Creating Upwork contractor profile
Before you click the “Edit my profile” button to creating Upwork contractor profile, take a moment to think about who you are, what your skills are, what you’ve accomplished professionally, and why you’re the best choice for the job. Here are eight developer profile hacks to attract clients and increase your marketability.
- Choose a professional and friendly photo
You’ve undoubtedly heard the expression, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” The concept is no less true for your oDesk profile. Unlike a photo you might select for a social networking site, your oDesk profile picture should be a headshot of you dressed professionally. Your photo should be in focus, high resolution, and have a plain background.
- Keep your title short and sweet
A title will give a prospective client a high-level summary of your expertise, so make it short and impactful—we recommend less than 10 words. Some people try to fit as many keywords into their title as possible, but that won’t make a good impression. List one or two major skills (or services) you’re marketing. Your title should:
- Clearly state what you are: Front-End Developer, Back-End Developer, Full-Stack Developer, Software Developer, Mobile Programmer, iOS Developer, Android Developer, Product Manager.
- Include your level of expertise but don’t say Senior Dev. Engineer if you’re not senior. Work your way up with honesty and transparency.
- Limit your listed skills to the ones you have the most experience in, starting with the critical skills clients are looking for. Don’t list more than two or three of those skills in your title.
Good example: Senior Front-End Developer – AngularJS and Node.js Master
Bad example: CSS/ PHP / HTML4/5/6 / Python / Ruby on Rails / MySQL
- Showcase your expertise in the Overview section
Your overview is your pitch to potential clients. It should clearly tell your story and why they should hire you over another freelancer. Describe your key skills, unique qualifications, the types of clients you’ve worked with, and work you’re most passionate about.
Your overview should help clients answer these questions:
- What area(s) of development do you specialize in currently?
- What key skills are you offering and excite you the most?
- Which professional experiences or previous projects are you most proud of and highlight your expertise?
- What type of work or projects are you interested in and who are you passionate about working with?
Don’t opt for a laundry list of skills — save that for the Skills section.
- Make your Skills section work for you
Make sure you select the skills you truly excel at — adding too many can actually work against you. The best way to hack the Skills section is to add new skills as you develop them or take on new responsibilities and remove old skills as they become outdated. Place your strongest and most relevant skills in front. Not sure what skills are available?
- Tell your story by showing your best work in your Portfolio
Your portfolio is a vital part of your profile and your opportunity to not only showcase your best projects but also tell the reader your story. Through your projects, highlight your passions, your goals, and your strengths.
If you have more than one area of expertise, your portfolio should reflect your wide range of skills (e.g., if you’re a full-stack developer, make sure to include front-end, back-end, and/or full-stack projects you’ve successfully completed).
Aside from picking great screenshots of your previous projects (make sure you have your clients’ permission first!), it’s important to explain the story of each project. Be sure to answer these questions:
- What is this project? What does it do? What’s the purpose or goal?
- What was your role in this project and what were your contributions you’re passionate about sharing?
- What stack and skills did you use? Is there any other technical information that highlights your capabilities?
Did you know you can add more than one screenshot? By adding multiple screenshots and descriptions for each project tile, clients will be able to view the entire project story.
More tips to maximize your portfolio:
- Link your portfolio to contracts you’ve completed so future clients can see your great feedback. Here’s how.
- Place your best work on the first page of your portfolio.
- Remove outdated work so clients don’t use work from 2000 to gauge your skills today.
- Make sure to file your item under the most relevant category (e.g., Web Programming vs. Web Design)
Hack tip for back-end developers: Make the Portfolio section show off your skills — add screenshots of the site or product you contributed to and clearly indicate in the description what you did and what tech stack you used.
Here are some great portfolio examples:
- Link other accounts to your oDesk profile
Linking your oDesk account to your Github, Stack Overflow, and LinkedIn accounts will establish your online presence and allow oDesk to better match you to jobs.
- Show off your previous success stories in your Employment History
Use this section to highlight projects you’ve worked on both during your experience on oDesk, as well as before you joined. If you’re new to the freelance space, add information about your past three years of work history. If you’re not new to oDesk, feel free to list any long-term work or projects you’re proud of. This will not only showcase your experience but also establish your credibility as a freelancer on oDesk. Each position should include a brief job description and one or two examples.
Here’s an example of a great Employment History.