Lama Fleifel is a PR executive at Pencell Public Relations & Event, Beirut. We spoke to Lama about her experience in outsourcing work to freelancers – Fleifel shares with Nabbesh:
There are multiple ways going freelance can empower young people. Whether you are looking to fill up your free time with a couple of challenging tasks or break the routine that has been dictating your life, a challenging freelance project can make for an exciting experience whose lessons could stay with you forever.
The financial benefit
I don’t blame you if when you say, see, hear or read the word “job”, the first thing you think of is “how much?” We all work to make money—at least the vast majority of people. The flexible nature of freelance work and the fact that most projects are short-term could lead to a freelancer being paid higher rates than those a full-timer would be receiving for doing the same exact job. Looking for freelance work might be your best option if you’re a university student looking to make some pocket money while still having some extra time to do homework, read, or go out with friends. While some worry that freelance might not be a stable prospect in the long run, a bigger number of clients—and more projects—can ensure an almost-stable flow of income. Perhaps one of the best advantages of being a freelancer is the fact that you usually don’t have too many expenses — make sure to inform the client beforehand if you need to go to the field, travel, or buy material, and make sure to make sure they will cover the expenses. Starting to make money at a young age leads to financial independence, and the latter not only liberates you, but also empowers you.
Developing skills before you hit the marketplace
Although you might choose to go exclusively freelance and never have to spend time in an office ever again, you might also decide to accept a full-time job offer at a certain point. Regardless of the professional direction you deem fit, it is crucial that you start working on acquiring and developing basic skills so that when you hit the marketplace, you do so running. Freelance work can complement your studies in a way that classes and professors can only talk about—theoretically, for the most part. Marketing yourself as the right person for the job, agreeing with clients on the terms and conditions of a task, delivering, reviewing and finding quick, effective solutions to overcome daily obstacles are all activities you would have to do on an almost-daily basis while freelancing your way through the pre-career phase of your life. More know-how and a set of social skills is bound to empower you, maybe not overnight, but most definitely somewhere down the line.
Staying ahead of the curve
Competition is fierce out there. It’s a cut-throat job hunt that could leave many scarred for life, especially if you’re one of those people who get their hopes a bit too high a bit too fast. Although you will most probably be scanning the market for entry-level positions upon graduating from university (or high school if you’re too eager), all employers will ask you to submit both a CV and a cover letter, and they usually expect neither to be blank. Being a freelancer is in many ways similar to doing an internship at home. Only difference is: you would actually be doing work! By the time you decide to apply for more senior, higher-paying positions, you would have managed to learn and achieve more than your peers of the same age.
Working on short-term projects, acquiring great experience, and writing an attractive resume.
If you are a new graduate or simply new to online freelance work, your definition of a good resume and a job-landing cover letter might blur. Where you should say more or leave some details untold might not be obvious if you want the job and you want the money.
Good resumes will get your foot in the door. Cover letters will reaffirm your employer’s initial judgement about you. A follow-up interview will usually get you a traditional job, but in the freelance world, it’s really just the proposal and the tenacity of your online profile that will get you hired fast.
Difference between a resume and a cover letter
A resume is an outline of your professional career in few sub-heads and bullet points. It will tell your employer where you went to school and particularly why your education is relevant to the job you’re applying for if at all. You will also have to list all relevant professional precedence. You don’t have to crowd your resume with jobs and details that are not important for the specific job or freelance job you’re applying for. A good resume is usually no more than 2 solid pages of solid, indispensable information about you. If you are applying for a job or a freelance position in Europe, they will ask you for a CV which is the same as resume in American English.
A cover letter is literally a letter in a traditional letter format. You will address the employer and you will tell them a few important details about yourself and your career as well as your accomplishment to take you seriously for their vacant position or the task to be fulfilled by you-hopefully. A good cover letter should not more than 500-600 words. It should be broken into clear paragraphs. A cover can be a great extension to your resume. This is your chance to elaborate on specific tasks you have undertaken and target results you have achieved for your previous employers. You don’t have to list every achievement as you probably should in your resume.
How to write a resume as young graduate
If you are a recent graduate, you probably lack a solid professional experience to woo your future employers with. The appropriate length for your resume should not surpass one page. If you have been in multiple extra-curricular activities and can speak of genuine achievements or learning milestones in your internships, make it two pages. The best would be to cherry-pick the details you want to share with your employer. Don’t simply crowd your resume. If you’re applying via an electronic application system, chances are your resume will be filtered and shortlisted. This is a good opportunity to add more keywords that are relevant to the desired job position to increase your chances.
Do always submit your resume in a PDF file. This is the norm. When you’re a recent graduate, education should be first and foremost and then any relevant internships, part-time work or extra-curricular involvement. Do emphasize on your GPA or your local grade average as well as the courses you have taken in school, and the practical skills you do now possess.
