Preparation for Freelancing/Job Searching


This week in the Jobtrain Web Developer Coding Boot Camp, a visit from a representative of Samaschool. In this online training program, I’ve taken snippets–if source not stated, it’s copied from the program– out to develop into this year blog post to share for people in my situation and of course for reference for myself in the future.

Start with a Dream

Take a moment to think about your dream job. Write it down if it helps. What tasks would you have to complete daily? What would your responsibilities be? Would you have people reporting to you? What are your hours? What is the office like? Are you close with your co-workers?

Develop Your Positioning

  • What type of job are you applying for?
  • What is your value proposition? (1-2 sentences)
  • What do you want your personal brand to be? (aspirational – maximum 1 paragraph)
  • Present a case for why I should hire you. (1 paragraph)

Be Proactive with Your Efforts

  • What online work platforms would work best for you? Name at least 3.
  • Who can you follow on social media to become more involved in your space? Are there any brands? What type of social media are people in your industry members of?
  • What online forums or discussion boards can you join? Name at least 4. What topics do you want to be an expert in?
  • If you could work for anybody, who would you work for? If you could contact anyone in the world for a job, who would that be? What types of businesses need your services?
  • What local businesses are in your area? Name at least 10. Of those ten, how many of them have someone who provides the same service that you do?

Be Organized During Your Search

“So, when you save a new version of your resume, name it using this naming convention [first name last name job title.doc]. Then, you make it as easy as possible for the person who receives your emailed resume to save it to their computer without having to rename it. This name, which includes the job title, also makes it easier for you to keep track of the different versions of your resume on your computer.”

Source: How to Organize and Track Your Job Search –

worksheet for the interview— Your own cliff notes! More stuff like this at this link. Thanks, Jenny Blake!

JOB SEARCH SPREADSHEET Blank – Google Docs Templates

10 Job Search Templates (Including a Cover Letter Template!) – The Muse — This makes asking a little less intimidating!

Job Hunter’s Toolbox: JibberJobber – BusinessWeek This app might be helpful. It’s $10 a month, but it sends reminder emails. I don’t think I’m going to end up using it, but I’d love to hear if anyone I trust has used and approved it.

Write Your Proposal (for “E-lancing”)

  1. Start with a greeting (e.g. “Hello” or “Dear Client”)
  2. Get straight to the point. Use the first sentence to state the position/project you are applying for and why you think you are a good fit for the job.
  3. Demonstrate that you have a good understanding of what the company wants. Show your enthusiasm for the company’s goals or for the job.
  4. Relate your past work experience to the current job opening or project.
  5. Use keywords mentioned in the job posting. For example, if the job requires someone to do “processing,” then you want to mention that you can “process” what he or she needs.
  6. Keep your proposal short when possible. There will be times when you will need to write a detailed or extensive cover letter. Such instances usually occur when the job or project requires a high-level of detail or technical skills. In all other instances, try to keep your proposal below 250 words.
  7. If you are attaching a file or link to the proposal, be sure to mention it at the end of the proposal. You can say something like, “I have enclosed a link to my portfolio where you can browse my previous work that matches your needs.”
  8. After thanking your reader (Client or employer), sign off with a professional closing. Acceptable closings include: sincerely or best regards.

Decipher the Job Description

  1. Based on the job, description, what do you know about the company looking to hire?
  2. What do you know about the pay and time commitment for this job?
  3. Is there a stated budget or timeline for the project? If so, please explain.
  4. What are the job fucntions or tasks required for this job?
  5. What skills do you have that are a good fit for this job?
  6. Has the client communicated a method of delivery or instructions for the job? If so, please explain.


graphic design job-boards

Caveats: The $5 logo on Fiverr | The Logo FactoryFreelancer Alert: Elance Review –, and this:

“99designs model is brilliant. Next time I am going out to eat I am going to ask each chef at the restaurant to provide me with their specialty dish, sample everything and only pay for the one I like! Pure genius! Why would anyone ever expect to be paid for the work they do? People should only be paid if they are best of the hundreds competing for my business!”

Source: 99designs Reviews – Consumer Reviews of | SiteJabber

Jobs | 99designs

Graphics & Design creative professional services, $5 + | Fiverr

Freelance Graphic Design Jobs Online – Upwork

online graphic design knowledge

50 Totally Free Lessons in Graphic Design Theory – Tuts+ Design & Illustration Article

14 Best Online Graphic Design Courses for Beginners | SkilledUp

Teach yo’self: A guide to online graphic design education

online web development knowledge

Learn Web Development 101 for Free

Learn to code | Codecademy

Learn Web Design: 50+ of the Best Online Educational Resources to Learn T0 Build Websites | SkilledUp

Don’t Fear the Internet (web design)

WTF is a marketing stack?

This seems potentially useful, but the interface is so useless.

What is this? The same thing?


yearly marketing plan

google trends– kind of fun to check on.

see what grade you write at– Samaschool recommended that cover letters be written at a high school level. I’m really curious about the algorithms involved in this one.

q. what are some good penalties for contract noncompliance?— make a contract that holds the client accountable for deliverables on their end.



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