Tips and Tricks for Creating an Irresistible Upwork Profile

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If you have never freelanced on Upwork, elance, freelancer, etc then you ought to know that after submitting your job application and it captures the attention of a potential client, they will most definitely feel the urge to look at your profile.

Your Upwork profile acts as your link to prospective clients.

In this blog post (it will be a long one but totally worth it) I will walk you through some of the tips and tricks that I used and continue to use to this date to make my Upwork profile appealing and most of all, a profile that helps me land jobs either by job invitation or when I apply.

i) Upwork Profile Picture

This is based on a true job invite.

odesk profile picture

In early 2013, I received a job invite because of my profile picture. Yes! That’s me, holding my pet (Fluffy). To this date I work with that client and I always receive 5 star feedback all the time.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and your Upwork profile picture ranks even higher. It acts as a direct communication tool establishing a connection between you and a potential client even before official communication.

Yes! You may not know this, but if you have checked out a profile of any freelancer with an avatar, logo or no picture at all, then you will note that they haven’t worked as many jobs as they would like or they have no jobs at all.

A good Upwork profile picture is a picture of your face, and as a note, a smiling face is friendlier, hence attracts clients easily.


ii) Your Real Names

You need a job, right? We all need jobs, and for you to get a job, it is always important that you create an Upwork account using your real names. Upwork is not another social site where you can use the funkiest or crazy name that you think of. It is a global job marketplace.
Your names are important in case you need to verify your account and also in case of a name conflict.
I have been in a position where i needed to provide my Identification Cards and Mobile number because my name was similar to 28 other names on Upwork.

iii) Professional Title

Your professional title comes just underneath your Name. It accurately portrays the type of jobs you’re looking for. Check out the picture below to see how a professional title differs from a not so professional title.

Unprofessional versus Professional Title
Unprofessional versus Professional Title

TIP: A professional is likely to give you higher search ranking on Upwork when clients search for that specific requirement.

iv) Skills

My main reason for joining Upwork was (and still is) because I had a skill to offer to the rapidly growing online market. Always ensure that you add relevant skills to your profile. They help boost your chances of getting hired.

oDesk Profile Skills

Tip: Most skills added to your profile come with a test. Ensure that you take the test for that skill for you to rank higher on Upwork search results.

Bonus: 5 Websites to Learn and Improve your Freelancing Skills

v) Hourly Charge

How much to charge per hour is always a major question, and there are lots of factors that come into play.

My take: Add an hourly rate that you believe is worth your skills, you are comfortable with (you will not end up being over-exploited), and you are not chasing away clients i.e. never set a rate of $1/hr or $100/hr.

The average rates that you will always see on Upwork range from $3.33/hr – $30/hr but the extremes are also available.

You can also compare different profiles of freelancers in your field and set competitive rates.

Tip: If you are a newbie on Upwork always begin with an average hourly rate and in the future as you get more contracts and feedback increase your hourly rate.

vi) Profile Overview

Your profile overview should include detailed information about your skills, experience and above all what can you do or what you have to offer to potential clients to make their job a success.

Tip 1: Avoid indicating personality traits such as kind or hardworking. The client wants to know how hiring you will make a difference and ensure the delivery of their work just as they would want it PERIOD.

Tip 2: It is no crime to compare different Freelancer profile in your field and see what they have included in their profiles. Remember, just do not copy paste their profile overview.

vii) Tests

Odesk Profile Test Scores
Upwork Profile Test Scores

I do not like taking tests, and I bet no one on this earth loves to. They freak me out. That said, tests are important on Upwork, and to some extent, mandatory for certain jobs.
I have landed jobs on Upwork,  because I rank top 10 in a test. 

To be honest, most of the times I do not need to apply for a job, I receive job invites because I have a good score on the tests that I have taken that apply to what a client needs.

Note 1: Take as many relevant tests as you can and ensure that you pass in all of them.
This portrays that you understand the job field you are in and are capable of producing excellent work.

Pass the tests and indicate them on your profile. A check mark appears on all tests that you have taken and passed. This works wonders on your profile and future earnings

Most of the clients outsourcing for freelancers on Upwork are from English speaking countries, and almost all jobs that you will see on Upwork are in English, period.

Note 2: Take and Pass at least 2 English tests. The reason to take English tests is simple and straight forward.

