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How to Get Work on Upwork with No Experience

Upwork is one of the largest global freelancing platforms where businesses and independent professionals come together for online work services. It has 12 million registered freelancers and 5 million registered clients.

Each year, more than 3 million jobs are created through Upwork and they are worth over $1 billion USD in total. This has no doubt made Upwork the place that every service provider, whether it is a freelancer looking to earn a part-time income or a company looking to expand their business, to connect remotely via Upwork.

If you are a new to the industry and you would like to get some work from Upwork, but you zero experience, no worry, you can still make it. 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 pot of gold.

Here are 7 tips how you can get work using Upwork even when you have no experience at all.

1. 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. Unsmiling, grainy and poor quality picture will only show that you are unprofessional and nobody likes to work with people who are not professional.

Get a high-resolution head shot picture with a pleasant smile. And please, no naked shoulders, and try to wear professionally. Never be too shy to show your face when you are out there looking for jobs.

2. 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. Create Samples

When you are totally new, you have no experience, no credibility, and no testimonials, but there is one very powerful tool you can create for yourself, and that is the sample of your work.

For example, if you want to be a writer, create a blog and publish some of your own articles there. When you request for jobs, you can use the articles on your blog as your samples. Better yet, you can contribute guest posts on other blogs and then use them as your samples. This will immediately increase your credibility, especially if the guest blogs are popular.

Well, this can apply to many services and not only to writing-related works. If you are into logo design, just design a few and publish them on your websites. You can showcase them to your clients to get them interested in your work.

4. Low-Paying Jobs Can be a Great Start

This is one of the mistakes that most beginners will do. They thought 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 $10,000 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.

5. Don’t Be Too Desperate

It is absolutely fine if nobody wants to hire you. The beginning is the toughest. And 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.

6. Stay Active

If you are serious to make some money from Upwork, you need to 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 and 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.

7. Build Your Portfolio

One of the most important keys to success in the world of freelancing is to create your own portfolio. For example, if you want to get jobs on optimizing the search engine for a website, and if you have the Google search engine optimization certification, people will want to give you work.

Credibility and a strong portfolio count. Yes, it may be difficult when you have zero experience, but that does not mean that you cannot build your portfolio from scratch. When you successfully completed a job, request a testimonial from your client. Many freelancers start by picking smaller jobs so that once completed successfully, they can add a testimonial to their victory list. And you should do the same.

Now that you know what you should do to get work from Upwork even when you have no experience. The best advice is to just take action and do it. It is absolutely fine if you fail to win any contract, but never give up and keep learning until you landed your first job. And things will just get better from there.


  • upwork.com/blog/2010/04/10-reasons-you-arent-getting-freelance-work/
  • mashable.com/2013/06/09/freelancing-getting-started/#hgh2e1syPOqR
  • makingsenseofcents.com/2015/03/how-to-find-freelance-work-with-no-work-experience.html

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