Getting Started: Landing Your First Job on Upwork

Updated: Jun 19, 2019


As a Top Rated Upwork Freelancer, I made nearly $20,000 my first year using their site - all while being a college student. Landing your first job on Upwork can be tricky! Once your account has been verified and you've been approved to begin work - it's time to start applying to jobs! While it's tempting to apply to a lot of jobs in hopes you land a few, it's valuable to take the time to make sure the jobs you're applying for are in line with your skill set. You want to be sure to receive positive feedback on your jobs as the reviews will begin appearing on your Upwork profile and show potential future customers what type of experience they will be getting!


Once you've found a job that you feel is in line with your skills, budget, and availability - it's time to begin submitting your first proposal. As someone who has used Upwork both as a client and a freelancer; it's not uncommon to receive many proposals saying "I'll do the job" and similar short, unprofessional messages. You want to be sure that your proposal stands out from all these, highlighting your professionalism, skill, and availability to complete the job in a reasonable timeframe. I recommend starting off your proposal with a short (1-2 sentence) introduction of who you are and what you do. For example; I typically start off with "Hello! I'm Ashley Scott, a full-time freelance graphic designer here on Upwork." It's important to follow up this sentence with a brief explanation of what skills you can bring to their specific project. For example, "I have 3 years experience in Adobe Illustrator, which will assist me in designing a memorable logo for your skincare brand!" From here, it's important to mention the timeline that you expect the project to take along with where the client can find any relevant examples of your work; here I typically say "If hired, I'm available to begin work immediately and can have a first draft over to you for review by tomorrow afternoon. You can view examples of my previous logo design work at www.ashleyscottdesigns.com" (If you don't have a. website - no worries! You can use Upwork's Profile Portfolio feature to set up examples of your work for your client to see and direct them there as well!) Following this sentence, include a sign-off thanking the client for their time and consideration of your proposal. Typically, for me, this sentence sounds something like this; "I look forward to hearing from you and hope we're able to work together on your project! Thank you for your time and consideration!"


Following these simple guidelines, the full proposal reads:

"Hello! I'm Ashley Scott, a full-time freelance graphic designer here on Upwork. I have 3 years experience in Adobe Illustrator, which will assist me in designing a memorable logo for your skincare brand. If hired, I'm available to begin work immediately and can have a first draft over to you for review by tomorrow afternoon. You can view examples of my previous logo design work at www.ashleyscottdesigns.com . I look forward to hearing from you and hope we're able to work together on your project. Thank you for your time and consideration!"



Following this formula makes the proposal short, to the point, and easy to read for the person hiring. This proposal will highlight your professionalism, make you stand out from the crowd, and hopefully land your first job on Upwork! Good luck!

Ashley Scott Designs 

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