- Quantify all of your accomplishments (how many logos did you design, articles you wrote, events you managed, etc.)
- Be very specific about what you did. If you can’t put your tasks in words, simply avoid vagueness or ask for the help of a good colleague who filled the same position.
- Look up other resumes for people who had filled your previous positions and your desired one.
- Do make a profile with tailored university course selection and tasks carried out of school as well as skills.
- Do consider a resume design/template if you think your employers would require so. Several companies and higher institutions require the Europass template to manage conformity between applicants.
- Stick to one structure, one chronological order and one order when writing your resume
- Don’t lie.
- Don’t forget to add crucial information such as the duration of your internships or locations
- Don’t mix pronouns and verbs or tenses in your bullet points
- Don’t include interests or hobbies except when common hobbies will get you extra score points. You have to know before you gamble.
How to write a good proposal for a Nabbesh job
The best way to land a job on Nabbesh.com is to keep your cover letter or proposal short. Competition is tough. Often, an employer might not look beyond the few lines that will appear in the email or web notifications.
Do upload your resume (in PDF format) to back up your said experience or your solution to the employer’s problem. Start with what you will do for the employer. Include any specificity if needed and then elaborate why you’re fit to do what you say you can do. Past experience is a great proof of skills. Online reference is always the best way to make fast decisions and make the employer hit the “short-list” button or write you a response.
Be very specific about your charges from your second or third paragraph. Don’t write more than you should. Every line should be in direct context to the job you’re applying to, otherwise, do omit it. It’s for your best interest.
Congratulations Class of 2014, you’ve just entered the real world! And while you may only be entering with one expensive piece of paper, “they” say you needed it to get the one thing you are looking for right now: your first job! Sure you face a few challenges, but Nabbesh is here to help with 14 ways to land your first job!
1. Ignore so-called conventional wisdom that says you need experience to get a job. We all started from zero at one point or another in our lives. Even the most successful people in the world started somewhere, and you can too.
2. You’re one of the most tech savvy generations in history. Turn that into $. That’s right, you can actually get paid to use technology and social media. For example, you could help a company grow their customer base or communicate through social media. Lucky for you, there is much demand for people with the tech skills you often take for granted.
3. Surf the net. Don’t just pound the pavement! While getting your first job requires hard work, the best way to do that is by using the internet to find either online or offline work.
4. No clue at what you want to do? Here’s a little secret, you aren’t the only one. Many people that have been working for years are still looking for what they want to do when they “grow-up.” Start with what you enjoy doing and don’t worry too much if you take the “wrong” job. It’s all part of the learning process.
5. Try writing about your job search. Believe it or not, blogging and writing is a serious profession. If you have the “write” stuff, you may find you can turn writing even about your job search into some cash.
6. Intern or volunteer to gain professional experience. If you’re willing to work in a company or for a start-up without being paid, and you prove yourself, you may be able to land your first job in a few months. Before you think interning is beneath you, remember that Microsoft founder Bill Gates started as an intern.
7. Ask for advice. Start with a few of your friends or family members that have been working for a few years at least. Ask them to sit down with you and to share what they did right or did wrong to find their first job.
8. Work for a start-up. At this point in your life you can probably afford to work at a startup, and you’ll gain a wealth of experience about running a business, even if your startup isn’t the next Google. If you think its too risky, remember that risk is simply what you have (no job) and what you have to lose (not much).
9. Be honest with yourself about what success means to you. To find a job you love, don’t forget success means different things to different people. Bill Cosby, the famous comedian once said, “I don’t know the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
10. Work for yourself. What is it that you love to do on weekends? Maybe you can monetize that. If you love photography or digital design, you may be able to land freelance jobs in those areas or turn other hobbies into cash.
11. Happen to things. Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” Don’t sit around and complain about the unemployment rates, make your first job happen by being proactive.
12. Be hungry and humble. Older generations complain about how your generation is much more entitled than previous generations. Fight this stereotype by being persistent, hard working, hungry and humble in your job search.
13. Diversification isn’t just good financial advice. In today’s world, a diversity of experiences is very important if you want to truly stand out. Maybe you studied engineering, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek a job outside of your major. Whatever you major in, you can work in another field which may give you a better perspective and insights into what your career “calling” is.
14. Passion over paychecks. Don’t just find a job, create a meaningful life whatever that means to you. Steve Jobs famously said, “the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Maybe you’re young, but work is going to consume so much of your life, so why waste a single moment?
Now go out there class of 2014 and get your first job! Get started by creating your profile at http://www.Nabbesh.com and search for freelance jobs today.
