How to Get a First Job on Upwork?

If you are a new freelancer or new at Upwork, getting your first job on Upwork is a difficult task. But believe me; it’s a simple task if you move by considering all the factors that are too important.

Success is possible for both beginners and experienced ones, but the only point is that you need to follow a proper direction to achieve success.

Upwork is a great platform to earn a huge amount of money, but only you need to know How to work. How to compete? And How do you pitch yourself? 

In this article, I will go through all the strategies through which you can get your first job on Upwork’s new profile. 


So, keep reading this article till the end and take all of the parts to learn the step-by-step guide to getting your first job on Upwork.

Top Tips to Get First Job on Upwork

1. Create an Attractive Profile

When you are new at Upwork, or you have no reviews on your profile, then there is only your profile that comes under extra evaluation.’

You should create your profile carefully and only add those things related to your field and your experience.

Many people make profiles without any proper knowledge about the concerned field. So, due to this, they are less competitive than any other who have proper knowledge, experience, and presentation methods regarding the field. 

2. Use a Professional Photo

An appropriate or professional photo is an important portion of your profile because, in your profile, the first thing that is visible to the clients is the picture of the concerned individual. 

So, it would be best if you used a professional picture that only shows the upper shoulder portion, especially the head and the neck. 

Your face should be smiling and confident because smiling and a confident look attract clients more. 

It would help if you looked friendly in your profile photo because friendly behavior also attracts clients, and the clients prioritize working with those who have friendly behavior.


3. Use the Compelling Title, Keywords, and Overview

You should select attractive titles for your profile because titles are very important to reach your profile. It would help if you used those titles for your profile, which explain well what you are doing. You should choose titles very carefully after knowing about the searches on that title.

Keywords are those words based on which your profile comes in front of the client. So, it would be best if you chose those keywords that are more specific to the specified niche and are less competitive than other keywords. If you take care of these factors, you can easily choose the right and most specific keywords for your profile. You should write the overview of your profile carefully and include your skills and experience in the overview.

Upwork title

4. Adding an Introductory Video

Adding an introductory video to your profile will help your profile to stand out from the rest. Because mostly you and your client don’t know each other. So, there is always a feeling of insecurity between you and your client.

You should make an introductory video for 30-60 seconds in which you should explain yourself and what you are doing. And from When are you doing? It would be best if you looked confident and well-focussed related to your specific field. 

An introductory video helps the client to decide because if you explain well in the introductory video, there are many more chances that there will be a decision in your favor.

The client comes to know after the introductory video whether an applicant is an appropriate person for the job. If you explain well in the introductory video, then all the doubts become clear in the client’s mind. 

An introductory video also helps your profile rank and stand out amongst others, and in this way, you have to face less competition. 

So, an introductory video is the need of today, especially for beginners.

5. Match Skills with the Work You’re Seeking

Your skills should match the work that you are seeking. Upwork provides the opportunity to add ten skills from the pre-defined database. So, you choose only those ten skills related to your offered services.

Many freelancers, especially beginners, needed to correct the selection of 10 skills. They randomly select ten skills, and ultimately, this affects their profile, and their profile doesn’t come in search terms when anyone searches for a related job.

The main benefit of selecting the right and most accurate skills is that when anyone searches for a job related to your skills, your profile will come in one of the top positions among the others.

So, you should carefully select the skills because this is one of the main factors in becoming in contact with the clients.

upwork skills

6. Add Relevant Work Examples

You should develop your portfolio as attractive as you can. You should also add some examples of recent work related to your specified skill. It will help the client to analyze your work, and clients will also analyze whether you are suitable for the specified job or not.

If you have a very good sample of your work, it will leave a good impression on the client; in this way, there will be more chances of you being hired for the job. But if the sample is not according to the client’s standard, then you will lose this opportunity in the beginning. Because if you can’t show a good sample work, you cannot do quality work for your client.

There is no need to show only the paid work as a sample. You can also prepare a special sample for your portfolio.

For Example: If you are a content writer and have no sample to show on your portfolio, then you should write a good article and show it on your portfolio.


7. Add Work Experience and Education

Like any other job, you should also add experience and education to your portfolio. If you have been working for the last many years, then you do not need to add your every job or work. You need to add four to five jobs, and these are enough.

But if you are new, you should add all your work experiences, as it will help boost your profile.

Similarly, it’s optional to add education to your portfolio. But if you add your education to your portfolio, it will help your profile stand out from the rest and impress your clients. If you have taken education, you should add that education to your profile.

Add Work Experience and Education

8. Adding a Project

Now Upwork has also created a feature known as Project Catalog in 2020. With this feature, freelancers can create fixed-priced jobs with pre-defined scopes. Clients can purchase these projects on demand.

If you have a specific skill like content writing and want to offer this service on Upwork, then you can add this as a fixed-price service.

It will show on your profile, and the client can buy this on demand.


9. Search for the Right Kind of Job

Many new freelancers face difficulty in selecting the right job according to their skill level. They get derailed and start searching and applying for the types of jobs that are different from their skill level.

It should be clear in your mind regarding your skill level and the types of jobs you can do. 

Applying for the wrong type of job is a waste of time if we consider that even if you get a job that is not related to your skill level, then you will not be able to complete this order. Ultimately it will show a negative impact on your client. If your client leaves a negative impact on your profile, it can be a big problem for you.

