How to apply the right jobs on Upwork
If you’re brand new to Upwork (formerly oDesk), begin by reading the Freelancer Manual—it has a wealth of information about getting started on Upwork (formerly oDesk) and How to apply the right jobs on Upwork. Also, take the oDesk Readiness Test, which can increase your job application quota. Most importantly, be sure to complete your freelancer profile! Your profile serves as your Upwork (formerly oDesk) resume, and it is the most powerful tool you have for showing clients (and us!) why you are the best person for the job.
Once you’ve completed the basics, it’s time to choose a job. You’ll want to perform a search and review the results carefully. Setting the right filters and using advanced search options will narrow the results down to just the best jobs for you. On each job, pay special attention to the following:
- Skills fit – Do you have the skills the client lists?
- Availability fit – Do you have the time needed to devote to the work?
- Expertise fit – Are you experience enough for this client’s needs?
- Client quality – Is the client’s job post clear and reasonable?
- Good Fit badge – Watch for a badge indicating we think you’re a good match and a top candidate
Once you find a job that you’re interested in applying to:
- Click the Apply to this Job button.
- Set your hourly rate (for hourly jobs), or place a bid (for fixed-price jobs) in the Propose Terms section.
- Write a custom cover letter that specifically addresses the job and describes what makes you the perfect candidate. You may want to bookmark the job in your browser so can easily refer to it while you write your cover letter.
- Answer any screening questions the client may ask.
- Add an attachment, such as a work sample, to your application if you like. Do not attach a resume.
- Accept the Upwork (formerly oDesk) User Agreement by checking the Agree to Terms check box. Click Apply to this Job and you’re done!
After you’ve applied for jobs, be sure to check your Upwork (formerly oDesk) Messages and Notifications often.
Here are a few tips to help land contracts on oDesk:
Finish your profile – The more complete your profile is, the more likely it is that clients will hire you. The My Profile Completeness Bar, located on your Find Jobs page, provides a link to the areas in your profile that need your attention.
Take lots of tests – There are hundreds of free skills tests to choose from, and the more tests you take, the more impressive your profile will look to potential clients. To see what you need to study beforehand, check the test syllabus.
Spell check everything – Do not send out a cover letter until you have screened it in your favorite text editor for spelling and grammatical errors. You can only make a first impression once, so put your best foot forward with a well-written cover letter, tailored to each job application. Spell check the text in your profile, too.
Follow all of the terms and conditions – It is your responsibility as a freelancer to understand and follow all terms and conditions provided by a potential client. In addition, Upwork (formerly oDesk) provides Job Application Guidelines that everyone is expected to follow.
Apply, apply, apply! – Apply to all the jobs for which you are qualified. However, be honest about your skills to avoid potential problems.
Not sure how much to bid on fixed-price jobs, or what to set for your hourly rate? Switch the search box at the top of Find Work to search freelancers instead of jobs. You can use the advanced search options and filters to find freelancers with similar work experience, test scores, and skills to compare rates and decide what you should set as your own.