With the advent of the Internet, we are able to connect with people all over the world. As if that were not enough in and of itself, more and more people are working from home with the ease of online communication and the instantaneous transfer of documents. Thanks to freelance sites like Elance, searching for a job or posting a project has never been easier.
Both potential employers and employees can utilize Elance to assist in job searches. For those new to the freelance world, Elance provides a video tutorial with information and instruction to help guide you through the online process.
Although basic membership on Elance is free, you will need to register by providing your email address and selecting a user name and password. After completing the registration process you will be given access to the tools needed to manage your work and profile.
As a professional freelancer you will most certainly want to populate your profile with a photo, summary of skills, education and employment history among other things. In addition, there are tools that you can take advantage of to help your freelance career. These include skills' tests and the ability to create business cards.
While the basic membership is free, you will have to pay to take the skills' tests, are allowed only three proposals per month and are charged six percent by Elance on all comleted work. Upgrading to an individual, small or large business membership costs a small fee but nets you free skills' tests, more proposals per month and a smaller freelance fee paid to Elance upon completion of work.
One of the best features of Elance is the Water Cooler. The Water Cooler is a group of forums on Elance that are grouped by particular job fields. There is a Water Cooler category especially for freelance newcomers where you can "hang out" and learn from people that are already active on Elance.
On the flipside of Elance are employer resources. Freelance employers have the capability to post jobs under specific categories mand wait for potential employees to place a bid. If this process take too long for you, feel free to choose freelancers and contact them on an individual basis.
If we had to cite any downside to Elance it would have to be their customer service. Phone support proved to be the lesser of two evils even though we were placed on hold for several minutes. It was still better than the email response which took three replies and three days later to get us the response to our question.
All in all, Elance is a great resource for both freelancer employers and employees. With endless resources literally at your fingertips, the sky is the limit at Elance.