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How long does it usually take to get hired?

Active Member
Breanne J Member Since: Mar 19, 2019
1 of 15

I joined a few days ago and have applied to numerous positions. The only ones I have heard back from are scams. I really need work and the rest haven't responded. How long does it usually take?

Active Member
Blake C Member Since: Oct 26, 2018
2 of 15

Hi Breanne, 


The job application process is tedious and has to be thought through. The best approach in my opinion to getting a new job is finding a target audience. Based on your criteria you should try to narrow down the jobs you target. 


Your criteria should include things like your current skillset, ideal pay/budget, client history, etc. 


Make sure your proposals are crafted specifically for each job you post. Try to understand the concept of the job post and the goals of the client. Explain to them how your previous experience and knowledge gives them a step up by using you. 

UpWork provides an easy way to build trust with employers by building your online reputation. Try to be an impactful and meaningful member by caring about jobs just as the employers do. 


Hope this gives some insight!

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 15

You are presenting yourself as a virtual assistant, with no Upwork work history, no portfolio, and no specific skills, expertise, or specialization.


So it may take longer for you to get hired than somebody who has in-demand skills.

Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
4 of 15

Breanne J wrote:

I joined a few days ago and have applied to numerous positions. The only ones I have heard back from are scams. I really need work and the rest haven't responded. How long does it usually take?

It depends a lot on how you present yourself in your profil and proposal. Try to write more about your experience in your profil. You only have four sentences and one of them is redundant. You are competing against VA from low cost contries that are willing to work 24/7.

Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
5 of 15

Breanne J wrote:

I joined a few days ago and have applied to numerous positions. The only ones I have heard back from are scams. I really need work and the rest haven't responded. How long does it usually take?

For over 90% of the 2 million+ freelancers on upwork, it never happens. I firmly believe that it is possible for newcomers to establish themselves on the platform, though, provided they are serious professionals, have the skills and the mindset to apply themselves, create a great profile with a portfolio and tests, are able to translate all of that into a winning proposal, and finally, obviously, deliver excellent results each and every time. 

What upwork is not: an easy way to make money.

Community Leader
Yury M Member Since: Jun 16, 2017
6 of 15

As for me, I think clients don't see my applications at all )

I come here 1 time a year and still no result )

This time I accidentally remembered about Upwork and decided to look in )

I run a number of businesses (websites) on 3 continents and from here - nothing )

I'm not complaining, I think Upwork is COOL place, but it has many filters against new people Man Happy

Maybe I'm not right - simply my opinion Man Happy


Community Leader
Michelle S Member Since: Jun 23, 2017
7 of 15

I think it greatly depends on your previous work experience, skills, area of work, and luck.  I was able to land the first job I applied for, but I know that was mostly luck. It actually left me scrambling to figure out the ins and outs of Upwork. Use the time you have to read about submitting proposals, tweak your proposal and profile, and narrow down the set of skills you want to market.  You have 60 free connects, use them to try out your proposals and see which ones seem to work and which ones do not. You'll see it takes many people a few months to land their first job.  And often, clients do not respond for quite some time.  A client just responded to me today from a job I applied for at the beginning of the month.  Even with my skills and a good history here on Upwork, I still get no response from clients who invited me to interviews.  Or they will respond and then stop responding.  Don't give up.  If you have a skill that people are willing to pay for, you will eventually find something here.

Ace Contributor
Pierre L Member Since: Feb 23, 2016
8 of 15

Breanne, I know it's frustrating but get into the mindset that you'll never hear back from any job posters. Apply and forget. Some times you get a surprise and hear from someone and it could be days or even weeks later. Some times you get a response they want to pursue but you don't hear back from them. Just last month a job poster replied he was impressed with my proposal and wanted to talk on the phone. After telling him to contact me at a certain number, I did not hear from him, even after reminding him to call as soon as he's available.


Remember that they are under no obligation to contact any of the proposals made. Could be many reasons they don't. First, UW is not the only freelance site out there, although I believe it is the biggest but hardly the best. I've seen the same job posted elsewhere so you are not only competing with those posting here at UW but other sites as well. I've seen jobs here also posted on Craigslist.


I think one reason of not getting contacted are posters looking for someone local, especially if it's long-term. I swear some don't understand that this a an international site and that they'll get responses from all over and that these jobs can be done from anywhere. There's also some spammers, scammers and feelers. I'm sure too some wait until the time is elapsed before even looking at submitted proposals. Given the klunky platform, you may have been contacted but the system never lets you know. Some may feel so overwhelmed by the number of responses, they just don't bother.


In short, there's no average number of days before you hear back and it will depend on the individual. But in my experience, only a small percentage will respond, even if there's just a few applicants.


I don't know about Martina's stats about the 90% or even if there are 2 million freelancers here. But I agree there is likely a sizable percentage of them who will never get hired. That's just the reality. Many will quit only to be replaced by someone else.


Some bit of advice. Don't just apply to all jobs you are qualified for. There are too many one-liner jobs that say nothing. I don't apply to those, it's a waste of time (and maybe scammers) unless something in their hiring history suggests it may be worthwhile. But usually I stay away from them.


It's been mentioned to make a proposal crafted to the job. Yes and a reason not to answer to vague one-liners.


An issue I my opinion with you is, having looked at your profile, you don't seem to have any specialty. That could be a reason. Me personally, I don't want a jack of all trades. If I need a heart surgeon, I don't want a GP and the heart surgeon for a cold is overkill. I think as someone said you are positioning yourself as a VA which is fine. But put your best skills forward.


Finally, don't rely only on UW. As mentioned, there are other freelance platforms but don't rely just on these types of sites either. Market yourself in other ways, in other places, even offline. Don't put all your eggs in one basket.


I wish you good luck.

Active Member
Chelsea S Member Since: Jun 25, 2019
9 of 15

Thank you for this. I recently started using Upwork this week and found myself being discouraged after not being able to find a job. But now that you mentioned it takes people a few months to land their first job, I can now move forward with more hope, optimism, and a realistic time frame of when I'll get a job.

Active Member
Brandon P Member Since: Oct 22, 2019
10 of 15
Hey have you found a job since?