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The Test Project: Should You Do it?

Many of you have encountered the test project before, and some of you have had good experiences and some of you have not. In the past, I have rolled my eyes when a potential employer asked for a test article, but since then I have realized that the test project can be a valuable tool for the employer and for you, the freelancer.

The big question that a freelancer asks is “is it worth my time to complete this test project?” The buyers on GetACoder, should consider this question when deciding how to make their test projects. The freelancer should consider that by choosing to complete the test project, you have a chance to showcase your skills, and even if you are not hired to do the final project, you will walk away with a good sample of your work. You can use this sample when you apply to future jobs.

If a buyer is unwilling to pay for a test project, then a freelancer should think carefully before attempting the project. Some questions to ask yourself when deciding whether to do a test project for free include do you really want to give away your work for free? Second, can you afford to spend time working on something that will not make you any money? If you answered yes to these two questions, then you should consider going ahead with the test project. Third, you should ask yourself how long it will take to complete this test project. Does it look like the employer wants you to spend three hours on a test project? If so, then it probably isn’t worth your time.

Good test projects will have a few things in common. The employer will be willing to hire you for a test project or a trial run and pay you even if they do not want to continue a long term relationship. The test project will not take long to complete, and it will not be overly complex. Again, if you are a buyer then you need to keep these things in mind when you create a test project.

If you are a freelancer, you shouldn’t be afraid of trying out the test project. You might even want to try a few thataren’t paid just to get some experience or make a good impression on a potential employer. Still, it is best to make sure that any test projects you attempt don’t detract from your other projects and that the test project helps you in some way whether it’s money, experience, or networking.

Caitlin Clarke graduated from the University of Mississippi in May of 2010 where she attained one bachelor’s degree in International Studies and another in Spanish. She began working as freelance writer shortly before graduating. SEO articles and blog writing are her specialty, and she claims to have written just about everything. Caitlin is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog team.

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