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As one of the go-to companies for entry-level online jobs, Appen has a global crowd of over 1 million home-based contractors at its disposal. Even with such a large base of remote agents around the world, the company is always on the lookout for new online workers to join the team.
If you are interested in joining Appen as a remote, independent contractor, here are the 7 steps you need to follow to improve your chances of being successful.
1. Get informed about how Appen works
It never hurts to be informed, so the very first step for anyone looking to land an online job with Appen is to learn more about the company. Appen has experienced significant growth in recent years and often ranks as one of the top remote companies in terms of number and variety of entry-level online jobs it offers.
The Appen section of this blog, especially the article on What Is Appen, will give you a pretty good idea of the most important things you need to know. Additionally, you will find plenty of information about Appen on its own website, and on several work-from-home communities that are available online.
2. Create an account on the correct Appen platforms
Remote jobs at Appen are basically handled through three different platforms: Appen Connect, Appen Contributor Portal and Appen 9 (aka Appen China). Let’s understand how they work.
Appen Connect is where you will find most of the projects, including the most coveted and higher-paying ones. Examples of these projects are Yukon, Arrow, Shasta and Uolo, to name a few. You can create an Appen Connect account by clicking the Apply Now button on this page.
Appen Contributor Portal
Appen Contributor Portal is the platform for micro jobs, which are small tasks that need to be done in bulk to prove profitable. These tasks are usually part of larger crowdsourcing projects made to develop machine learning. This is the page where you can create an account on the Appen Contributor Portal.
Appen 9 (or Appen China) has been conceived to connect global crowd workers with Appen projects for Chinese clients. Although the online sentiment around Appen China is still quite negative, it may be a good idea to secure your spot on that platform now. You can opt in to Appen 9 when you are creating your Appen Connect account or even directly from your Appen Connect dashboard.
3. Decide on the type of project you want
There are literally hundreds of online projects at Appen, many of which are currently active. Our list of over 270 Appen projects is a good starting point to learn about how they work and what to expect.
In a nutshell, projects at Appen can be either long-term and last for years, or short-term, even one-off tasks that take a few minutes to complete. Even long-term projects have very different workloads ranging from as little as 5 hours/week to over 30 hours/week. The most coveted projects are, of course, the more long-term ones that have a larger and steadier weekly workload.
The vast majority of Appen projects are very beginner-friendly, and most of them will fall under either one of these job categories: search engine evaluation, social media evaluation, transcription, translation and microtask. Make sure to scour our blog to familiarize yourself with these jobs and find out how they work.
4. Understand the job requirements
With different projects come different requirements, and it’s important that you understand whether you are qualified for the type of work you are interested in. Below is a list of general and specific requirements that are important for you to be aware of before you get started.
General requirements that apply to all jobs
There are some basic requirements that apply to all remote, entry-level Appen jobs and projects. They are as follows:
- Have access to a computer with high-speed internet
- Be internet-savvy and have basic computer literacy skills
- Feel comfortable working from home with little supervision
- Be detailed-oriented and capable of grasping and applying concepts from project guidelines
- Possess excellent communication skills in English and in your local language if you are from a non-English speaking country
Besides meeting these basic requirements, you will also want to make sure that you comply with the requisites that are specific to certain types of jobs.
Specific requirements that are role-based
The following are role-specific prerequisites that applicants must meet to become eligible for these jobs at Appen.
Search Engine Evaluation
In addition to the basic requirements, candidates for the search engine evaluator role at Appen must also:
- Have excellent analytical abilities and web research skills
- Possess in-depth and contemporary knowledge of the local culture
Social Media Evaluation
In addition to the basic requirements, candidates for the social media evaluator role at Appen must also:
- Be an active, daily user of social media (usually Facebook and/or Instagram for most projects)
In addition to the basic requirements, candidates for transcription projects at Appen must also:
- Have excellent grammar and proper spelling
- Ideally, have fast typing speed
In addition to the basic requirements, candidates for translation projects at Appen must also:
- Have excellent proficiency in the source and target language
5. Apply for the desired projects
Once your account is created and approved on Appen platforms, you will still need to apply and/or qualify for the projects.
On Appen Connect, the jobs that are available are displayed in the All Projects menu of the dashboard. To be able to work on a specific project, it is not enough that it be available, but it is required that you have qualified for it. Unfortunately, at this stage, you will have access to very few details about the projects, and oftentimes you will get to learn more about them only after initiating the qualification process. As an alternative, you can check our list of Appen projects to see if we have any information available on the project before you apply.
On the Appen Contributor Portal, the available tasks are displayed on the dashboard once you are registered. Most jobs are available only to those who have reached Level 1 or above, so you will need to unlock these milestones to gain access to a wider pool of jobs.
6. Study the guidelines and prepare for the qualification exams
The requirements of the qualification process will vary greatly as they are specific to each project. In some cases, it is enough to fill out a form with personal information. Other times, it is required to take one or more exams, study the guidelines and get a minimum grade.
As general advice, make sure to read the project guidelines slowly and thoroughly, ideally twice before taking the exam. This is particularly important for search engine evaluator exams, which tend to be more complex and have more extensive guidelines to follow.
At the Search Evaluator Academy, we have courses to help you prepare for the Yukon Project exam at Appen, which is divided into three parts. Project Yukon at Appen (known as Internet Assessor at Lionbridge) is the only search engine evaluator job for which Google publicly discloses its rating guidelines, so you can get a head start on your preparation by reading that document even before you apply.
7. Take the test only when you are ready
Many of Appen’s projects are for internet giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple. Although these companies do not directly interact with the raters, they are the ones responsible for the project guidelines, the tasks and the test. Therefore, when you take the search engine evaluator exam for Project Yukon, for example, you are actually taking a test that was designed and put together by Google (the client), not Appen.
These big tech companies are very strict about their pool of raters, and if you fail the exam you may have just one more chance to retake it, but even that is not guaranteed. This means you should not waste your chances and should only take the exam when you are ready for it! Even if your test is already scheduled by Appen, feel free to ask for rescheduling if you don’t feel prepared enough. They usually won’t mind and you will reduce the risks of failing such an important test that can impact your earnings for the next few months and years.