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How to become an Upwork Freelancer - Guide for Newbies

Upwork formerly Odesk is the leading and the largest online workplace in the world. The company has proven its credibility for years a...

Sunday, July 2, 2017

How to become an Upwork Freelancer - Guide for Newbies

Upwork formerly Odesk is the leading and the largest online workplace in the world. The company has proven its credibility for years and this is why most freelancer aspirants opt to start their online career with Upwork.

Unlike what most beginners think, freelancing is not an easy job to start. It is not like a traditional job where you would only be competing with hundreds of applicants or maybe less. Upwork runs globally, it means you are competing with different nations. Every job would easily attract from 100 to 500 applicants in just an hour. Although this is not a first-come, first serve basis, however, being the first is truly a big advantage.

I have enumerated here the five basic steps in becoming a Freelancer in Upwork.

1. Sign up - this is the most important thing. To do this, go to Upwork.com and click on "Become a Freelancer". Fill in all the necessary fields and hit "Get Started". Upwork will then notify you when your registration has been approved.

2. Tell more about yourself - