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Upwork newbie here, how do I get my first job?

kzlly75
Active Member
Kelly Z Member Since: Aug 9, 2017
1 of 9

Hi everyone, this is Kelly.

 

I am a newbie here on Upwork, and I am having trouble landing my first job. I've completed my profile (100%) with past experiences and working samples. I also sent customized job proposals to every job that I applied... But so far I haven't receive any response. I am guessing it's because I don't have the required job success score yet? It will be brilliant if anyone can have a look at my profile and shed some light on how to eventually get my first few jobs!

 

Thank you in advance!

jmlaidlaw
Community Guru
Janean L Member Since: Apr 6, 2016
2 of 9

Kelly --

 

You seem to have an impressive portfolio, and a glance at your overview looks as if that, too, is professional. And it seems to be genuinely yours. The rate of pay that you are asking should be appropriate for the work you do. Given that, it is simply a matter of connecting with the first few "good-fit" clients. Sometimes easier said than done, but all of us who are successful here have been there and have, in the end, done that.

 

I landed my first job by connecting with the client in a very personal way. She was looking for a wedding insert with a Scottish theme, and I mentioned a little-known (Scottish-themed) card game I know of (like "Old Maid") that is called "TartanSnap." We connected, and she and I still send emails every so often. Had a lot of fun doing that job. That job proposal was not only well-crafted, but was also exceptionally unique to the client -- yet, also professional and brief; not intrusive, not overly flowery, not going on and on. That was a good way to find a first client: finding someone with whom I knew I could really connect, and for whom I knew I could do a great job.  (By the way -- that took probably 2-3 weeks and many connects. It wasn't the first or only such proposal I sent. But I did have the feeling when I sent it that it was a particularly good one!)

 

Best of luck!

0b8e0d18
Active Member
Ali J Member Since: Sep 9, 2017
3 of 9

Sorry to barge in, Janean. I've been scouring through the community discussions to see if I can find an answer to the "How do I get my first job?" question. To be honest, I used to be quite active during the Elance era and had built up a successful portfolio with impressive feedback and recurring clients. Then I stoppped for many years. I thought I was done with Elance.

 

Long story short, I'm back and now Elance is gone. It is the new age of...Upwork? Fair enough, but even though my old login and password still work, all my past experience has somehow vanished. Now I'm a newbie. "Not a problem", I thought, "I'll be back to landing clients in no time!".

 

Alas, that is not happening. Not even a peep from all the proposals I've sent. Nothing. Its as though I'm invisible.

 

Er.....can you even see me?

 

So anyway, coming back to the barging in....

 

...Ummm, would you please, please, please also take a look at my profile and see if there's any glaring ommission or off-putting element? I would be eternally grateful.

 

Thanks Janean. I appreciate your help.

jmlaidlaw
Community Guru
Janean L Member Since: Apr 6, 2016
4 of 9

For what it's worth, Ali, I think that your profile looks great -- and you even explain your bargain prices well. In addition, you kind of split the difference between what you probably could/should be charging and the truly bottom-feeding $3-4/hour prices that the truly desperate charge. In addition, your post above suggests that you are accurate in your claim to be a native/bilingual speaker of English. 

 

I also like your photo.

 

Sorry I don't have any specific and helpful advice for you. I understand from reading in the forums that it's a tougher world here than "in the old days." However, Upwork does seem to be culling out some of the robo-bidders and deadwood. So there's that.

 

Good luck!

0b8e0d18
Active Member
Ali J Member Since: Sep 9, 2017
5 of 9

Thanks for the insight Janean! Really means a lot to me. I've further adjusted minor details in my profile. Lets see what happens! Fingers crossed!

pandoraharper
Community Guru
Pandora H Member Since: May 11, 2010
6 of 9

@Ali J wrote:

<snip>

 

Long story short, I'm back and now Elance is gone. It is the new age of...Upwork? Fair enough, but even though my old login and password still work, all my past experience has somehow vanished. Now I'm a newbie. "Not a problem", I thought, "I'll be back to landing clients in no time!".

 

Alas, that is not happening. Not even a peep from all the proposals I've sent. Nothing. Its as though I'm invisible.

 

Er.....can you even see me?

 

So anyway, coming back to the barging in....

 

<snip>

@ @Ali,

 

Welcome uh..back to Upwork. While you were away, Odesk become Upwork, Upwork merged with Elance, and then Elance went "POOF!". Users from Elance had a limited time (like 3-4 months) to "move" their work history from Elance to Upwork.  Looks like you have some back after that time has elapsed, so that's why your work history here is a blank.  Just letting you know.

 

@I agree with @Janean's comments about your profile, but have 3 comments.

 

1. Your current pay rate. I get your trying to get your foot in the door. There is a lot of debate about how much people like you should charge. Personally, I'd start at like $20, but that justs me.

 

2. Also, were you aware that you can embid video into your Portfolio? I am not sure of the specifics, but if you have videos that show your talent, get them into your portofilo! Or at least some video thumbnails. Your Portolio should POP, and right now it's sorta vanilla.

 

3. I really like your profile photo, but should warn you that Upwork in 2017 may have an issue with it because: 1) They want full face photos, clearly showing you entire face, and 2) they prefer regular color photos. It's possible they will not ever ask you to change it, just warning you.

 

Finally, I wish you luck!  There are a few forum regulars who offer simliar services, so hopefully one of them will pop in here and give you some other tips.

 

Edit: Fix errors.

0b8e0d18
Active Member
Ali J Member Since: Sep 9, 2017
7 of 9

Thank you so much Pandora! I agree with your suggestion on the hourly rate and since you mentioned it I've adjusted it to $20/hour. I also like my picture and hope I don't have to change it. When this was Elance I used to have my company logo as my profile picture and was asked to change it to a portrait, so I chose this! Haha! I guess they just gave in and let it be.

 

I will have to look at the embed option. So far its only for YouTube and most of my videos are up on Vimeo. That's why I have links. I'll have to upload them to my YouTube account and then use the embed option. I'll get round to doing that eventually.

 

Meanwhile I guess I can stick to writing prosposals that pop. Fingers crossed!

kzlly75
Active Member
Kelly Z Member Since: Aug 9, 2017
8 of 9
Thank you Janean, it is very reassuring and encouraging to read through your words! I just received my first response from a client. Even though I am still interviewing for the job and all, I feel so much more motivated. 🙂  Hope this marks my starting point here on Upwork.
0b8e0d18
Active Member
Ali J Member Since: Sep 9, 2017
9 of 9

Congratulations Kelly! Hoping I land my first project soon as well!

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