It gives your client confidence that the freelancer they have hired can read, write, speak and understand English.

Learn the 4 Reasons Why Taking Skills Tests is Good for any Freelancer

viii) Portfolio Items / Samples

Who wants to hire a freelancer that has now sample or portfolios to show? No one. A sad fact, but it is the truth.

Lacking portfolio items on your Upwork profile is like having no experience or referees to back you up on your job application.

Always include portfolio items that you have personally worked on and if the work belonged to client ensure that you have the clients permission to use their work as sample items.

Portfolio items include Images, Attachments, and Links.

Odesk Portfolio Items
Upwork Portfolio Items

In addition to these, please avail certifications if you have any and indicate your employment history.

These are plus points because everyone likes employees who have experience.

Final take: Keep updating your Upwork profile with relevant information as often as possible, take more relevant tests and if you feel you are worth more than your current hourly rate, by all means, increase your hourly rate.

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52 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks for Creating an Irresistible Upwork Profile”

    • Hello Dorothy, thank you for taking time to check out my blog post. Highly appreciated.
      There are many reasons why any odesk profile does not get to 100% on odesk. The 2 most common reasons are ; lack of a profile picture and Inadequate Tests (It is Mandatory to take the odesk readiness quiz/test and at least one or two other tests – I recommend English (U.S. and U.K.) tests). Please keep me updated on your progress, I will be glad to help you to get your profile to 100%.

  1. Hi david quite informative info right thea, am new in odesk and my profile is at 80%, and I have done the odesk readiness test , and also the English test and passed,the only thing am yet to do is to attach any previous work, am still not able to apply for any jobs,usually I get a message saying my application quota is finished yet I have neva applied for any job. What could be the problem?

    • Hello Jane,
      Thank you for taking your time to read my blog post and I am glad that the info is informative. 🙂
      Firstly, I would recommend you ensure your profile is 100% complete. Once it is at 100% your job quota will increase. With regard to your issue, what application quota does it indicate ? Have you applied for any jobs? If yes, and you have not been hired then the job quota should automatically reupdate after 24 hours (normally).
      Kindly let me know if that helps.

          • Have you taken any odesk tests ? For example an english test. Have you added any certification to your profile ? You can add the oDesk readiness test.
            Have you added any portfolio/ sample items? Sample work is very important as it works as back up to prospective client that you have worked on projects previously. Kindly check on those few aspects and I believe your profile will be at 100% within no time.

          • Yes, I have taken a number of tests, two are ticked on my profile!

            I have tried adding the Odesk Certifications Results in the profile, but this option does not appear in the dialogue box for editing certifications. How do I do that?

            I have added work samples to the profile and completed the employment history. I have also added a little on the other experiences box… Thank you very much.

    • You are most welcome Alex. Now you can craft a profile that is irresistible to most if not all clients.
      P.S. I should take you on a head to head of 3 FIFA 15 games 🙂 🙂 #Winner_Takes_All

    • Thanks Ann for your comment. Highly appreciated.
      I am happy when I get to know that someone somewhere is benefiting from the content I am putting out there. Thanks and share widely.

  2. I have web designing skills and also i have learnt how to caption video can i put all those skills on my profile. they seem to be of different fields.

  3. Hi David, a friend of mine referred me here and am having difficulties signing up. I can’t locate the ‘sign up’ any assistance?

  4. Hi David, awesome insights here, well am a newbie, only started working on Scribie last month and also interested to venture into Upwork, now my most challenging bit is the portfolio items. Being new to transcriptions, what portfolio items do i post now? hehehe. Even this job samples manenos is just making it more complicated for me.

  5. This is very informative David, I will try and take as many tests as possible to pull-up my profile %ge, its stuck at 85%. Atleast i have an idea on what to do. Thanks David, this info is timely.

  6. Great tips David. Am now at 65% and clueless on how to proceed. Kindly help. I have put my profile picture in place, skills, education and work experience. Working on the tests now.

  7. Hi, this is very informative. My query is am new with no experience, how will your proposal look like, yet you want to bid for jobs. What happens?? Can you indicate that you dont have experience? thanx

  8. Hi Dr. David. Thanks for this information. God bless you. Am just very green here. Learning before I even start. I believe this will be a great lead in developing my profile.


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