Starting Out

How Do I Know If I’m Qualified for This Freelance Job?

Imagine this:

You are browsing through a job board when you see this listing:

How Do I Know If I’m Qualified for This Freelance Job?

We’re a small business that is currently experiencing rapid growth. We’re looking to expand our business and we’re looking to bring on board a freelancer to help us keep moving our growth forward. The ideal candidate must:

  • Extensive experience with content management systems
  • Be experienced with content creation
  • Know how to write for the web
  • Have proofreading/editing skills
  • Must be knowledgeable in SEO
  • Experienced in online marketing strategies
  • Have extensive knowledge in one or more of the following niches:
    • health/fitness/nutrition
    • productivity
    • wellness
    • lifestyle/motivation
  • Can meet deadlines
  • Is a team player

As a new freelancer, you might have doubts as to whether or not you qualify for that freelance job. Your eyes are probably glued to the words “content management systems,” “content creation,” “SEO,” and “marketing strategies.”

As a new freelancer, you might have doubts about being qualified for a position.

If you like fitness and health, you’re interest in this job might be piqued. However, there’s a good possibility you might let the fancy terminology scare you away from ever applying to a job ad.

Don’t be.

Analyze the Job Ad

Let me tell you what I see when I look at that job ad.

There’s a small company that has experienced some success and are at a point where they can pay to hire someone to either help with their blog or create a blog for them. There’s a possibility for long-term work but if they ever experience any financial hardships this job position will most likely be the first go.

It’s worth the risk since I need some money right now.

Let’s see:

They also need someone that knows how to use a blog and to write articles for them in one of the niches listed. Well, I like writing about productivity and motivational style articles. I’m good for the niches.

What else?

Needs someone that knows how to write for the web? Where’s my Yahoo Style Guide?

They also want someone with proofreading and editing skills. Well, I used to proofread my little brother’s assignments when he was in high school. That’s good enough.

And I need to know SEO. Thank God Google is my BFF.

Don’t they know high-quality content trumps SEO these days anyway?

It’s cool. I can make it work. And let’s see:

What else are they looking for? Online marketing strategies? What? I guess that means they want me to come up with a plan for promoting their website. Hello Twitter. Yep, seems like I’m good to go. Let me apply!

Focus on How You Are Qualified for the Job

See what I did there?

I didn’t look for reasons why I’m not qualified for the job.

Instead, I focused on why I was qualified for the job. I took what the client was looking for, tried to figure out what exactly the client was saying, and then figured out how I could apply it to my skill set.

There was a time when I was afraid of any job that had “content management system” in it.

But once I learned that content management system was a fancy way of saying blog, I was on fire. Heck yeah I got extensive experience with using content management systems! I been using blogging software since forever!

It can be really scary when you first start to pitch.

You’ll spend precious hours debating on whether or not you’re qualified for the job simply because of the way it’s been phrased by the client. Don’t let unfamiliar terminology scare you off.

Unless the client gets really specific (like experience in using C++ programming and Illustrator), chances are they are using fancy terminology to ask for something relatively simple.

And even if after learning more details about the job you decide that you can’t do it, you can always choose not to accept. But if you let terminology scare you off, then you’ll never know if you could have done it.

Sometimes, people like to throw around buzzwords to seem more knowledgeable. It’s our duty to stay on top of these words so when clients throw them around, we know what they’re really asking for.

By not learning industry terminology, you risk passing up a job you’re perfectly capable of doing just because you didn’t understand what the client was really seeking.

So next time you get ready to pitch for a job, don’t let the fear of not being qualified hold you back. If they need someone with expertise on creating backlinks, don’t say, “I don’t know how.” Get on Google, learn what backlinks are, and then go apply!

It really is just that simple.

Do you let job ads deter you or do you apply anyways?

Leave a Reply


This is a great post. I like how you broke it all down and took the ad piece by piece. I know I’m guilty of letting the terminology make me think twice about applying for a job. As a new freelancer it can seem so overwhelming sometimes.Reply to Renee
Raymonda, I think you wrote this for me. I’ve been doing copywriting for a bit but I haven’t done much in terms of blogging and so I tend to panic a little when I look at jobs. I’m going to take your advice though and work on that confidence, focusing on what I bring to the table. Thanks for sharing!Reply to Anna
I’m glad Anna! I’m just starting to get into pitching for magazines. It’s a bit of a different beast than blogging but I can’t let that scare me! Taking on new challenges is what helps us grow. It’s only by taking on new challenges that we learn what we can and can’t do – and I think often times we surprise ourselves by doing things we never thought we could. Good luck, Anna!Reply to Raymonda
As a fellow beginning freelancer, I really appreciated this advice. I like how you creatively showed that you met the requirements, such as the proofreading you used to do for your brother. I’ll have to remember that tactic!Reply to Lisa
Raymonda, Such great thinking! Many newbie freelance writers are hesitant to pitch to job ads. They often think they aren’t qualified and no one will hire them. This post proves them wrong! You don’t have to psych yourself out if a job add says online marketing content writer or familiar with social media strategies. Instead, look at the description and find the skills you have that will help you land the job.Reply to Elna
Thanks Elna! I’m just glad I’m able to write something that help can others out! I realized one day I kept skipping over jobs because I felt unqualified to do them because I wasn’t even sure what the client was asking. You wouldn’t believe how long I’ve been skipping over jobs that say “content management system” until I realized what it meant in a nutshell.Reply to Raymonda
Awesome post Raye! And I love your attitude most of all:-)Reply to Gina
Thanks you! I’m so glad you took a moment to read it!Reply to Raymonda
This is really helpful advice. As I newbie, I tend to easily disqualify myself. This helps me to dissect the ad a bit more. I especially like your advice to focus on how I Am qualified.Reply to Vicky
Thanks! Yeah, I think success means staying positive! If we have to give ourselves a chance by thinking about things that do make us qualified and then highlighting those points in our pitch. Thanks for leaving a comment!Reply to Raymonda