As I stated in a previous post, here's the beginning of a series of posts that will discuss some tips and tricks I have learned over the months when it comes to earning as much as you can on oDesk.
For beginners, the first thing you need to do is to invest time and effort into your provider profile. Here's my provider profile on oDesk as a reference. You will need to think of your own header, as mine is listed as Freelancer/QA/Experienced Customer Service Rep/Blogger for Hire! I know it's a lot, but the ones I listed are the qualities that best describe me. You should think of something similar for yourself, and focus on the qualities you are good at.
It is also a good idea to add a professional-looking picture of yours, not really that professional, more on presentable. I don't know why, but before I had a picture on my profile, I really had a hard time getting accepted for jobs. I guess buyers (clients) like associating a face to the resume they see.
Don't forget to answer every field in your profile. Should clients have any questions about your skills or experience, they will look for it in your provider profile, and this saves you and your client a lot of time in asking each other questions and sending messages. Some clients who are in a rush for finding providers may just disregard your application.
Lastly, take the oDesk readiness test so that you can apply and get hired for jobs. I'll discuss that test in more detail on another post.