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michaelajornlin
Community Manager
Community Manager

Tips for Getting Started on Upwork

Getting started on Upwork can be challenging. Here are some top tips that can help you succeed.

 

Complete Your Profile

First, it can be very helpful to complete your profile 100%. It’s important to understand that there are certain sections that must be completed in order to reach 100%. You can even technically exceed 100% completion. The more fields you complete on your profile, the better your chances of winning work. Also, your profile must be 100% complete in order to qualify for badges such as Rising Talent and Top Rated. Check out this help article for more information on the numerous ways you can reach 100% or more completion. I also recommend this article about why a great title and overview can make a difference.

 

Set Your Profile Visibility

Second, we recommend updating your profile visibility. Once you’ve crafted the perfect profile, you’ll want clients to be able to see it. When setting your profile visibility, you have three options: Public, Only Upwork Users, or Private.  If you set your profile to private, it will be excluded from the Upwork marketplace and search engines. This means clients won’t see you when they search for freelancers. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to set your profile visibility to Public or Only Upwork Users.

 

Submit Proposals

Third, submit proposals! This may seem like an obvious step, but it’s one that often doesn’t receive enough attention from new freelancers. By regularly submitting proposals for projects that fit your skills, you not only increase your chances of winning work, but you also prevent your profile from being automatically set to private, which can happen if you are inactive from the platform. As you submit more proposals, you will also learn what does and doesn’t get the attention of clients. Also, remember, that you may have to submit more than 5 proposals before you win your first project. Persistence is key. To help improve the quality of your proposals, I invite you to read about how to create a proposal that wins jobs and take in this proven advice from freelancers on Upwork. Also, check out this great article about How To Get More Jobs on Upwork in 2022!


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
ACCEPTED SOLUTION
michaelajornlin
Community Manager
Community Manager

For help with your profile, check out this peer feedback thread and consider joining an Upwork Academy Coaching Cohort!


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community

View solution in original post

849 REPLIES 849

Hi Neetu,

 

I apologize for the delay in responding. Your profile looks good and is well organized. One thing to keep in mind is that the beginning of your profile overview displays in prospective client search results and it’s your first 200-character pitch. So, your first sentence should include clear, relevant information about your primary skill sets and expertise.

 

I would also recommend completing your profile. It is currently 90% complete. It must be 100% complete to qualify for programs such as Rising Talent and Top Rated.

 

I suggest you review this articles for additional tips that may help:

I hope these help!


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
21909fe8
Member

Hello Mike,

I enjoyed your article, "Tips from Upwork's Talent Team". I am new on Upwork and will really appreciate it if you could go through my profile and give me pointers on how to make it better. Looking forward to building an extensive client base. Thank you in advance.

Sincerely,
Chiamaka Obinwa

Hi Chiamaka,

 

Thank you for your message and welcome to Upwork!  I reviewed your profile and noted that your profile overview is short compared to the average. Upwork’s research shows clients see it as a positive signal if the profile is well written and comprehensive. Therefore, consider crafting your overview as a pitch to prospective clients. 

  • Help clients understand your abilities better by listing information about your skills and experience in an original and creative way. 
  • Focus on how you can help clients achieve their goals. For example, expand on who you are, the services you offer, and what you’re most passionate about. 
  • Be clear on your expertise and mention specialized software or tools. 
  • If appropriate, let your personality shine through (include some excitement), and show your qualities and praise the work you do, instead of focusing on yourself.
  • Other examples of information you can include are past accomplishments and projects, preferred working style, and your business’ values (e.g. I believe in strong communications or thorough upfront planning), industries or lines of businesses you have worked in before, and the types of clients you have worked with before (start-ups, solo entrepreneurs, large businesses, etc.). 

To give a clear impression you’re the person the client wants to talk to, here are some additional tips for writing a great Overview.

 

I hope this helps!


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community

Hello Mike,

Thanks for the review. I will work on it.

Regards,
Chiamaka Obinwa
tbvirtual
Member

I am concerned about listing past work places. My concern is I only want to add to my income sources not replace. Would not want my employer contacted. Feedback?

Hi Taunja,

 

You needn't supply any contact information. You can also just list the name of the industry, rather than the company.

 

I hope this helps.


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
nicolelabor
Member

Hi Mike, 

I am new to Upwork as a freelancer. Can you check my profie for review and some feedbacks? I actually also wanted to ask help in regards with sending proposals. Mind if you can help me in making a good proposal for a first timer? 

 

Best Regards, 

Alexa L.