You can also search on Upwork with the phrase no experience necessaryThen Upwork will show a list of companies providing opportunities to beginners.

10. Be Patient and Selective

As a new freelancer, you should be patient and selective. On Upwork, there are a large number of jobs posted every day on different types of topics. 

Similarly, there are a large number of experienced freelancers on Upwork.

So, if you are new and want to get a first job, you should not apply for all types of jobs. But you should only apply for the jobs where you think there is less competition and you can present yourself for the interview for this job, and you can also do a job in a better way, and your client will be satisfied with you.

If you apply for all types of jobs, it will be a waste of your time and money. We have to consume Connects for applying to every type of job, and for each job, we have to consume 2 – 8 Connects. The price of one Connect is 15 cents. So, it can be costly for you, especially beginners, to apply for all types of jobs.

11. Focus on Small and One-Off Projects

As a beginner, you should focus on small and one-off projects. You don’t need to apply for all the jobs, and those jobs are based on 2-3 days or more. Because on these types of projects, there are well-experienced freelancers, it will be difficult for you to compete with them.

So, it would be best if you always tried to apply for small projects. If you do a small project and your client is happy with you, then you can get a five-star review. If you do a job based on days and you get a five-star review, then the value of both reviews is the same whether it takes you 30 minutes to complete the project or you take 2-3 days to complete the project.

So, you should focus on small projects because you can do small projects in less time and get more reviews from your clients.

After some reviews, your profile will be able to compete with the others. So after that, you can even apply for projects based on days.

12. Focus on the Client Who will Give you your Second Upwork Job

It would help if you always focused on the clients with a track record of hiring freelancers regarding your skill level. So, it would be best if you tried to apply for jobs only for those clients who can hire you in the future too.

For Example: If you are a Content Writer, then you apply for jobs on the postings of those clients who have a record of hiring people for Content Writing. If you get a job from that client and your client is satisfied with your work, then there are more chances that your client can hire you for future projects too.

So, you should try to approach those clients by considering the future projects too or with which we see our future.

13. Read the Job Description Carefully

Always read the job description carefully before making any decision regarding that job. Because on some jobs, the description part is easily understandable, but some jobs contain in-depth descriptions. 

Some job descriptions contain specific codes in the description portion, and clients tell you to put that code word when you submit your proposal. 

So, it’s necessary to study and analyze the job description portion carefully because after carefully analyzing, it becomes clear whether this job is according to our skill/interest or not.


14. Provide Social Proof

Feedback and ratings are social proof for the clients. However, the beginners have no feedback or ratings. Then how will the beginners show social proof to the clients?

Beginners can also show social proof that they can do that specific job. When you apply for the job, the client can also see your profile on other social media platforms like Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter. Your profile should be well established and offer the same services that you are offering on Upwork. Instead of showing your work experiences in the form of any PDF, you should upload it on your other social media platforms. From these platforms, your client can see your work. In this way, beginners can also provide social proof to the clients.

For Example: If you are a content writer, instead of showing your article in PDF form to clients, you should upload these articles on other social platforms. Your client can see your work experience from these social platforms, or you can share your other social media profiles with your client.

15. Add Links to Similar Work that the Client Required

Most applicants don’t attach the links to their recent work while submitting the proposal. And a large number of applicants attach links to that work that is not related to the customer’s requirement. 

For Example, The customer wants to hire a content writer for writing on business. But people start to share their work experience as articles on education and politics etc.

So, it’s very important to share your work experience when applying for any job. And it’s more important to share your work experience related to the customer requirement.

Because otherwise, you cannot compete with this huge market where a large number of professionals in every field are present.

16. Try to Engage the Client

You should engage with your client when submitting your Catchy proposal. At the end of your proposal, you should offer an audio or video call to your client to discuss the project.

For Example: Let’s schedule a call or video chat to discuss the project. I’m available between 9 am-5 pm every day of the week. We can also schedule according to your convenience.

So, you should try to engage with your client as above. In this way, there are many more chances that your client will answer your proposal and you will get interviewed. 

17. Prepare to Answer Additional Questions

You should always be ready to answer additional questions. Sometimes, submitting proposals is not enough. Some companies or clients often ask additional questions. Sometimes they can ask questions related to your project, and sometimes they can ask questions from the list that Upwork provides them.

Following is the list of questions that Upwork can ask.

Answer Additional Questions on Upwork

So, you try to answer all the questions, whether they are custom questions or the general questions that Upwork asks. 

You should answer all the questions well because some clients also focus on the answers to these questions.

So, your answers should be realistic and according to the question.


In conclusion, You can get your first job on Upwork if you focus on the above strategy. Upwork is the best platform that connects businesses and clients with freelancers from all around the globe. It provides excellent opportunities for freelancers to showcase skills and expertise related to their niche. Upwork offers a secure and efficient platform for freelancers to make money on Upwork. Freelancers should focus on creating compelling profiles, optimizing their job proposals, and building a strong reputation by delivering high-quality work on time.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Yes, As a new seller, you can send a proposal on Upwork by using Connect. It will make your profile more visible in the search results.

As a freelancer, you can learn the most demanding skills, such as graphics designing, SEO, content writing, and web and app development. After learning these skills, you can make good money on Upwork.

As a new Freelancer, it can take a lot of work to win the first client, but you need to make a strong profile, apply for a job every day, and improve your proposal. It will help you to get the job very soon.