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Just Not getting Jobs!



My name's Ashley and I've been off and on Upwork/oDesk since July.  I've applied to what feels like a ton of jobs.  I put my heart and soul into each application, spending at least an hour answering the questions articulately and honestly, but I have never once reveived any response from a job listing.  I usually apply to illustration jobs for children's books, character/mascot designs, storyboarding posts and game asset creation.


I'm fresh out of College with a Bechelor's Degree in Design, I'm proficient in the Adobe Creative Suite, Maya, ZBrush and Actionscript, and I take a lot of care in responding to job listings, but I never get any feedback whatsoever.


Does anyone have suggestions or tips that might help out a new freelancer?  Is there something off-putting about my profile?  Are my pieces just not up to oDesk standards?  Maybe I don't have an expansive enough portfolio?  Should I  take more proficiency tests?  Or am I simply not applying to enough jobs?


Any tips are appreciated!

Community Member

Welcome to Upwork,


Sometimes it just takes a while to get a response.  Your overview looks good.  I'm not in your category so I can't give you a lot of advice there, but let me caution you the link you have in your overview is a big no-no.  It has a contact me page with your contact info and that is agains TOS.  So I would take that off quickly as it could get you sent to the naughty corner.


Good Luck, Be Vigilent and it will come.

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"

Thanks for the help.  I had no idea it was against the rules to post to a personal website.  It seems odd though, seeing as a professional website would generally would clients and freelancers to have contact information for each other.

You are allowed to exchange contact info, but only after the client starts the interview process.  You can't have it in your profile or put it in your cover letters.  I should have been more clear on that.  🙂

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"

Hi, I am really new here, like 12 hours old. Can we upload resumes.... Do we have to find them or is there somewhere we can post 'specialize in' things like that so they fish us out?


Me too having the same problem, I've applied for many jobs but still none of the clients have accepted my bid. I am still trying to figure out if there is something wrong in my profile 😞

Is it bad Using contact info even in cover letter? I mean its not publically visible then still bad? (well I'll be careful about it in future)


Are there some simple ways to get work?

(I mean any check-list, to which if we follow we may get work quickly)

Welcome to the Community, Muhammad!


It can be quite challenging to land your first job on Upwork, but it is possible if you apply for jobs within your skill set, take time to write a great cover letter and individually address clients requests. You need to be very persistent.


Your profile looks really good already. I would suggest you take more tests related to your skills to showcase your knowledge. Also, you can check out this thread for more helpful advice.



~ Valeria

Ashely, no contact information is allowed in your profile. (Do read Upwork's ToS and all the other help pages - even if they are a little confusing and boring!)


As to no jobs. It takes a while, so keep bidding and keep bidding for the right kind of job. Also, just because you are young and newly graduated, don't undersell yourself. If I were looking for an illustrator for a children's book,  I would hire you in a heartbeat - I love your work.


Edited to add: In your  illustration spreads: even if you did not write this, it would look better if you corrected the mistakes: The bear lay (not 'layed') in his lonely cage. And ". . . peered into the dragon's cage (not dragen's).


Thanks for the input 🙂  I guess I missed the contact info part, it just never occured to me that you wouldn't be allowed to post contact info on a hiring site.


I'll go back into my pieces and look for errors- thanks for the heads up!  Except for Dragen as Dragen was the name of the bear in the story.

Community Member

after the merger,I havent got a single JOB in 30 days...it feel weird..i have applied tonns and now I am out of connects and now I have to buy connects,but I didnt get a job so no money,so cant buy connets...I am just screwed in everyway...whereas i have left my regular jobs 2 years ago and became full time here,and now the merger happens and now I am having to think of looking for somewhere else....GUYS,never ever depend on upwork or any single site to be your only erning source..i was a fool and now I will pay for it


Thanks Upwork

Community Member

I am not getting any reply from clients. In my cover letter I stick with the requirement. I suggest things with out expecting anything.  But yet there seems to be no contact initiation from the clients.


I have a 4 years gap in Odesk (upwork). I was asked to delete my profile in freelancing sites due to company policies.


I apply for e-comm related jobs. Now I am out of connects.


Can any one suggest me what could be done?


Community Member

Hi there ,


I have a noticed also . I added my portfolio link but they said to me remove it . Please see here the screenshot :

**edited for Community Guidelines**

Take some Adobe Photoshop and illustrator test then 

Carry on apply and apply . I hope you will get job ASAP .



Ramzanul Hasan


I think the blunt truth is: clients are as sceptical about new freelancers, just as much as freelancers are sceptical about new clients.


Getting your first job can be tricky. You may want to consider getting a job in a different field just to build your credibility as a strong, communicative and skilled freelancer. Also, if you're spending one hour answering questions, I'd definitely revise your process. I spend no longer than 10 minutes on cover letters and questions.


Just be persistent and you'll soon land your job, and I promise it'll be a lot easier thereafter. The confidence itself is a major boost.

Community Member



I've been around for a while now and I have to admit it has been difficult at the beginning. Although I had some experience in my field, I just wasn't known by the clients. Just like the others said, it takes time. You have to be patient until you get the first job. The second one will come easier and the third one will be even easier. Just don't give up.