Hi Alexa,

 

Thank you for your message. I reviewed your profile and have some suggestions:

  • The beginning of your profile overview displays in prospective client search results and it’s your first 200-character pitch. So, your first sentence should include clear, relevant information about your primary skill sets and expertise.
  • Your profile overview is short compared to the average. Upwork’s research shows clients see it as a positive signal if the profile is well written and comprehensive. Therefore, consider crafting your overview as a pitch to prospective clients. 

    • Help clients understand your abilities better by listing information about your skills and experience in an original and creative way. 
    • Focus on how you can help clients achieve their goals. For example, expand on who you are, the services you offer, and what you’re most passionate about. 
    • Be clear on your expertise and mention specialized software or tools. 
    • If appropriate, let your personality shine through (include some excitement), and show your qualities and praise the work you do, instead of focusing on yourself.
    • Other examples of information you can include are past accomplishments and projects, preferred working style, and your business’ values (e.g. I believe in strong communications or thorough upfront planning), industries or lines of businesses you have worked in before, and the types of clients you have worked with before (start-ups, solo entrepreneurs, large businesses, etc.). 
  • It might help to organize your overview with paragraphs: for example, have your introduction paragraph, a separate paragraph for skills, and one for experience. In this way, you might emphasize certain areas, but use caution with adding lists of skills with few to no related work examples because clients may question the sincerity of your skills list.

You might also find these articles helpful, particularly those about proposals:

I hope this helps!


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
melissapatoir
Member

Hi Mike, I am Melissa and I am new to the platform and I would like if you can review my profile and give me some tips to achieve success! Thank you!

Hi Mike,

Can you check my profile and recommend changes if any to win contracts. Please help me mike.

Hi Hoang,

 

Thank you for your message. I reviewed your profile and you're off to a good start. Your profile is well organized, but I do have some suggestions:

  • "Designer" is misspelled in your title.
  • Your profile overview is short compared to the average. Upwork’s research shows clients see it as a positive signal if the profile is well written and comprehensive. Therefore, consider crafting your overview as a pitch to prospective clients. 

    • Help clients understand your abilities better by listing information about your skills and experience in an original and creative way. 
    • Focus on how you can help clients achieve their goals. For example, expand on who you are, the services you offer, and what you’re most passionate about. 
    • Be clear on your expertise and mention specialized software or tools. 
    • If appropriate, let your personality shine through (include some excitement), and show your qualities and praise the work you do, instead of focusing on yourself.
    • Other examples of information you can include are past accomplishments and projects, preferred working style, and your business’ values (e.g. I believe in strong communications or thorough upfront planning), industries or lines of businesses you have worked in before, and the types of clients you have worked with before (start-ups, solo entrepreneurs, large businesses, etc.). 

I also recommend these articles about submitting proposals:

I hope this helps!


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
usman_klaviyo
Member

Hey Mike. Thanks for your tips. My profile was discovered 8 times in the 1st week and zero times in the past 4 weeks even though i am consistently applying to Jobs and also landed a Job by bringing an Outside client to Upwork. Can you plz look into this matter??

Hi Usman,

 

Thank you for your message. I see you had 4 views on your profile last week. One of the keys is to have a really great profile so that it stands out in search results. Here are some suggestions based on my review of your profile:

  • The beginning of your profile overview displays in prospective client search results and it’s your first 200-character pitch. So, your first sentence should include clear, relevant information about your primary skill sets and expertise.
  • Other examples of information you can include in your Overview are past accomplishments and projects, preferred working style, and your business’ values (e.g. I believe in strong communications or thorough upfront planning), industries or lines of businesses you have worked in before, and the types of clients you have worked with before (start-ups, solo entrepreneurs, large businesses, etc.). 

To give a clear impression you’re the person the client wants to talk to, here are some additional tips for writing a great Overview. 

 

I also recommend these articles:

I hope this helps!


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
8a99e06e
Member

Hi Mike,

I have landed my first job. But, I am not getting any invite or my proposals accepted after that job.  It would be of great help if you could provide me tips on getting my Upwork profile stand out and getting a rising talent badge. 

Regards,
Gaurav

Hi Gaurav,

 

Thank you for your message. Your profile is well-organized and off to a great start! One important thing I wanted to mention is that the beginning of your profile overview displays in prospective client search results and it’s your first 200-character pitch. So, your first sentence should include clear, relevant information about your primary skill sets and expertise. As such, I would suggest moving your "Why chose me?" section below the first paragraph ("I have 3+ years...") as that paragraph will be better for displaying in search results.

 

You may also find these articles helpful:

As for earning the Rising Talent badge, we look at a variety of factors when determining whether to award the badge. This includes client feedback, the overall strength of your profile upon submission, including prior experience and skills and your educational background, as well as the opportunities available in the market. To improve your chances of earning the badge, continue to submit proposals to job postings that are relevant to the skills listed on your profile.

