When you’re building your profile, it can feel like there are a million ways to improve it. Oftentimes, the simplest tips can yield the biggest results. The key is completing your profile, using keywords, highlighting your best work, showcasing your credibility, and a professional self-introduction.
Upwork is one of the gateways to high-paying and competitive jobs, especially when you’re new or even established in the industry. If you want the best clients who are willing to pay competitive rates, you need to make sure your profile is in tip-top shape. When you're a freelancer, your Upwork profile is the first impression employers have of you. It's easy to think of it as simply a resume, with some pictures and a description of what you do to supplement it. But your Upwork profile is the foundation on which your entire freelance career will be built. And like any important foundation, it should be well-constructed—and that takes time and attention.
There's a lot of competition on Upwork, and a lot of projects that need to be filled. Your profile could make the difference between landing a job or not. There are a few things you can do to improve your profile, so it grabs more attention and is more likely for you to stand out.
Completing your profile
Once you've signed up, there are many ways to find jobs on Upwork, but if you're just starting out and want to make sure your chances of finding work are as good as they can be, it's important that you complete your profile and fill out every field. Completing it 100% will also help boost your credibility and make you more likely to appear in searches.
First, make sure to choose a professional photo. Your photos will be visible to everyone that visits your profile, including potential employers, so choose one that shows professionalism and friendliness. For example, a photo of yourself smiling is more inviting than one where you look stern or angry. Also, make sure that the image is cropped properly and has a high resolution (at least 300 dpi).
Upwork requires that all information fields are filled out for a reason: when someone searches for professionals with specific skills, this information helps them decide whether you're the right fit for their job or project.
One of the most overlooked aspects of having a good profile is the use of keywords in your bio and job titles. Upwork uses these keywords to help match freelancers with their potential employers, so it's in your best interest to make sure they are present. Use your skills as described on your profile in your job titles. For example, if you're a great writer with experience writing about technology, don't go for something vague like "writing services," which is less likely to show up on searches for tech writers. Instead, try something like "Writing services for web content about technology."
Using keywords in your bio helps with searches too—you want your potential employer to find you when they search for someone with your skills, so make sure they are included in a way that will stand out from other profiles.
Highlight your best work in your portfolio
Make sure your profile has a strong cover page that highlights your best work—this includes photos of your final products and screenshots of your website where applicable (if you're doing web design). It is also important to make sure that every project you include in your portfolio shows the entire process from beginning to end.
Even if the prospect of writing descriptions for all the projects you've worked on seems daunting now, just take it one step at a time. Start by choosing 5 of your best projects (you can always add more later), and make sure that they're up to date so that when someone clicks on them, they see exactly what they're looking for.
Include only your best work: Nobody has unlimited time, and it would be a shame to fill up your portfolio with projects that don't do you justice. If you want people to find and hire you based on your shining examples, don't waste their time with mediocre work. It's much better to have one great project than three okay ones.
Credibility and trust are important things to have when you're looking for freelance work. But in a field like this, where so many people are vying for the same jobs, it can be hard to stand out. The way you present yourself on Upwork can make all the difference between landing a job or being passed over for someone else. A good way to gain credibility on Upwork is to find contracts for less pay, making it easy for customers to appreciate the value you bring.
Another way to show off your skills and experience is by highlighting what you've done in the past. Having a professional history shows that you're not just someone who won't take the job seriously, but also a person with a track record of success. Another smart thing to do is to list all your certifications and licenses—this shows a client you've gone out of your way to make yourself qualified for jobs you want and need. You can also maximize using testimonials from your previous clients by requesting one from them, especially when they are satisfied with the work you have done.
Add a video introduction
When Upwork users see your profile, they can find out a lot about you just by reading it—but there's no substitute for hearing your voice. Including a video introducing yourself will help potential clients know that you're real and serious about working for them. People are more likely to hire someone who looks friendly and professional than someone who looks like they may not be interested in their business at all. Show off your personality and be authentic in expressing who you are.
In Upwork's world, professionalism and personality go hand-in-hand. A personal touch can really help get your message across—so let people know why you're the perfect person for the job! If there's anything else about you that might set you apart from other freelancers, this is the place to tell them about it.
Your Upwork profile is your first step along the path of your client finding you and getting you to work with them. Make sure you treat it as such. It's important to be sure you fill in your Upwork profile completely. As far as the type of work you do, use keywords that will help your profile be found in searches. Showcase your best work and always check your grammar and spelling before you submit an application. The more professional impression you make from the beginning, the better chance you have at landing a good client.
To see how these tips can further help you, it is time to take some action, one step at a time. Here, try to schedule this week for your Upwork Glow-Up. Dedicate 30 minutes to an hour each day to doing each of these steps. For Monday, start with completing your profile, Tuesday is for optimizing for keywords, and so on. By doing this, you would have a transformed and much-improved Upwork profile by the end of the week.