Have you ever done work online? Do you know how to find jobs in Upwork? As citizens of developing country and even some first world, the ever present need of making some extra money to meet all our needs is very familiar.  Well I have found a way and I would like to share it with you.

In my previous article on Can I Makey Money Online – I made mention of Upwork so I am going to elaborate now how you can find work in Upwork.   YES! I am going to show you how to find your first job even if you have no experience right from the comfort of your home wherever you are located.

To find jobs in Upwork or as a freelancer in general especially as a first timer requires a bit of perseverance.  You have to work hard to apply for jobs and stand out from the crowd. But perseverance alone won’t get you the job.

Here are a few things I believe will help you navigate your way and help to guide you on how to find jobs in Upwork.

First things first, before you begin your Upwork career, it’s important to note that Upwork is frequently rejecting profiles of newbies who have the same standard skills as everyone else.

So now is a good time to reconsider your skillset or find new ones if necessary based on new and relevant skills that are trending now.

Learning a brand new skill is a great way to make sure you’re setting up for a freelance business that is long term and sustainable.

how to find jobs in upwork

What is Upwork – How Does it Work?

Upwork is one of the largest global freelancing platforms where businesses and independent professionals come together for online work services. It has over 3 million registered freelancers and about 5 million registered clients. (now don’t get daunted or overwhelmed by the figure of registered freelancers, believe me when I say there is work for almost everyone if you are willing and hungry enough to go after the jobs).

Upwork is a popular option for freelancers looking for extra cash or even full-time work in the comfort of their home. Upwork offers secured payment solutions, not to mention a great number of skilled freelancers with competitively priced services.

I’ve used Upwork to earn a steady income for over 3 years. If you are somewhat new in the world of freelancing, it isn’t surprising to get frustrated by how the platform works.

Each year, more than 3 million jobs are created through Upwork and they are worth over $1 billion USD in total. If you are new to the industry and you would like to get some work from Upwork, but you have no experience, no worry, you can still make it.  I will give you some valuable tips on how to find jobs in Upwork so you can get your freelancing career on the road.

Every master was once a beginner. So as long as you are willing to learn, to keep trying and never give up, Upwork can be a great place for you to earn your first online earnings.

In a nutshell, Upwork is a great place to find jobs it is a freelance gig site.  Clients come to Upwork to hire freelancers, and freelancers come to Upwork to get hired by clients. When clients post a job, they usually provide a description, a budget, and some sort of deadline.

If you, the freelancer, are interested in the job, you’ll place a bid. In your bid, you can include a cover letter, samples, and answers to any specific questions the clients have asked. You can also propose your own rates, whether the client shares his or her budget or not.

My Experience with UpWork

When I first started freelancing, my first job was a 3 weeks data entry job which I conpleted within a week.  At first I was under the impression that clients would only hire people with the most experience or only people living in the United Stated of America.

To my surprise this was the furthest from the truth,  When I joined upwork in August 2015  I had no freelancing experience and I was told by others who were already in the system  to apply for data entry, virtual assistant or writing jobs.

So I uploaded my profile and went for it, believe me when I tell you that it was one of my most overwhelming moment especially when it came time to bid for the jobs.  I did not land my first job until after about 3 months there and my total pay was $70 US.   By the fifth month I was able to get $500 and two months after that I was getting $800 monthly. (I hardly work at UPwork these days I am now into affiliate marketing).

How to Find Jobs in UpWork from Anywhere

how to find jobs in upwork

Okay, let’s get started hop on over to Upwork and get the ball rolling.

 Step 1:   Learn All You Can About the Site and How it Works

Every freelancing site operates differently so you need to take the time out to learn the rules and regulations before you sign up.  You want to make sure that you know every detail of Upwork.

From how you are getting paid to how much is going to be deducted from your contract, these are things that you should know as a freelancer working on Upwork. Once you already know these details, be sure to take the Readiness Test.
Once you’ve completed the readiness test, your profile will not only look nicer, you can even apply to more job opportunities.

Apply to join Upwork – fill out the first page – click save and continue which will take you here

how to find jobs in upwork

This page is very crutial this is where you have to self your brand and your services so you have to ensure that you put out what will attract potential employer.

