Tips for Landing a Project on Graphite

“How do I improve my chances of getting hired as a professional through Graphite?”

With more than 2200 professionals already registered to work through Graphite and more joining every week, we have been fielding this question a lot lately. That’s why we’re focusing today’s post on a drilldown of what you can do to make yourself stand out when employers start browsing through profiles to choose candidates.

1. Make sure your profile is updated and filled with all work experience and education. Avoid the “complete and retreat” syndrome. Many of us have a tendency to create a user profile on professional or other networking sites and then forget to update or edit them later after more coursework, a credential or certification is earned, or after completion of a showcase project that quantifiably demonstrates your abilities.

Sometimes, even if it seems like there is nothing to update, some closer periodic scrutiny of your profile can be a good exercise anyway. You may discover something you left out or find a better way to describe your experience. If you find you are getting passed over for a lot of jobs, you should definitely give your profile a hard look and consider giving it a little makeover.

2. Upload a high quality photo. This can have a huge impact. A nicely framed business headshot taken by a professional photographer is ideal. A cropped cell phone photo of your head taken from a sailboat is not the best way to present yourself.

If you can’t get a pro photo taken, you probably know a knowledgeable hobbyist with a decent camera who can frame a nice photo of you with good, balanced lighting. The psychological impacts of face photos should never be discounted, no matter what the words are saying about you in your profile.

3. Write a detailed cover note. A boilerplate cover note is never appropriate, even if you’re filling in blanks. Speak directly to the pre-requisites of the job, and to the sector experience required. Most of the time, you won’t have all of the prerequisites stated, but if the posting caught your eye you’ve most likely got a lot of what they’re looking for, even if not 100 percent.

Decide if the ones you are missing are mission-critical; if you’ve got related experience that can translate then apply anyway, and make that case in your cover note. Maybe you have a substantial amount of experience in that sector to make up for missing prerequisites, or maybe it’s vice versa.

Either way, assume that all or almost all the other candidates aren’t hitting all the targets either, and this is your opportunity to be persuasive with solid, relevant logic.

4. Start small. This one’s for the newbies. If you have only recently signed up as a Professional with Graphite, you will get a faster start to profile stardom if you apply to smaller projects in the beginning, in order to get a review or two onto your profile.

There are multiple advantages to this:

(1) Employers are more willing to take a chance on unreviewed contractors when the project spend isn’t that high;

(2) There’s less competition for those jobs;

(3) Small jobs can usually be turned around quickly, so assuming your work was a success you will begin building reviews faster, and be able to start filling your work calendar with multiple paid projects as you build your reputation and add to your experience;

(4) Finally, because smaller jobs tend to be more of the cut-and-dried variety, it is usually easier to please the first time when you deliver your work product. In my own experience, I’ve seen some of the most glowing reviews given for the smallest projects.

We want all our professionals to succeed, and we’re here to help if you ever get stuck or need advice on how to get better use from out site. You can phone us, email us, or use our live chat feature during business hours.

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