Life as a Bioinformatics Freelancer: Finding work

This post is part of a series of short articles about bioinformatics freelancing.

So you have some free time and energy to use and extend your bioinformatics skills? One main worry of a potential (or existing) freelancer is:
  How do I find work!
  How will companies know that I am here and I am available for hire?

In my opinion, there is enough work for all of us. The field of bioinformatics can be defined quite broadly and it is still expanding. The real issue seems to be that some companies are not used to working with external freelancers / consultants and are therefor not aware of this resource! For us to spread the word and find interesting projects my suggestions would be:

A – Your network: If you have worked in the field before or know people from uni, make use of these contacts! This is by far the best way to get started as you will be in a field you already know and potentially with people who like and value you already.
Let them know that you would be happy to work with them and what areas you are most skilled or interested in. Make sure they don’t feel pressured though.

B – Internet resources: Besides the direct advertising through your own web site(s), make sure you make full use of online social networks like LinkedIn and Xing. They have channeled many interested parties to me (along with random requests of course)!

In addition a whole number of freelancer platforms have been created in recent years that focus on bringing companies and freelancer together. You can also leave your CV with recruitment agencies like Hayes. Just remember that any of these platforms or agencies need to pay their employees as well – so they will take a (sometimes significant) cut of your earnings.
Make sure you add keywords to all sites and profiles that describe the kind of knowledge you have or the kind of work you are looking for!

Here is a list of potential sources of project work for you as a bioinformatics freelancer:

Ad campaigns are expensive and have not had the effect desired for me.