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How to land first job at Upwork and how to utilize connects wisely as some clients don't revert back

I have been on Upwork since more than an year now and not yet got a job. Also I have invested some money in order to buy connects and apply for jobs but it seems this is all useless because I have tried writing proposals differently (even with the offer to work on a trial basis) however it seems that only prior experience freelancers are hired. This is not a fair treatment on such a platform. Moreover, in February 2024 I got interviewed with 2 clients where both of them just stopped responding after their first message (hire rate 45% and total spending of $232K) (hire rate 70% and total spending of $1.1K). After checking if they have hired anyone yet so I got to know they haven't. 

I would welcome the honest suggestions or solutions based on my experience so that I can utilize my connects wisely and land my first job as early as possible.

Community Member

Its like my sitution right now have been working for 2 years but I haven't earn single cent what should I do friends?

Community Member

There aren't many certain solutions to getting your first job or subsequent jobs. However, there are a few things you can do to make your profile more appealing to clients.


1) The beginning of your overview/summary takes a common, but highly ineffective approach--it focuses on you and your achievements. Your summary, especially the first few sentences, should focus on clients. You eventually mention the services you provide, but it comes after a bunch of Syed stuff. Clients come to Upwork with specific needs and they prefer to see your services sooner rather than later.


To do this, remove your name because it wastes space, and either remove your education information or mention it later in your summary. Clients can see the first few sentences of your summary when searching for freelancers, and they would rather see your services and how you can help them:


"Xero Certified Advisor with 3 years of experience helping businesses with accounts receivables/B2B collections,  accounts payables, financial reporting and analysis, accounting journal entries, month-end closing, cashflow statements, and trial balance."


Then, go a bit further to convince clients to hire you. You can do this by highlighting key skills and experience, and keeping the focus on clients:


  1. Give a brief overview of how you communicate and interact with clients to ensure their finances/books are accurate.
  2. Talk about how you uphold ethical standards, protect senstive financial data and proprietary information.
  3. Can you highlight any specific accomplishments with other clients (e.g., improved their financial reporting, processed time-senstive financial transactions which avoided [issue/problem, etc.], identified cost-cutting steps, simplied processes that helped with a successful audit, etc.)
  4. Talk about your ability to meet business challenges and adapt to changing or new requirements if necessary.


There are thousands and thousands of Xero and QuickBooks certified accountants and bookkeepers here, so clients look for more than just skills and qualifications. They look for other values and the information you provide can help them better understand why they should hire you and how it will benefit them.


2) If possible, convert the two Word documents in your portfolio to PDF documents. Some clients may not have the ability to open Word or Office documents. The PDF format can be opened in most if not all browsers and across multiple platforms (i.e., desktop, phone, tablet, etc.) Also, use a cover page for your PDF so an image is shown in the thumbnail view instead of the less attractive text shown through a Word document.


3) Consider adding a project catalog; it's another way for clients to see you and request your services. The project catalog allows you to setup a pre-packaged service that clients can buy without you sending a proposal. Due to higher than usual requests for project catalogs, reviews and approvals are taking a minimum of 10 business days. Read Get Started With Project Catalog for more information.


4) In your Accounting and Bookkeping specialized profile summaries, correct the spelling of Recaivables Management --> Receivables Management and Finacial Reports --> Financial Reports.

Community Member

Thanks Clark for going through my profile and suggesting the improvements.

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