The Secret to Winning Your First Job on Upwork

The Secret to Winning Your First Job on Upwork

The Secret to Winning Your First Job on Upwork

It is important to set goals in any career in order to achieve a defined purpose - freelancing is no exception! However, you are advised to be as objective as possible so that you can develop thick skin in case of hiccups during your freelancing journey. If you are starting out as an online freelancer, it can get pretty complicated to get your first job, not to mention positive feedback that some clients tend to refer to. This should not worry you anymore as this guide is meant to take you through the important steps to winning your first job on Upwork.

How to win your first job on Upwork?

Create great profile

It is important that you create a great profile that is tailored to showcase your skills in a glimpse. This enables clients to know about you, before even they can invite you for jobs or accept your bid. It is plus if you have a friendly photo, and avoid using pictures of animals or inanimate objects. Having your own photo makes clients feel like they are talking to a human being. Importantly, include your previous works, information on education background, as well as some skill tests. The best thing is that skill tests give clients the needed confidence that they can work with you.


You can have a nice profile, professionally written, and devoid of any mistakes, but a sloppy proposal will definitely lose. Your proposal should not only showcase your skills, but also tell the client how you are the right fit. Try to explain to the client how you will manage the job, how you have done such task before; and finally, the value you will add to his or her business. In this way, it becomes easier for your client to know that you are a valuable asset. As a rule of thumb, be objective as possible and avoid being verbose.

Bid on specific jobs you’re interested

It is vital to note that you should bid on jobs that you are more interested in doing, rather than looking at clients’ expenditure. One of the most interesting facts about Upwork is that some new freelancers have been able to start working with clients that have spent $0 on Upwork, and ended up earning literally thousands within a few months. Therefore, in order to get started, do not use expenditure as a metric to determine your bidding pattern.

Job category question

The Upwork platform has placed different jobs in specific categories just to make it easier for you to bid on your line of interest. However, it is equally important to scan all manner of jobs as opposed to specific categories. This is because of the interchangeable nature of some job descriptions. For instance, you might be a writer looking for some work and you will go for the writing & translation category. However, some clients will not send their writing tasks there but will send to the marketing category-content writing. And so, you can miss out on this job if you only consider looking at specific categories.

Communication is key

If you are good at communicating with clients, you will starting sooner than you can imagine. Discuss the details of the project, how you can add value, what changes can be made to meet specified objective, and of course, be clear and concise. It is equally important to also ask questions related to the project so that nothing goes wrong mid-way. One thing you must endeavor is to build confidence from the word go. Further, try to price the project as per the value you offer. It is a terrible mistake if you just jump in and start talking about money before even project details are well understood.

Take advantage of job description

It is unwritten rule that clients will prefer someone who understands their needs, rather than go for people who are experienced but didn’t meet the job guidelines. As a new freelancer, you are advised to try and understand the job description before sending your proposal. It is based on the finer details of the proposals that you will either be awarded the job, or your proposal will be flatly declined.

Be professional

Upwork as a freelance site is highly reputed for clients who can offer ongoing work for years. These are the type of clients who do not compromise on quality and time. In other words, you should be able to communicate professionally in all ways, from your portfolio photo to the words you send to clients during application or interview.

Last but not least, take note that this is only but a guide to help you kick start your career on Upwork. These are not rules set in stone that you should follow, but a framework of the most important things you should have at your finger tips. Overall, success is always embalmed in focus and determination. Do not give up even if your bid is declined the first few days.

About the Author Kaila Sharlene

I am a freelance web designer, web developer and SEO specialist - one of the “Top Rated” web designers on Upwork. Living a digital nomad lifestyle, I love to explore the outdoors while doing some freelance jobs in between.

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