Our goal is to help you get your work done more efficiently by connecting you with freelance talent online. We have broken a few records along the way with our rapid job fulfillment rates: most are filled within 24 hours! Time is money, so to help you get the most out of hiring through Nabbesh, we’re sharing our observations from reading over 4,000 of our freelance job listings. It turns out hiring the perfect freelancer starts with a great freelance job post. Here are a few tips to help you write up the job post that will get your work done even faster!
8 notable features in the best job postings:
1. An interesting job title which captures the essence of your job and any special characteristics you are looking for! For example, “Creative Mobile Web Developer” is better than “Web Developer.” The more descriptive you are and the more key words you hone in on, the better Nabbesh can help match you to a suitable candidate.
2. Required Skills: What skills or technical competencies are required to complete your job? Make sure you select a few of the skills that best describe the skills you need to complete your freelance job.
3. Job Description: Know and state your key outcomes for this freelance job and what your key deliverables will be. For example, you may be looking to hire a photographer to take pictures of your upcoming party. A key piece of information would be the date of the party and what pictures you would like captured at this party.
4. Samples of work: Nabbesh allows applicants to attach samples of their work to their applications on the Workflow form. We recommend you ask for samples of their work especially since this can be one of the best indicators of whether you like someone’s style of writing (for example).
5. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines! We cannot stress this enough. Make sure you list your specific timeframe. If your job must be done by June 1st, put that in the description. Also, if your job requires multiple deliverables, you should also put those in the job description. Being specific with your expectations will eliminate candidates from applying to your job who cannot meet your deadlines,thus saving you time!
6. Budget: Be very specific when it comes to your budget. Nabbesh offers two types of contracts: hourly rate and fixed-price contracts. There are benefits to both, depending upon the budget and scope of the project, but the clearer you are up front with your budget constraints, the more time you save since xpectations will be managed up-front. You don’t want someone applying who charges an hourly rate 50% higher than your budget allows.
7. Flex work, online or on-site? State whether your job requires the freelancer to work on-site (and where) or whether it can be done online or flexibly.
8. Start-date: We know you probably wanted someone to finish your job yesterday, but let us help you find someone today! Make sure you input the start date so the freelancer will know whether or not to apply to your job based upon their schedule or commitments.
Final thoughts: The more specific you are, the greater your chances for a successful match and the less time you will spend explaining your specific requirements to each applicant before they can submit a proposal for your job. And remember, our owls are always here to help! If you need more help posting a freelance job on Nabbesh, just give us a shout at: firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet to us @nabbeshtweets
If you are really short on time, we offer bespoke hiring services to fill your job requirements. Enquire about Nabbesh’s Talent Management Solutions directly at +971-52-787-1114.
Nabbesh Presents a Full Solution to the Challenges of Online Work
Nabbesh is proud to announce the launch of our online rating system, which is one more step in presenting a full solution to the challenges of online work. As an online marketplace for freelancers our goal at Nabbesh is to present you with all the tools for you to lead a successful freelancing life!
Nabbesh offers you 3 key benefits to ensure that your freelance career is successful:
- Access to a vast network encompassing the entire MENA region
- A secure online payment service that makes online work safe & rewarding
- Ratings & feedback on your work designed to increase your future opportunities
We launched our new rating system because we want our very best freelancers and clients to shine!
Why are ratings important?
- Positive ratings can increase your chances of getting hired!
- Studies show that by building a positive rating online, freelancers can increase their income by 20% in the first year as they capitalize on repeat business and enjoy charging more competitive rates.
- Positive ratings mean, freelancers can be awarded projects quicker than their peers as it provides the client with quality assurance.
- As Nabbesh grows, positive ratings will provide freelancers an opportunity to compete on projects on a global level, gain new skills, earn more income and increase their exposure to employers.
- Positive ratings give the freelancers added visibility on Nabbesh as clients will be able to sort search results by ratings.
Once you complete a project through Nabbesh, you will be able to write a review of the client (and they will also be able to write a review of you).
How can I receive positive ratings on Nabbesh?
- Start by completing your profile on Nabbesh. A 100% profile completion will give you added visibility in search results as well as when Nabbesh matches your profile to a project posted on Nabbesh.
- Check all the projects listed on Nabbesh and apply to the ones where you can deliver high-quality work. It is important that you make a good impression with your first project to secure a positive rating.
- Follow the Nabbesh application process by sending the client a proposal for the work, including your portfolio, and eventually an invoice once you have delivered the project according to the terms of the agreement.
- Finally make sure you maintain very good customer service throughout your project so you can ask the client to give you a positive rating.
