How to Get Your First Job on Upwork [Beginner’s Guide]

Wondering how to get your first job on Upwork? I know how frustrating it can be when you’ve spent months bidding on jobs and also buying connects. Every freelancer you see on Upwork, even the big earners went through the same thing. It took me about 3 months to land my first client. I have not gotten everything figured out but with my 5 years of experience freelancing on Fiverr and my experience on Upwork I am certain you will find my tips and strategy useful.  Let’s start with answering frequently asked questions about Upwork. 

What kind of jobs are on Upwork?

There are several kinds of jobs on Upwork from writing to graphic design to salesforce developer (I’m loving this role) to digital marketing and more. If you have skills under these categories, then Upwork is a great place for your freelancing career.

  • Development & IT
  • Design & Creative
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Writing & Translation
  • Admin & Customer Support
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Legal
  • HR & Training
  • Engineering & Architecture


Is Upwork Profitable?

Yes of course it is! You wouldn’t be reading this post if Upwork isn’t profitable. Take a look at other Upwork Talents’ earnings. 

Get paid on Upwork

There definitely are people earning more than this annually on Upwork, but it all comes down to the kind of skill you choose.


What are the highest paying jobs on Upwork?

You can read what jobs are in demand on Upwork here. 

Further Read: Top 30 Most In-demand Freelance Skills.


How to setup your Upwork profile for beginners

So, after you created an Upwork account using the steps here, you should set up your Upwork profile and get it to 100% completion. How do you achieve this? 

  1. Include relevant keywords.
  2. Upload a professional Upwork profile picture.
  3. Include your qualifications and certifications. 
  4. Include education. 
  5. Include testimonials from clients on Upwork: (pro tip: You can ask past clients on other platforms to write one for you).
  6. Write an Upwork profile overview for each specialized profile (On Upwork you can have more than 1 specialized profile. 
  7. Ensure your Upwork profile is 100% complete. 
  8. Setup your Upwork projects catalog (Up to 20 different Upwork projects). 
  9. Upload samples and past works on your Upwork portfolio.
  10. Setup Upwork consultations. 

Your profile is what will introduce you as a person as well as an applicant to the people reviewing your cover letter. Make it count. This may get you your first job on Upwork.

Further Read: Upwork Profile Overview Setup

How to write Upwork profile overview 

The Ultimate Upwork Profile Overview For Successful Freelancers

In order to become a successful freelancer on Upwork, you need to optimize your profile overview. This is one of the things a client will go through before they make a decision to begin a contract with you. 

So, how do you optimize your Upwork profile overview to attract and land more clients? 

Write an SEO Upwork profile title 

To write an SEO Upwork profile title you have to first carry out SEO research. Check what other talents like you are using as their title. Then list out the exact service you want to offer on your Upwork profile, and craft a good title from this. 

SEO profile title

Here’s how to make your Upwork title stand out. 

  1. Make sure that your title is short, clear, and to the point.
  2. Buyers should recognize the type of service that you offer immediately. For example, if you’re a WordPress developer for eCommerce, simply write “eCommerce WordPress developer.”
  3. Use a keyword-specific title. This means to use search terms clients may use to search for talents. As this will increase your chances of showing up in search results.  

Write an SEO Upwork profile overview 

If you have a persuasive proposal and your profile isn’t optimized to sell your service, you may never get invited to an interview for a job on Upwork. After going through your proposal, the next thing the client does is go through your profile. They read through to see what you’re offering and if it matches the skills, you claim to offer on your proposal. 

So, make your profile worth it, and optimize your Upwork profile like a pro using the steps here.   

Further Read: Write Upwork profile overview like a pro

Upwork profile sample templates that attracts clients

Before you make changes to your Upwork profile overview, save your last copy and skills. This will help you know what works and what doesn’t. 

How to get verified on Upwork

After setting up your Upwork account and getting it approved, you need to verify your account using a Government Issued ID (driver’s license, National ID card, or International passport). Upwork will let you know when it’s time for you to earn the “Identity Verified” badge by sending you an email and showing you a pop-up when you log into your Upwork account.


Things you should know…


You will need to scan the front and back of the ID in order to verify your identity. Don’t crop, rotate, touch up, adjust colors, or alter the images in any way. Upwork will review your uploaded items to verify your identity.

In most cases, Upwork will verify your identity within minutes. In other cases, they may need more information from you or ask you to briefly video chat with an Upwork agent.

You cannot maneuver your way on Upwork with a Fake ID. Avoid that, or your IP will be banned forever. This means you won’t be able to open an Upwork account on your phone or laptop using the same IP address, even if it’s another email account. 

Further Read:

How to create an Upwork Account 

Upwork readiness test answers 2022

How to write Upwork profile overview

Upwork Profile Overview Samples

How to write a winning Upwork proposal

Before you start bidding on any job on Upwork, ensure that you learn how to write a winning Upwork proposal. Watch YouTube videos, and enroll in free proposal writing courses. Once you are certain you’ve learned the art of writing proposals on Upwork, you can then start bidding for jobs on the platform. 

Here is my advice… 

  1. Apply to jobs that have been posted in the last 24 hours. 
  2. Write short proposals ( not too short) instead of long stories.
  3. Send proposals to job postings that have verified payment and submit proposals to those who have less than 5 or 5 to 10 proposals submitted, you will have a high chance of getting hired.
  4. Do not send proposals to those job postings that have 50+ proposals submitted.
  5. Avoid unverified payment clients but not all are fake. 
  6. If you are new to Upwork, submit proposals that require 2 or 4 connects.
  7. Do not waste your connects on submitting multiple proposals at a time.
  8. Don’t be in a hurry, submit 1 proposal at a time and bid at least twice a day.
  9. Personalize your proposal by using the client’s name then followed with an introduction that tells the client something they didn’t know or did not mention in their job description. This shows that you read the description and might be the right person for the job. 
  10. Show proof of work… An external portfolio is preferable because it shows you are a professional. 

Submitting these proposals means, you will need more connects. Keep reading to find out 3 ways you can earn FREE Upwork Connects.

Further Read:

How to create an Upwork Account 

Upwork readiness test answers 2022

Upwork readiness test answers 2022 for New Freelancers

How to write Upwork profile overview

Upwork Profile Overview Samples

3 Ways To Earn Free Upwork Connects

At a point, you will be tired of buying Upwork connects, you can earn Free Upwork connects by…

  1. Taking the Upwork readiness test, and if you are a new user, you will receive 40 FREE Connects after successfully passing the test!

  2. When you submit a proposal to a client and win an interview, you’ll get a bonus of 10 Connects after you complete your interview.

  3. Upwork gives you 10 free connects every month if you are active on the platform. 

  4. The first method works just once, but the second one works every time you are invited to an Upwork job interview. 

How to receive money from Upwork 

There are several ways to receive money on Upwork. There’s direct payment to your bank, Payoneer, TransferWise, and several other means. It all depends on your country.

My Final Say!  

So guys, using the steps in this post, you should be able to land your first client on Upwork. Let me know if you found this helpful and if it helped you at all.

Further Read:

How to create an Upwork Account 

Upwork readiness test answers 2022

How to write Upwork profile overview

Upwork Profile Overview Samples

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: