3 Easiest ways to land your first ‘Upwork’ job

‘Upwork’, if you don’t know, is currently the biggest freelancer platform as a result of merger between Elance and Odesk.

This article is for you if you are new to Upwork and finding it difficult to get your first jobs and the ratings. You cannot leave this platform because you know a lot of freelancers are earning awesome money. And you can’t stay here because it hasn’t got you a single job yet despite writing 100s of tailor-made proposals.

How are you going to justify the expenses if you can’t get a job. You spend your valuable time on writing proposals and spending on other expenses like Internet, electricity, etc.,


Relax. There are some really easy ways to land some quick jobs.


First thing that you need to understand is, It is NOT your mistake. Yes, Upwork gives unfair advantage to the freelancers who are already proven and it is tough for anyone without a feedback to land jobs. On contrary, how can one get feedback without landing a job first?

Upwork’s Unfair Advantages to Proven Freelancers

  1. Immediately after posting a job, Client sees the ‘top 10 recommended freelancers’ by Upwork’s algorithm. Problem is that this algorithm is flawed and rarely show the right freelancers. Yesterday, one of my colleague received an invitation for a job ‘Telugu(indian language) Script Readers’ whereas, she is an HR whose mother tongue is Telugu. The only connection between her and the job is the language she speak, otherwise it doesn’t come under her scope at all. We right away denied the job. You get the point? It just takes ‘one of the’ keywords and match the jobs right away.
  2. Invited freelancers doesn’t have to write a cover letter, they can directly message the clients. Messaging is a very powerful weapon as it immediately let us to start conversation.
  3. Upwork mail clients saying they found a great freelancers. E-mail, one of the great marketing tool till date, has a great power to convince people. Problem is, it’s again a flawed algorithm that does the work.
My hiring rate is much higher than other freelancers in my domain. But I was viewed less, what do you think would be the possible reasons?

4. When a Client clicks on ‘List of Applicants’, it shows them only a list of messaged freelancers rather than showing all applicants. Client has to click multiple times to see all the applicants.

5. List goes on, let’s pause blaming Upwork and see quick ways to grab jobs.

Image Source: http://marketectsinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/get_to_the_point.jpg

3 Easy Ways of Landing an Upwork Job

Before deciding if you should use the below tricks, be known that getting 5-star reviews on a platform like Upwork is an investment. Sometimes you may feel like you are doing an out of scope work or working too hard for a peanut money, but don’t forget that, the feedbacks that you collect will always be there in your profile.

Hence, your first few months should be only about getting great feedbacks rather than focusing on making money.

1. Search for the jobs with a local language keyword. If you know a language that is rare, use it. For ex: ‘Tamil’ is one of the languages I speak and I’m sure Clients prefer me for the projects based in Tamil. Did you see the Telugu-based Job I mentioned above?

2. Geo based search. There are jobs where Clients explicitly mention that they need freelancers from ‘x location’. Are you in that ‘X’ location? if so, you have already cut through majority of the Upwork competition and competing only with those freelancers in that location. Pleasantly yet, how many of those freelancers are going to propose for this particular job, eh?

3. Reviews & Ratings projects. These are mostly simple projects and Clients require multiple freelancers to work. Assume when a client launching an app, he may just need different viewpoints on the app’s functionality, UX, etc., and he may need it from multiple people mostly. These are kinda sure shot projects. And these type of jobs are sure to bring you a good 5 star ratings if you do it genuinely.

Couple of Jobs that I took quickly to build reputation on Upwork

The above mentioned jobs may not be relevant to your work scope and brings a little cash only, yet, it’s some easy ways to get quick projects and gain ratings initiailly.

I know some of you may not agree with my methods as it’s not necessarily relevant to your work scope. But, believe this, you need to start somewhere.

Feel free to add any other easy methods to get first few jobs.