This blog post originally appeared in the World Bank’s Voices & Views: Middle East & North Africa on 3/28/14. The original post can be seen here: http://blogs.worldbank.org/arabvoices/new-technology-changes-the-working-day-mena
It’s no secret that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has the highest youth unemployment rate in the entire world: nearly 30% according to the International Labour Organization. Over one in four young people have no viable means for economic prosperity, and sadly education is no guarantor of a job. Despite these bleak statistics, a recent survey commissioned by Qatar’s telecom giant, Orredoo, suggests that young people still have hope of a great future, fueled in large part by the innovations of the 21st century. The challenge is to innovate technology and alter our way of thinking about work to motivate MENA’s youth.
Technology Enabling Prosperity
This is a pivotal moment, one of tremendous historical and technological change, as well as overwhelming challenges for the region. The hope technology brings, however, is a potential game changer, both economically and for regional stability overall. The World Bank recently published a study highlighting the economic opportunities of accelerating high-speed internet access. The authors of this study note this region would look significantly different if more women and young people had access to high-speed internet. For while technology is only a means to a better life, and not an end in itself, using it effectively to further economic prosperity and job creation is critical.
What MENA’s Youth Want
A new report, “New Horizons: Young, Arab and Connected,” commissioned by Ooredoo, surveyed more than 10,500 young adults in 17 countries across the region, and found that 9 out of 10 young MENA citizens believed that Internet access could help them fulfill their hopes for a job. This study also found that for young people lucky enough to have jobs, 45% of them are not doing what they would like to do. While it might be easy to dismiss this, when considering the unemployment statistics, motivating youth effectively to contribute to the economic good of the region is important in gaining the most out of this region’s best assets: its young people full of hope and promise.
Redesigning Work: Beyond the Traditional 9-5
Perhaps it’s time this region takes a hard look at the way we work and redesign a path moving forward that takes into account both the emerging technologies and the way this current generation–which accounts for approximately one third of MENA’s population of about 340 million–views the world. A report by Aruba Networks on “Gen Mobile” found that half of the survey’s participants of youth aged between 18 and 35, work most efficiently outside of the traditional 9am-5pm working hours, and also want more flexible work. Harvard Business Review’s blog also discusses this emerging trend: the 20th century work schedule was not the first work schedule, nor will it be the last.
An Emerging Trend: Independent Work
Throughout the world, working independently and the concept of freelance work has become much more popular: it is estimated that within the next six years 40% of Americans will work independently. Deloitte recently conducted a survey of Millennials, a term used to refer to people born from the early 1980s to around the 2000s, which found that 70% of Millennials want to work independently. A new way of work that taps into the technology this generation has grown up with, and gives a sense of autonomy, which behavioral economists deem important, could give this generation in the MENA region a better sense of self-determination and overall wellbeing. Although there is currently an ongoing debate about the pros and cons of independent work, research suggest that when people are given autonomy, health and wellbeing improve.1
Although the idea of independent work is still a relatively new concept for the modern Middle East, a peer-to-peer economy is as old as the Silk Road: merchants directly exchanging goods and services. Today’s roads are now virtual, driven in large part by the Internet. In a world where technology continues to change almost every aspect of our lives, it is now contributing towards a more hopeful future for this region’s youth. The challenge is to re-imagine and rewire ourselves for 21st century work not based upon an outdated construct from a past era, but rather one that taps into what some economists recognize as basic human motivation.
1 Valery Chirkov, Richard M. Ryan, Youngmee Kim, and Ulas Kaplan, “Differentiating Autonomy from Individualism and Independence: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective on Internalization of Cultural Orientations and Well-Being,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84 ( January 2003); Joe Devine, Laura Camfield, and Ian Gough, “Autonomy or Dependence—or Both?: Perspectives from Bangladesh,” Journal of Happiness Studies 9, no. 1 ( January 2008).
Looking through the 2,000+ freelance projects that have been posted on Nabbesh since the beginning of the 2013, we are proud to assure freelancers everywhere in the Middle East – there’s an employer out there who needs YOU. So far we have had jobs from employers in over 100 Cities in the Middle East & North Africa, and even some from the US and Europe. How’s that?
Month on month, over 300 jobs are posted from various cities. Aside from the UAE, the majority of freelance gigs on Nabbesh are originating from Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. We are also proud to have an increasing number of jobs from Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar. A recent survey done by Nabbesh in September 2013 highlighted that 35% of employers registered on Nabbesh are open to hire freelancers residing in a geographic location different to their own, this truly emphasises Nabbesh’s unique position to be the regional marketplace where people connect & sell their services.
If you are a freelancer or a supporter of the freelance movement, and if you want to help talent in the Middle East find work opportunities, then we have a modest request! Please share this post on the interwebs to spread the word so we can build a vibrant regional marketplace and create more wealth to our Nabbesh community.