11 Upwork Profile Tips to Win More Jobs (with Examples!)
A polished and complete profile is essential to being a successful freelancer on Upwork. Your Upwork profile acts as your resume, portfolio, and introduction for potential clients. It’s also your opportunity to show unique services you offer, and what makes you a better choice over the competition.
You want to make sure your Upwork profile is as complete as possible so that clients can easily see whether you would be a good fit. Having a professional profile will also increase your chances of reaching the ‘Rising Talent’ and ‘Top Rated’ statuses.
In this article, we will give you our top 11 Upwork profile tips to make your profile stand out and increase your chances of winning jobs.
1. Get Verified
The blue verification checkmark is an absolute must-have for your Upwork profile. This checkmark is Upwork’s ID Verification Badge, and it shows potential clients that you are a real person.
To get the ID Verification Badge, you can go into your account settings to apply. You will need to provide a valid government-issued ID (a driver’s license works if you’re in the US). You’ll also be required to schedule a quick video call with a member of Upwork’s team. On the call, they’ll ask you a few questions to verify it’s really you.
After you complete those two steps, you should get a notification that your identity verification is complete, and you should have a blue checkmark next to your name.
2. Use a Professional Profile Photo
The easiest Upwork profile tip with the biggest impact is to have a professional profile photo. Your photo doesn’t have to be from a professional photoshoot. However, you want the photo to be a headshot that shows your face clearly (no blurry photos or weird angles!), and that has a clean background.
Your profile photo is the first impression a client has of you, so it’s important to make it look professional.
3. Use Every Part of Your Profile for Keywords
A tip to keep in mind as you build your Upwork profile is to include keywords for your industry in as many places as possible.
Your profile includes a headline, description, skillsets, and a portfolio – you want to include keywords in all of these places.
The goal is to optimize your Upwork profile for search. You want potential clients to be able to find you!
For example, do you specialize in designing investor pitch decks? In this case, the keyword “investor” would differentiate you from designers making other types of decks.
Or do you specialize in a particular software or platform? If you’re an email marketer, using “Klaviyo” as a keyword would be much more effective than just using “email marketer”.
4. Make Your Upwork Profile Easy to Read
Another general tip to keep in mind throughout building your profile is to keep it short and sweet. Information should be broken up and easy to read.
Time is money, and clients don’t have the time to look through confusing or messy profiles. In most cases, they will simply click away.
5. Focus on Keywords in Your Headline
Your headline on Upwork is your chance to quickly let clients know what you do and what you specialize in.
One of our main tips is to make your headline as specific as possible to target your niche.
Let’s take a look at the two Upwork profiles below to demonstrate what makes a compelling headline:
In this example, we have two different headlines:
“Fortune 500 BI & Consumer Brands Expert”
“Data Analytics Consultant”
These two freelancers likely do similar work, but “Fortune 500 BI & Consumer Brands Expert” is much more attention-grabbing for two reasons:
- It tells you what type of companies the freelancers has done work for (Fortune 500), and implies that he has extensive experience.
- It tells you the areas he specializes in (BI & Consumer Brands).
This freelancer goes into further detail about the analytics work he does in his profile, but when a client is looking through job applicants, his strong headline is what will initially get their attention.
6. Write a Client-Focused Description
With Upwork profile descriptions, lists are the best way to go. They are a quick and easy way for clients to view the services you provide, what tools you use, and your experience.
Truthfully, no one cares what school you went to, what made you interested in writing, or what age you discovered your love of graphic design.
Clients want to know how you can help them and what you can provide (so cut out the fluff!).
7. Show Your Strongest Work in Your Portfolio
Your portfolio is hands down the most important part of your Upwork profile, so treat it as such. While your headline and description are useful to clients, it’s your portfolio that will ultimately land you more jobs on Upwork.
How should your Upwork portfolio be set up?
Whether it’s writing, graphic design, or data visualization, be sure that you’re giving examples of your best work. You don’t need to include every piece of work you’ve ever done – just the strongest examples (or examples that show the variety of work you can do).
Within each portfolio piece, be sure to describe the project, the type of work, and the tools you used. Remember, you want to include keywords here too! Also be sure to select all of the “Skills and deliverables” tags that are relevant to each project. These will help you rank in search as well.
8. Include an Intro Video
Although I haven’t found a profile video to be necessary to be successful on Upwork, it can be a good way to set yourself apart in your profile. Intro videos can also give clients a better idea of what it would be like to work with you.
For some niches, an intro video might be essential. For example, if you are a voiceover artist or a verbal translator, a profile video would be a great opportunity to give potential clients an intro to your skills.
9. Include Other Background Info
On your Upwork profile, you also have the option to add extra information like your education, work experience, and any certifications you have. While this information won’t make or break your profile, filling it out will give potential clients a general overview of your past experience.
10. Get Inspired by Top Profiles
If you feel like you’ve done your best to build an Upwork profile that stands out, but you still aren’t getting clients, it may be a good idea to look at the profiles of Upwork’s top talent.
You can use the search bar to look for other talent in your niche, see how much they’ve earned, and view their profiles.
Try to break down the profiles of other successful freelancers, and see if you can pick out commonalities between them. For example:
- What do you notice first about their profiles?
- Are they using a specific keyword?
- Do they write their descriptions in a certain way?
- What type of work examples are they including in their portfolios?
Take notes and implement some of these into your own profile.
11. Get Client Reviews
Our final Upwork profile tip is to start collecting client reviews.
After each completed job, be sure to let your clients know that you enjoyed working with them. If they’ve enjoyed working with you as well, ask them to leave you a review once the contract is closed.
Accumulating those 5-star reviews from clients is what will truly make your profile stand out from others.
People love to see from others that you’re a trustworthy and hard working freelancer!
Upwork Profile: Bottom Line
Your profile is the most important key to a successful freelancing career on Upwork. Hopefully by implementing these 11 Upwork profile tips, you’ll be able to improve your Upwork profile and land more clients!