 

I hope this helps! 


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community

Thankyou Mike. You rock🤘

Hi Muhammad, presently i'm going through the same problem here as well....I dont even know how to overcome this. I am about to give up on this freelancing thing because its just not working for me presently.

12561
Member

Hi Mike,

I am new to Upwork and I've been reading through the guidlines but I am confused and do not want to do something wrong.  On the page about submitting proposals it says something about offering a phone or video call, but I also see we are only supposed to communicate through Upwork?  Isn't that contradictory?

 

If a client accepts my proposal and wants me to do a tax return, what do I do next?  I assumed I'd use my own programs and email it to the client when done but after reading about only using Upwork, I do not know how to proceed.

 

My apologies if these questions are answered somewhere else.  I've been looking but have not found the answers.

 

Thanks for your help.

 

-Eve

Hi Eve,

 

Thank you for your message. You can make both phone and video calls directly through Upwork Messages from the browser.  This includes initiating Zoom Meetings! Check out this article about Voice and Video Calls. Using any of these methods directly through Upwork constitutes keeping communication on the site.

 

As for delivering the work, once the client sends you an offer and you accept, a contract is created. Once the contract is in place, you can communicate with the client outside of Upwork.

 

That said, if you decide on a fixed-price contract, there is the ability to deliver the finished work through Upwork. For more on that, take a look at this article about Getting Paid for Fixed-Price Contracts.

 

I hope this helps!


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community

Thanks for your reply.

carine_99
Member

Hello. Thank you for your useful post.
I am a new freelancer and im sending proposals out, but nobody is noticing them and most people prefer freelancers who have performed other projects here.... and im afraid i’ll run out of connects at this rate.

Would you kindly give me some advice and review my profile?

Hi Carine,

 

Thank you for your message. Winning your first project can be the toughest. I've reviewed your profile and have some suggestions. Your profile overview is short compared to the average. Upwork’s research shows clients see it as a positive signal if the profile is well written and comprehensive. Therefore, consider crafting your overview as a pitch to prospective clients. 

  • Help clients understand your abilities better by listing information about your skills and experience in an original and creative way. 
  • Focus on how you can help clients achieve their goals. For example, expand on who you are, the services you offer, and what you’re most passionate about. 
  • Be clear on your expertise and mention specialized software or tools. 
  • If appropriate, let your personality shine through (include some excitement), and show your qualities and praise the work you do, instead of focusing on yourself.
  • Other examples of information you can include are past accomplishments and projects, preferred working style, and your business’ values (e.g. I believe in strong communications or thorough upfront planning), industries or lines of businesses you have worked in before, and the types of clients you have worked with before (start-ups, solo entrepreneurs, large businesses, etc.). 

 

I also recommend these articles.

 

You will receive 10 free Connects each month. If the need arises, you can purchase additional Connects. A Freelancer Plus membership also provides an additional 70 Connects per month.

 

I hope this helps!


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
babajide365
Member

Hi Mike,

 

I have tried a lot of things with Upwork and submitted a lot of bids, but nothing has worked so far. Please I will like your help in suggesting best practices so I can be successful on the platform.

Hi Babajide,

 

Thank you for your message. I reviewed your profile and have some suggestions:

  • The beginning of your profile overview displays in prospective client search results and it’s your first 200-character pitch. So, your first sentence should include clear, relevant information about your primary skill sets and expertise. Consider removing "Hi, Thanks for viewing my Upwork profile page." as this is taking up precious real estate.
  • Your portfolio gives you the opportunity to impress potential clients with real-life examples of your skills and expertise. To help you look your best, consider showcasing 4+ examples (right now you have 3, but we know clients like to see at least 4) of your best work. Learn more about building a great portfolio here.

To give a clear impression you’re the person the client wants to talk to, here are some additional tips for writing a great Overview.

 

I hope this helps!

Best,

Mike


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community

Thanks, Mike. I will work on the changes you suggested; hopefully, things will get better.

Regards.

loyt
Member

Hi Mike! Thanks for the post that really helping new comer also replying and reviewing people's profile.

 

Could you also take a look on my profile and see if there's any improvement that I could do because I haven't landed any jobs since I've been active again these past few weeks (I made the account few years ago and left the account hanging because of office work) even after I propose on more than 15 jobs. 

 

Thanks!

