a writer, apart from just offering to write an article, offer them SEO optimization. Or if you are a video editor, apart from just editing their video you can offer to create an intro. Provide several options to increase the possibilities of being hired.
  • Cover letter: Gather as much valid information as possible so that you can include it in your cover letter in an organized way.
  • Make it easy for them: Optimize your proposal so that it is easy for the client to understand. Save them time, effort, and guide them to your ground.
  • Be compelling: At all levels, be credible and convincing.

Work Hard and You Will See the Results


At first, it may seem very difficult to find jobs that you like and that also offer a payment that you are satisfied with, but it is part of the process. 

You must decide to start and strive to be a better freelancer every day and little by little you will begin to get your first projects. Do not underestimate those first jobs as they will give you experience, which is very important for other employers to hire you. 

You must be constant in the job search and not be discouraged when you receive the first no. Focus on creating an attractive profile, submitting applications that show your interest in the project, and improving your professional image through a portfolio website or testimonials from your clients. 

Remember that all professional freelancers went through that too, but their perseverance and hard work got them where they are now.

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