I still have some tips for you (naturally these are all based on my experience):

  1. Make sure you fulfill all the requirements (skills, number of hours worked, region, tests taken, etc). Some of the clients don't even read your cover letter if you don't fulfill these.
  2. Take tests. These look very well on your profile page.
  3. Try to be the first to apply. As you can imagine, clients get bored of reading cover letters after the 50th application. This means you should check new jobs quite often.
  4. Don't write a cover letter that just keeps going on and on. It is highly unlikely you will grab the client's interest with the 68th line of your cover letter. It's better to be concise and specific.

I hope it all works out for you!



Community Member

Hi all..

I hope i can help all of you who getting some Hard Time to get the first job on Upwork/oDesk. Especially some of fresh and new members, Me are also new everyday here. On the first time I’m joining oDesk,  took a month to get one job. Beside that i still an employ at one of local company.


Put all of your skills related to graphics design, verified your account (phone, ID, Upwork basic test and your native language test engish included). Take out all of the test, don’t worry if you fail for photoshop or illustrator or indesign, there is a ton of that test in different version. Just take all of that test! If you faill all, wait until the next week..


Fill out overview, portfolio, tittle credential,  certificate, your education and your experienced even from your collage exams. Change overview and tittle once a week and improving.


I’ve put the lowest fee as $3/Hour. It sounds no sense at all for US native, but believe me it works at the beginning. It just to get the reps while you crawling up. And increase it when you start getting more and more invitation.


Create the best header and footer for your proposal (in text/words) to put your answers/questions/offers in the middle of your proposal.  It just as simple as say “Hello” and your intro on the header and “Thank you. Sincerely, John Doe.” on the footer, always improved your proposal.


Try to be the first guy at the door to welcome new project. On my experienced, just professional clients and agent who will take interview most of contractors. But if you out of 10 contractors and no reps at all, leave it out take another chance. Watch out just 2 to 3 categories and keep it shorts and always read carefully your bid project, is it for Expert/Valuable/New contractor. If the project didn’t mention that, place your bid.


Set out the traffics. I don’t have professional website, not yet. But I set the SEO for my name by setting a lot of social media and everything that will be showing up on search engine while client trying to find About Me. I also do the same thing on my clients.. 🙂


Thats all what i did at the beginning. Just remember, you don’t need to put fancy art work on your portfolio just put base on your best work and skill (Clean, organised, readable, creative and having “point of focus”). Try to be more communicative and be warm person, always put your chin lower (call client Sir/Mr and Madam/Ms). I hope all of my words are readable and helpful for all of you..


Thank you.


T Rahmaddansyah

Community Member



I'm sorry your having a really tough time. I too have a bachelors degree in graphic design and I have worked for companies like NBC Studios and I'm Top Rated on Upwork and sometimes I don't get any responses. I can tell you that when I started working on Odesk a few years ago I started with small jobs (because I had a graphic design job full time I did this part time) and I low balled all of my competition. Eventually after a few months I raised my prices and got to the point that I was getting jobs often. If you see a job that could potentially pan out for more work it's important to bid low because this is someone who is going to continue to come back to you and will give you positive feedback which also plays a part in getting jobs.


Think of it as a real business. If you were hiring you right out of college would you pay you top dollar for services or would you start low and then give you a raise? I can tell you from being in the field for 15 years that you have to pay your dues and start off low. No graphic designer right out of college is going to make 35 dollars an hour so you have to be prepaired to lower rates and bid low to get jobs to prove yourself before you can expect to get better jobs.


I hope this helps.



Hi 🙂 i know how you feel 🙂 iv been there before 🙂


Here are my few tips 🙂

1.) Lower your bid for the sake of having a good feedback and rating when starting in upwork (odesk) 🙂

     - Start building your repulation first by collecting a good feedback and rating. Don't think of the money, it will come soon.


2.) Make sure you have a good portfolio . Upload everything the you have done when you are still on your college.Start with the small graphic like callingcard,business card,banners and social media covers. Show them that you are an experiece graphic designer.


3) Make sure that your the first one to pass a resume for new jobs. Because if your first one,you will have a greater chance of being hired. As the saying goes "The early bird catches the worm".


Sorry for my bad english. hahhahahaha

Community Member

Hi, your photo is digitally distorted. You should change it. 

Community Member

If you are new, there are a few things to consider. Clients tend to hire seasoned freelancers with a built up work history. So it will take some time to get the attention of someone. Also, try to apply to jobs where the client has the following:

  • A few job history stars, comments or responses: This is a clear sign they are serious, you can see how good they are and it shows they actually hire on here. 
  • At least a half-filled money icon, which means their payment method has been verified and they have spent quite a bit on hiring and paying freelancers. This means they are serious clients and are more liekely to look through applications. Clients with a money icon that says "NEW" or with a dash, often do the following: New- get overwhelmed by application submissions and either become unresponsive or just hire the first applicant they can get in contact with. Dash- Their payment method has not been verified, they are not serious, they will most likely not reply or are scouting to work outside of upwork with someone.

Try to find small jobs at first to get your work history built up, immidiately applying for high paying jobs is risky because clients aren't keen on spending so much on someone with no track record. 


Make your application serious, but short enough that the client will read through it. They often will not bother with applications that are too long and drawn out. If you have published work online, put them in your portfolio. If you filter clients like this, it will make it easier to land a job.. Hope this helps.