7 Easy Ways to Land More Jobs on Upwork

A lot of people struggle to get work on Upwork. Even if they have a portfolio uploaded, there are ways to make sure you get more job opportunities.

Here’s how I do it:

1. Update your portfolio.

Include more polished and recent material. If you have older items that you’ve updated, re-load those items with the newest, most professional version.

An image of a woman with a camera

2. Update your picture.

A lot of people seem to forget to do this, but I’ve actually noticed when I have a smiling picture on my profile, I get more feedback from potential clients.

And make sure the picture is professional. You don’t have to have a fancy headshot, just something that clearly shows your face. You can have a friend take a picture with your phone, if you don’t already have one. Wear something professional and work-appropriate.

3. Adjust your rates.

You should never undersell yourself. But if you’re starting out and charging $100/hr to write website content, consider if you might be over-charging for your product. On the other hand, if you have a decade of experience and are only charging $3/hr, it’s going to look strange!

Or, if you’re extremely experienced, consider if you might be under-charging for your pitches. Make sure your rates make sense for what you’re being asked to do. See what other people are charging for the same things and ask around to make sure you’re up to date on rates.

I turned down a job last week for a kind of writing I really want to do – but it wasn’t paying enough to justify the amount of work it was going to take. I would have been lucky to crack $6 an hour. Some jobs are like that – pass on the ones that you can’t afford to do.

man typing

4. Add a new section to your profile.

Upwork allows you to have more than one sub-profile on your main profile.

For instance, I have one General one, one for Content Writing, and one for Editing/Proofreading. That allows me to separate what I send to possible clients. This separation helps me land more jobs on Upwork, because I’m able to specifically target what the client is looking for.

If they want content, they might not need editing. If they want editing, they might not need content. If they want both, I can send them my general profile. See how easy that is?

5. Target more suitable jobs.

If your profile and experience is all in the writing space, and you’re only applying to graphic design jobs, you’re probably not going to land very many. You need to make sure your portfolio matches what you’re applying to.

Start at lower level jobs, or at jobs within your area of expertise. It helps to grow your reputation and rating on Upwork.

If you don’t have experience in an area you want to learn more about, look for jobs that don’t require experience, or try to gain some on your own, and then upload that work to Upwork.

For instance, if you want to be a web designer, but you don’t have sample sites, build some websites for friends and family that you can use as samples on Upwork.

Woman yelling into megaphone

6. Let people know you have an Upwork profile.

You may be surprised to learn your friends are hiring on Upwork. Some of my friends are, and I didn’t even know it!

It’s possible your friends may be looking for someone with your skills, and if they hire you through Upwork and give you a good rating, your chances of future jobs increase (always do the work as requested, though – don’t scam the system).

You can also link your profile to your social media, which may lead to job invitations from Upwork employers.

7. Make sure you’re checking your messages.

A lot of people don’t have notifications set up, or don’t check messages when they come in. One key factor on Upwork is communication. Plus, Upwork clients often will send invitations for jobs, and if you’re not checking your messages, you might miss a great opportunity!

Touch base with your clients and let them know what you’re up to, if you have a project in progress.

Lastly, a bonus:

8. Make sure your client cover letters are professional.

A lot of people struggle to write cover letters! They’re not the easiest thing to write well. Tailor your letter to the job. It shouldn’t be a copy/paste deal. Be personable and professional, speak to the strengths you have and what’s referenced in the ad.

Make sure they know: you read the actual ad, you’re not just spamming people.

What other techniques do you use to land jobs with Upwork? Post in the comments!