by Carly Schuna
If all of your clients suddenly vanished and you had only one month’s worth of income saved up, would you be able to find enough new clients in four weeks to avoid being evicted and Dumpster-diving for meals of stale Dunkin’ Donuts?
It’s not a pleasant scenario, and we all hope we’ll never be there. But if you feel just a little bit nervous about your ability to find new work in a high-pressure situation, read on.
If you’re not having as much luck as you’d like with the FWJ listings, it can be nice to search for your own gigs in other places.
That’s where Boolean comes in. Boolean search terms involve typing in qualifiers to help a search engine give you more tailored results. If my specialty is marketing and I’m looking for some new copywriting gigs, I can go to Google and type in “‘seeking copywriter’ AND marketing.” The quotes around “seeking copywriter” will throw me only results that include that phrase, and the “AND” makes sure that all of the results will include the keyword “marketing” as well.
Other Boolean terms that can prove useful are “NOT,” “OR,” and the “*” (star) key. “NOT” and “OR” are self-explanatory, and the star is used to signify that a search word might have multiple endings that are all OK—for example, searching “copywrit*” will turn up results including the terms copywriting, copywriter, and copywrite.
Not all engines work with all Boolean terms, so be careful, but it’s a handy trick to have in your pocket. Here is a quick tutorial for how Boolean works with Google.
Consolidate Your Searches with Simply Hired
Not all job search engines are created equal. Some will let you upload resumes and track your application information; some won’t. A few include a steady stream of telecommuting, work-from-home, and freelance positions, and some don’t.
Simply Hired is the mega-mother of all job search engines. It saves your recent searches automatically without forcing you to create a profile, and its advanced search function is incredibly skilled at weeding out the dreck of job searches. Here’s the really great part—in addition to sweeping zillions of job boards to find new postings every day, Simply Hired also searches sites like Elance that are almost exclusively for freelancers. They also offer RSS, e-mail alerts, and a helpful salary calculator.
MediaBistro for Freelancers
Did you know that MediaBistro lists freelance opportunities every day in addition to their full-time and part-time job postings? They also list temporary, contract, and project-based jobs.
If that’s not enough for you, try their Freelance Marketplace, an area just for freelancers. It entices clients to come to you by letting you custom-build a profile, list all your most marketable skills, post a resume, and link to samples of your past work.
And if you’re still not satisfied, you can head over to the Freelance Marketplace Forum to give and get advice from other freelancers, look for more job leads, and gripe about pay rates (sound familiar?).
With Boolean, Simply Hired, and MediaBistro all on your side, you can rest easy and replace those stale Dunkin’ Donuts with champagne and filet mignon in no time.