Freelance In 40 Days [Day 11]: An Introduction To Job Boards

Posted: September 14th, 2009

Photo by Kevin H (Flickr)

Photo by Kevin H (Flickr)

This is Day 11 of the Freelance in 40 Days series where you’ll learn to freelance just by taking it one day and one task at a time. Today will be an introduction to job boards for finding freelance jobs.

Its likely that you’ve hit the online job boards online at some point in your working life. You know, mass emailing your perfect resume and receiving hits from obscure employers and headhunters. In other words, they are a lot of work if you want to find a job through one of them.

Luckily for freelancers, there are job boards specifically catered to us and the process to hunt down projects is simplified quite a bit. While you can sometimes find contract positions on freelance job boards, they primarily post individual projects. The number of projects you find on job boards, though, can number quite a lot.

Where Do I Start Looking?

There are numerous freelance job boards out there and some of them are free to use while others require a registration fee and/or a fee per project you win. So a common question for the new freelancer is which one is right for me?

To generalize, paying a fee to use a job board provides one or more of the following benefits:

  • Pre-screening employers
    You can read reviews and ratings from previous freelancers who have worked with employers providing the projects.
  • Methods to insure payments to you
    Usually there is an escrow service provided where a job board receives a project payment from an employer before you start the project then release the funds to you upon completion.
  • Targeting specific freelance fields
    Projects are categorized into very specific fields (i.e. flash designer, web content writer) so it is easier to find projects to bid on that suit you well.
  • Number of projects available
    The job boards with the higher fees usually have a wider selection of projects available. This can save you time from having to check out multiple job boards for projects.

The best way to see which job board is best for you is to have a look at multiple sites and take note of their services vs. their fees. The following are some of the bigger, well-known job boards which are good for a new freelancer to start:

  • eLance: One of the first freelance job boards with a huge selection of projects to bid on. 9.95 USD monthly membership fee. 8.75% per project fee.
  • Freelance Switch: Selection of projects is OK. 7.00 USD fee per month to use.
  • Freelance Writing Jobs: A classifieds for freelance writers. No fee to use.
  • Guru: Another of the first and largest freelance job boards also offering a very large selection of projects. 29.95 – 99.95 USD membership every three months plus 10% per project fee.
  • iFreelance: Good selection of projects for all major fields of freelance. From 4.69 – 9.00 USD per month with discounts for 6 month, 1 year and 2 year membership purchase. No per project fee.
  • JobServe: Huge selection of jobs/projects worldwide. Free to use but catered to jobseekers as well as freelancers.
  • Monday Works: Posts projects primarily from Germany and the European Union. 7.90 USD membership per month with no per project fees.
  • oDesk: Large database of projects in all freelance fields and no membership fee. A 10% project fee is added to on top of your fees to the employer.
  • RentACoder: A wide selection of programming projects. No memebership fee but there is a 15% per project fee.
  • Project4Hire: Wide selection of projects in all freelance fields. No membership fee but 5% per project fee.
  • SoloGig: Good selection of projects with no membership or project fees.
  • For other job boards, check out the monster list of job boards at AllFreelance and Freelance Switch.

Your Homework For Today

  • Have a look through these job boards websites and take note of the benefits and services they provide in relation to cost.
  • Select up to three that are best suited to you (more than 3 can be too much to keep up with).
  • Create a profile in each one. Remember to use your brand and refer back to your portfolio.
  • If you are feeling ansty about applying for projects, try it out! We’ll go over tricks to bidding on projects in the next few tutorials, though.
More on the author, Johnny Spence
Johnny is the founder of The Freelance Rant and a freelance web programmer with 8 years in the business. Have a visit at his company Oscarrr!web or see what he's up to on Twitter.

And while we're on the subject...

3 Comments. Join In!

  • Meeta menon

    September 16th, 2009 at 7:36 am

    There are more job boards to add in the list which one can consider for freelancing like,,

  • Johnny

    September 16th, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Thanks Meeta… on the bottom of the list are links to two other websites with much larger lists of job boards. I only listed the more common ones here.

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    January 9th, 2010 at 3:47 pm

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