Step 2:  Create Your Profile

To find jobs in Upwork your profile has to definitely stand out.  The truth is, your success on Upwork will largely depend on how good your profile is.  Your goal is to wow clients the moment they land on your profile.

Tailor your profile to showcase your skills in a glimpse and let clients get to know you even before they invite you for jobs.

Begin by picking a niche. This should be an area that you have experience in. Then ensure that your entire profile talks about your experience in this niche.

Tips for an Standout Profile

Gripping Headline: This is the first thing that a client sees on your profile. This part will either make the client read the rest of your profile or move on to the next freelancer.

The headline tells the client what you have to offer in a just a few words. Be clear and concise when creating a headline. If you are a transcriber that should be clearly stated in your headline. Don’t make the client have to fish for information to understand what service you really are offering.

Overview: This is one of the most important parts of your profile. Make sure your overview introduces you unambiguously to the client by letting them know what you have to offer. The main goal is to show how you – even if you’re a newbie – are different from the other freelancers. Your overview should answer the question “Why should I hire you over the others?”.

Think over what you should write in this overview part to make get your client’s attention. Focus on your skill that may be helpful for your client.  Ask yourself and answer it in the overview smartly. Make an overview of three or four paragraphs and try to stick within 1000 characters. Too lengthy overview will destroy your focus. Don’t make it boring with unnecessary words.

Identify the Main Job you Want to Offer: You profile needs to be niched to a specific job.  This does not mean you can’t offer other services.   Focus on the work that you do really well.

Clearly state that service and all other related services you are capable of doing.  For me it is Admisitrative Support and Social Media Management.  Everything else I that I put on my profile is to reinforce that I am qualified for the job.

So if you’re a writer; instead of selling yourself as a general writer pick a niche within the writing profession and build your profile around this niche. This could be copywriting, web content writing, blogging, business writing, creative writing and so on.

Since writing is a pretty saturated field, our recommendation would be to niche down even further if possible by picking an industry or area to focus your efforts on. For example, you could be a sports and fitness blogger or a social media page copywriter.

Experience: As a newbie, you will not have past Upwork jobs to back up your skills, but this doesn’t mean that you don’t have any professional experience.

To navigate this big hurdle, take advantage of the experience section to showcase your expertise. Make sure that you add all relevant work that you’ve done in the past to show clients that you have the skills and the experience to back up your claims. offline.

     Fill Out Everything: Have a complete profile. Do not leave a single field blank. It may seem redundant but every section is the ability to add keywords to your profile.  

    Hourly Rates: The importance of thinking through the hourly rate is that many clients will look at your rate and use it to judge your expertise. The rate you settle on should reflect the level and quality of work that you can provide.

    Do some quick research on Upwork to see what other freelancers in your location, in your area of specialisation are charging to help you decide the best rate for you. Your rate is not set in stone so you can always change it later.

    Step 3:   Build a Portfolio

    A portfolio increases the chances of you getting hired for the job that you are applying for. What I did was to make reference to my website since I was applying for jobs to do content writing.

    These do not have to be detailed case studies but they should be recent, relevant to your desired jobs. Also be sure to add image captions! Every caption is an opportunity to sell your services to prospective clients.

    Again, using your past experience to describe your expertise is a great way to prove that you have something of value to offer. For instance, if you’re a web designer and in your past full time jobs you built a couple of websites – add links in your portfolio to the sites you built (be sure to ask for permission to do this from previous clients/ employers)

      Step 4:   Take the Relevant Tests

      The more seasoned freelancers in Upwork will tell you that a very critical aspect in how to find jobs in Upwork is to show that you are competent to do the job.

      In Upwork they provide different tests that can determine the capabilities of freelancers. Writers, SEO experts, online marketing managers, and other freelancers can find different tests to further prove their abilities to prospective clients.

      Add some weight to your experience by taking tests within your area of your specialisation to show that you’re indeed good at what you say you are. Go beyond the basic English skills test and take industry related tests.

      Once you’ve done the tests make sure you show them on your profile for clients to see. If you score poorly on a test, remember you can always retake it. So don’t let failing scare you from showing off your knowledge.

        Step 5 Apply for Jobs

        If you are serious working as a freelancer, this is how to find jobs in Upwork –

        First thing, take action and submit your proposals. Do not think that once you have created a nice and great profile, clients will come to you automatically. It does not work that way. You need to go and put your name out there to win the contracts.

        Winning a contract in Upwork is a numbers game. The more prospective clients you contact and propose, the more likely you are going to get the work. Somehow, somewhere  someone will want what you have to offer.

        By the way, never forget to improve as you progress. Learn to create a better proposal and customize it to fit your client’s requirements.

        Here are 18 tips on how to find jobs in Upwork quickly even if you have no experience at all:

        1.  Make Your Profile Standout 

        The very first step to get your first job on upwork is to make an attractive profile. It is very easy to make a profile, but it is really very difficult to make it an attractive one. So, be conscious of making a good and presentable profile so that your client may be pleased with your personality and feel tempted to hire you.

        2.    Get a Good Profile Picture

        One of the very first things that your clients will see from your profile is your picture. When you want to request work from someone, people will want to know your face and who you are.

        So upload and use a more professional picture of yourself. Get a high-resolution head shot picture with a pleasant smile. Please, no naked shoulders, and try to dress Professional. Never be too shy to show your face when you are out there looking for jobs.  They say that a picture speaks a thousand of words. So, it is very important to think deeply while choosing a profile picture.

        3. Your Language Skills are Important

        In the online world, you will contact your clients through the power of words most of the time. And it has no exception when it comes to Upwork. Even if you have no experience, you should mind your language skills because they can win you the contract or worst, fail you.

        Small things such as misspellings, texting lingo, and poor grammar are red flags to clients, and this is especially true when you are bidding for professional writing work. You should always check your spelling and read through what you have typed before you send out to your client. Use tools such as Grammarly to help you in this.

        3. Low-Paying Jobs Can be a Great Start

        This is one of the mistakes that most beginners make. They think that low-paying jobs are not worthy because they have to spend a lot of time to get the work done, yet, the payment cannot justify their effort.

        Never underestimate the low-paying jobs. In fact, most big businesses and long-term clients come from low-paying jobs. No one will award a $1000 job to someone that they do not know or have no past experience with. This means that low-paying jobs are your best bet to connect with clients with a bigger budget. Start small and grow, so never mind the low-paying jobs, just do them.

        4. Send Winning Proposals

        Now that your profile is up-to-date and stands out, it’s time to send out proposals.

        A sloppy proposal will not get you the job no matter how great your profile is. A proposal is what introduces you to the client so it should showcase your skills, and also tell the client why you are the right fit.

        Go beyond what is in your profile and give important details such as what skills you will employ in the job, similar jobs that you’ve done in the past, how much time it will take you to get the job done and most importantly, the value you will add to their business.

        In short, your proposal should let the client know that you are a valuable asset. Your proposal should be clear, address the job and concise.

        Avoid using templates always write unique content. It should be obvious that your proposal is written specifically for them and addresses details they mentioned in their work description. Remember, your proposal has to be short and to the point.

        5. Keep Your Proposal Short

        Don’t kill the client with boredom by making them read your uber long proposal. Most will actually skip over it. Instead, try and work with two to three paragraphs.

        The key to writing a good proposal is to keep it relatively short. Don’t beat around the bush, stick to content that is related to the job. Don’t get too excited and put your entire resume on the proposal.

        The goal is to make the client interested enough to check out your awesome profile.

        6. Read the Job Description Carefully

        One of the best ways to get hired for any job, offline jobs included, is to showcase your knowledge of the hiring company and the position being applied for.

        While as an Upwork freelancer it may be difficult to find out all the deets about the company/client, the job description alone can be a good starting point.

        Get hired by showing the client that you read and understood the job requirements. To do so, you must read the job description fully and understand the needs of the client before sending your proposal. Use the job description to show the client how you are going to use your skills to fulfil their needs.

        If the job description has questions, make sure you answer them in your job application. Some clients will want to know if your read the full job description and will even have extra instructions for this so keep an eye out!

        7. Complete the Job Application

        When sending your proposal, ensure that you work on all the other job application requirements such as the proposed bid amount, estimated time it will take you to complete the job as well as any other special questions the client has added in the application process.

        8. Don’t Be Too Desperate

        It is fine if nobody wants to hire you. The beginning is the toughest. Sometimes, you just do not want to show that you are desperate to get the job. Your desperation will scare your clients away.

        Your clients will want to see you as in hot demand and successful. People will want to hire someone good and someone who can deliver a great work, not someone who is desperate.

        9. Be Selective of the Jobs you Bid on

        When you start off, you might think it makes sense to apply to as many jobs as possible – some even unrelated to your niche of choice. However, this will only slow you down in finding your first job on Upwork.

        Instead, bid on jobs within your niche. By bidding on a job that you have a genuine interest in, you will easily be able to write a good proposal that will land you the job because you fully understand what is required.

        Clients also appreciate a freelancer with expertise in one particular area and are more likely to hire you if they see you have relevant experience.

        10. Apply to Recently Posted Jobs

        Create your job feed and add categories related to jobs within your niche. Use this feed to find newly posted jobs and apply to them before more freelancers do. This means that the client gets to receive and review your job application before the competition gets too high.

        Applying to recently posted jobs also gives you an advantage especially when a client wants to hire immediately. This means that they are not interested in reviewing tons of applications, but looking to find a suitable freelancer as soon as possible. Clients are most likely to notice the first few applicants even if they are a newbie.

        11. Nail Your Interview

        A good proposal will not necessarily get you hired immediately but will land you an invitation to interview for the job. Now, this is your last chance to get the job so you better put your best foot forward.

        12. Do your homework

        Know your client and their business well before you get down to the interview. Some clients will add their company names or links in the job description so use this to do a bit of research on them. This will go a long way toward showing your clients that you’re well-prepared to handle their project.

        13. Showcase Your Expertise

        Identify your core skills that are a good fit for the job and express them during the interview. Prepare samples around these skills and offer them to the client during the interview to show them how the skills will align with their needs.

        14. Focus on Client’s Needs

        Use the interview to show the client you understand their needs and you know how to fulfil them. Give a few suggestions on opportunities that would benefit the client or a solution to a problem that they may have. You want to come off as proactive in taking initiative. This will definitely impress them.

        15. Ask the Right Questions

        Interviews are also a great time to gain deeper understanding of what the client hopes to achieve. This will help you determine whether you’re indeed a good fit. Remember, the goal is not to just land a client but to do a good job and get a good review. If you don’t fully understand the role, you’ll end up doing a not so impressive job. So take this chance to ask questions about the job.

        16.   Respond Quickly

        You know what, a quick response is liked by all. So, whenever your client is trying to contact with you make a quick response. Don’t keep them waiting for long. Otherwise your client will hire another worker for his project. So, your time of response really matters to your clients.

        17. Keep Learning

        As you apply for jobs on Upwork, take note of the skills that clients in your area of expertise are looking for. If you need to learn a new skill to make you more valuable to clients, go ahead and do it.

        Take a look at top rated freelancers and find out what makes them great. Read their profiles and learn from them. Check out the jobs they apply to as well as the feedback they receive. What is it that they did that impressed clients? Try and offer such value.

        18.  Be Patient and Don’t Give Up

        Getting that first job can seem like a tough hurdle but don’t give up.

        You’re full of determination and drive, but your proposals aren’t getting a response. Just be patient. Based on personal experience, I got my first contract within a week, the second within two weeks.  Now it takes me only a few days to get a contract.

        It is very important to be patient in the freelancing world.  Most times it takes a while to get your first job. Your first jobs will really take some time but gradually you will see that you are getting hired fast.

        Generally it takes two or three weeks to get the first job and then one or two weeks for the second. This varies so don’t take this for gospel. So if it takes longer for you don’t give up hope.

        You will be hired shortly, be optimistic and self confident. Believe that success is also for you.  It can be a bit of trial and error and you may face a few rejections but keep trying and refining your process until you nail that first job.

         Ready to Succeed on Upwork?

        Now that you know how to fin jobs in Upwork, just go for it.  Work on improving your written communications skills as well to be able to write better and professional proposals.

        Never ever focus on money in the beginning, focus on learning and love the process, money will flow eventually.

        Hope this helps.


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