I have created my Upwork account in 2016, but I did not get a contract yet.
In 5 steps, I was able to have my first contract in 24hours and I am now preparing for more projects. Here are the 5 steps that help me :
1- Focus more on specialization jobs than general jobs
Jobs that require specific skills and knowledge receive fewer proposals that general jobs: statistically, you increase your chances of getting paid.
2- Add your social network accounts to your profile
Most of the recruiter wants to be sure the freelancers are real people with some expertise in their field. Adding your professional twitter or LinkedIn accounts will increase your chances to get called for an interview. As freelancers, personal branding is very important as we build our own careers..
3- Apply for jobs in your area of profession
In case you have a diploma in Data Science, apply for jobs in Data Science, this is proof that you have an interest in the field. As a Software and Telecom Engineer, I got my first job when applying for a Digital Signal Processing Job. The Recruiter who was an academician appreciated the fact I was working on signals for years although he had a degree higher than me, he trusted my self-confidence.
4- Take time to listen to the client
Even when you are interviewing, listen carefully to the client to understand her/his needs. Remember that clients take about 3 days to recruit on upwork.com. So don’t pressure about the contract but instead have an honest conversation with the client about his/needs and what you will offer.
5- Ask for a review
In case, you want to have more contracts, remember to ask the client to review your profile and job. This will build your reputation on the platform.