 

Regard, Lionny

Hi Lionny,

 

Thank you for your message. I took a look at your profile and noticed your profile overview is short compared to the average. Upwork’s research shows clients see it as a positive signal if the profile is well written and comprehensive. You can include are past accomplishments and projects, preferred working style, and your business’ values (e.g. I believe in strong communications or thorough upfront planning), industries or lines of businesses you have worked in before, and the types of clients you have worked with before (start-ups, solo entrepreneurs, large businesses, etc.).

 

When writing your profile Overview, also consider that many clients do not know which software or skills are required to complete their task. Therefore, it's important to make sure you put equal emphasis on the end products you offer (logos, marketing materials, etc.). 

 

Don't be discouraged by the number of proposals you've sent. It is normal for it to take some time to win your first contract. Most talent report that the process becomes easier after winning their first job.

 

I hope this helps!


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community

Hi Mike, 

 

I joined upwork for a long time but then I was not active on it until recently. After submitted more than 20 proposals, I kept worrying that I don't have what it takes to work on Upwork But then I finally landed on my first job!

 

Thanks for the reviews and I will continue to polish my profile and portfolio. 

 

Regards,

 

Lionny

Congrats, Lionny! That's great to hear! Perseverance is key.


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
kakayloves01
Member

Hi Mike!

 

Good day! I just want to ask something about my upwork profile. I created the account on 2017 and it was in active for 3 years. Last year, I was able to land on my first client. How will I get a badge? It says, 

To qualify for a Rising Talent badge, you must:
  1. Pass the Upwork Readiness Test.
  2. Complete projects on time and as promised to clients.
  3. Maintain a 100% complete profile with accurate skills and genuine work.
  4. Keep your availability status up-to-date.
  5. Regularly submit proposals to projects that match your skill set.

I think, I am doing it all but I'm not still getting any badge. I want it so bad. Can you help me? 

 

Thank you so much and hope you have a great day!

 

Regards,

Kayla

Hi Kayla,

 

Thank you for your message. We look at a variety of factors when determining whether to award Rising Talent status. This includes client feedback, the overall strength of your profile upon submission, including prior experience and skills and your educational background, as well as the opportunities available in the market. In your case, you are ineligible for Rising Talent due to the age of your account.

 

You're, of course, still eligible for the other badges. Your next step will be to earn a Job Success Score (JSS) which can then lead to a Top Rated badge. Not all projects and clients are equal, so the time it takes to get a Job Success Score varies. In order to get a Job Success Score, you need to complete:

  • Projects with 2 (or more) different clients
  • 4 (or more) different contracts within 24 months

I hope this helps!


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
pkvisual
Member

Hey Mike, could you review my profile and give me some feedback about my profile?

Hi "Make",

 

Thank you for your message. I've reviewed your profile and have some suggestions:

  • You appear to be using a company name as your name. This is a violation of the Upwork Terms of Service. Please update your information with your legal name. If you wish to operate as a business on Upwork, you can create an agency.
  • The beginning of your profile overview displays in prospective client search results and it’s your first 200-character pitch. So, your first sentence should include clear, relevant information about your primary skill sets and expertise.
  • Your profile overview is short compared to the average. Upwork’s research shows clients see it as a positive signal if the profile is well written and comprehensive. Therefore, consider crafting your overview as a pitch to prospective clients. 

    • Help clients understand your abilities better by listing information about your skills and experience in an original and creative way. 
    • Focus on how you can help clients achieve their goals. For example, expand on who you are, the services you offer, and what you’re most passionate about. 
    • Be clear on your expertise and mention specialized software or tools. 
    • If appropriate, let your personality shine through (include some excitement), and show your qualities and praise the work you do, instead of focusing on yourself.
    • Other examples of information you can include are past accomplishments and projects, preferred working style, and your business’ values (e.g. I believe in strong communications or thorough upfront planning), industries or lines of businesses you have worked in before, and the types of clients you have worked with before (start-ups, solo entrepreneurs, large businesses, etc.). 

To give a clear impression you’re the person the client wants to talk to, here are some additional tips for writing a great Overview.

 

I hope this helps!


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
796cf328
Member

Hey Mike J,
I'm new to upwork and would like to get some help in building a good profile.
I'm also finding trouble finding my first job.

Hi Aaron,

 

Thank you for your message. I reviewed your profile and have some suggestions:

  • Photos make a strong first impression. Clear, headshot-style photos with a simple background work best. Consider improving yours by taking a photo that is cropped to include only your head and the top of your shoulders. Check out this how-to guide.
  • Your profile overview is short compared to the average. Upwork’s research shows clients see it as a positive signal if the profile is well written and comprehensive. Therefore, consider crafting your overview as a pitch to prospective clients. 

    • Help clients understand your abilities better by listing information about your skills and experience in an original and creative way. 
    • Focus on how you can help clients achieve their goals. For example, expand on who you are, the services you offer, and what you’re most passionate about. 
    • Be clear on your expertise and mention specialized software or tools. 
    • If appropriate, let your personality shine through (include some excitement), and show your qualities and praise the work you do, instead of focusing on yourself.
    • Other examples of information you can include are past accomplishments and projects, preferred working style, and your business’ values (e.g. I believe in strong communications or thorough upfront planning), industries or lines of businesses you have worked in before, and the types of clients you have worked with before (start-ups, solo entrepreneurs, large businesses, etc.). 
  • You have a strong command of the English language. However, I did notice some minor misspellings and grammatical errors (such as "Microsoft Office" not being capitalized)(. To help add extra polish, consider using a tool like Grammarly. It’s free and it works as a Chrome add-on, so it works in your Upwork proposals, profile edits, and Web-based email. As you're promoting yourself as a writer and editor, your spelling and grammar should be free of errors.

I hope this helps!


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community
ehsanul_hoq
Member

Thank you, Mike. That is absolutely awesome information.

88104f01
Member

  • Have been active in the past 90 days or joined in the past 30 days <<< thats one requirement for raising star does it mean we have to wait for 3months or 1 month of waiting just to get a job?

    for raising star is one criteria they are looking? 

    is there a way for us new to Upwork but an expert on our profession or fields?

    i hope offer and give us a chance as NEW to Upwork to at list be given a chance to find a job.
    i doubt it for i already submitted multiple proposals and yet ZERO reply or response.

Hi Rico,

 

Thank you for your message. In order to earn the Rising Talent badge, you either need to have been active (earning or submitting proposals) in the last 90 days or have joined Upwork in the last 30 days.

 

It takes persistence to win your first project. I reviewed your profile and have some suggestions:

  • The beginning of your profile overview displays in prospective client search results and it’s your first 200-character pitch. So, your first sentence should include clear, relevant information about your primary skill sets and expertise.
  • Your profile overview is short compared to the average. Upwork’s research shows clients see it as a positive signal if the profile is well written and comprehensive. Therefore, consider crafting your overview as a pitch to prospective clients. 

    • Help clients understand your abilities better by listing information about your skills and experience in an original and creative way. 
    • Focus on how you can help clients achieve their goals. For example, expand on who you are, the services you offer, and what you’re most passionate about. 
    • Be clear on your expertise and mention specialized software or tools. 
    • If appropriate, let your personality shine through (include some excitement), and show your qualities and praise the work you do, instead of focusing on yourself.
    • Other examples of information you can include are past accomplishments and projects, preferred working style, and your business’ values (e.g. I believe in strong communications or thorough upfront planning), industries or lines of businesses you have worked in before, and the types of clients you have worked with before (start-ups, solo entrepreneurs, large businesses, etc.). 
  • Your written English skills are strong and you are easy to understand. However, I did see a few minor errors. If you'd like to add extra polish, you might want to consider using Grammarly. I use this myself and really like it because it's free and it offers a Chrome add-on so it works in webmail, messages, proposals, and more.

To give a clear impression you’re the person the client wants to talk to, here are some additional tips for writing a great Overview.

 

I hope this helps!


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community

It is so lame to write it with correct grammar and well-presented writeups and more.
i am selling my self as a TECHNICAL GUY in terms of VIDEO EDITING  
i AM NOT SELLING my self as a GOOD AND PERFECT WRITER.

In terms of rising talent badge, i should wait for 90days just like a fraternity need to suffer and wait just for me to get ONE single JOB.  and yet it has been 15+ YEARS and more i doing the JOB THEY WANT ME TO DO.

My question is... Is it about the  WRITEUP on my profile? OR ABOUT MY CAPABILITIES OF DOING THERE REQUIRE PROJECT?

Hi Rico,

 

While it's true that, for some categories and types of jobs, a perfect command of English isn't a requirement, we often hear from clients that clear communication is very important to them when they make hiring decisions. Having a well-written profile description that is free of grammatical errors shows that the freelancer is professional and has great attention to detail. On the contrary, typos and confusing sentence structure may turn some clients away. 

 

Your experience is important and the Upwork profile provides opportunities for you to show and list this past experience to help you win projects on Upwork. A well-structured profile will help clients to easily understand this past experience.

 

As for the Rising Talent badge, I believe you are misunderstanding the requirements. The 90-day requirement means that you must have submitted proposals or earned on Upwork in the last night days. You do not need to wait 90 days. I reviewed your account and you meet all the requirements for the Rising Talent badge. The badge will appear on your profile in 24-48 hours.

 

I hope this helps!


Thanks,
Mike J.
Content Program Manager, Community