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How becoming a product tester can boost your CV

Are you usually the first in line when your favourite brand launches a new product? Do you get a thrill out of being the first out of your friends to get your hands on the latest tech? If the answer is yes, then you could earn money from becoming a product tester. 

Read on to find out how to become a product tester, and the things to consider before starting out.

Product testing is one of the methods that companies use to test their products on consumers before they officially go to market. By conducting these tests, companies are able to receive valuable feedback from real consumers prior to a product’s launch. This helps them to gauge how well each product will perform with its target audience, and gives them the opportunity to make any necessary final improvements.

'If you love to get your hands on the latest tech, why not try being a product tester to earn money and learn some skills?'

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What is a product tester?

Product testers are consumers (ordinary people just like you and me) who are selected to test products for companies, and either paid, and/or will receive the product in question for free in exchange for their time. Product testing can be a great way to earn extra money as it is flexible, and can often be done from the comfort of your own home.

Coffee and notepad on a table
Product testing can be done from home.

How does it work?

All industries use product testing to gain feedback on their products, from fashion and beauty, all the way through to technology and food and drink. There are two different ways that companies can conduct product testing; companies will either send you products to test at home and then ask for feedback afterwards, or you will be invited to a specific location to take part in a consumer panel. If you are invited to take part in a panel, you will be giving feedback on the product as part of a group. 

Although there are loads of products out there, one of the key things to be aware of is that you won’t qualify for every product testing opportunity. This is because each product will require a group of testers that is representative of its target demographic. For example, a perfume company might want to test their latest release that is aimed at the older woman aged 40-50, or a drinks company might want to test an energy drink on its target audience of young people aged 18-25. This means that the testers for these products will need to fit into these groups.

How much will I be paid?

The amount you can earn as a product tester is variable, and very much depends on the company and type of product you will be testing. Some companies might pay you in Amazon vouchers or cash, whereas others will let you keep the product for free as a means of payment. Not bad if you end up testing the latest iPad!

Image of a cartoon CV
Becoming a product tester can boost your CV.

What skills and experience will product testers develop and can this help your CV?

As well as being a great way to earn extra money around your studies, becoming a product tester can help you to develop some useful skills to boost your CV. This includes:

Writing clearly and concisely

As a product tester, you will need to provide honest feedback on each product. Most of the time you will need to give this in writing, and answer specific questions that the company has set. This is great at demonstrating that you are able to write clearly, concisely, and stick to a brief. 

Keeping to deadlines 

Sending your feedback in on time is a great way to show universities and employers that you are able to stick to deadlines. Although you are already used to having deadlines set by a teacher, sending your feedback in on time shows that you are able to manage your time effectively in your personal time.

Communication skills

Whether you are giving feedback from home or as part of a panel, becoming a product tester can also be a great way to develop your communication skills. Good communication skills are important to have in every job, so becoming a product tester can be a great way to get some practice.

How to become a product tester

You don’t need any particular qualifications or experience to become a casual product tester. However, as mentioned before, you will need to fit into the company's target demographic. It is also beneficial if you have access to the internet at home, as you may be asked to give feedback online.

There are loads of product testing sites to choose from, so if you need a bit of help whittling them down, Save the Student have reviewed some of the best sites out there so you don’t have to.

Top tips for starting out:

  • Try to sign up to test products that you have a genuine interest in.
  • Just because you’ve signed up for a testing opportunity, it doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed to get it. It is a bit of a lottery, so try not to be disheartened if you don’t get to test the first few products you sign up for.
  • If you do get lucky and are selected as a product tester, make sure you prove that you are reliable from the outset. Send your reviews in on time, and provide the feedback that is requested. Otherwise, you might be overlooked for the next opportunity that comes up. 

Looking for other ideas to earn some extra cash? Check these out.