I want to go ahead and say that when you do sign up, please use my referral link as I will get credit for your signing up. So, oDesk is a work-at-home bidding site where you bid on each assignment-- you're more or less competing with others for the same position (just like in the "real world," right!). It's very easy. No exaggeration there.
You read the employers job description and if you fit the bill, you click a button that says "apply" and you cater your cover letter to that employer and his special job posting. You don't even have to submit a resume!! Just make your cover letter really good and especially for that job posting so they know it's not generic.
Before any of this, you must create a profile and pass an "oDesk Readiness Test," with about 40 questions, which determines your level of seriousness about applying for jobs on oDesk. People who are serious about working from home have no issue with this whatsoever as this is the equivalent of studying for an exam for a class or something. I recommend filling out your oDesk profile as full as you can make it (mine is 90% filled out). This includes, writing your resume in their resume boxes, choosing your fee (how much you'd like to be getting-- be modest at first), taking various oDesk tests related to your skills-set and scoring well, and also uploading portfolio samples.
This may seem like a huge task to do, but guess what, that's what applying for jobs in the "real world" are. Once you get going it will possibly be a cakewalk, but you gotta get in there first.
Word to the wise-- if you would like to "get some experience" (ie; HOURS registered on your oDesk profile) you can go for the short-term $3/hr positions; I say "short-term" because there's no way you want to get stuck working $3/hr for an ongoing position, amen!! Whew.
Since working with oDesk, I have landed two ongoing jobs working through the website, one at $7/hr and the other at a sweet $9/hr. I have made $978 as of mid-December 2010, since September 2010. I was trying to be mum about it, but I know how important it is that you hear of my successes. So, go get those jobs on oDesk! Happy job hunting and thank you for using my referral link, friends!!
Here's to oDesk!! Whippiee!!!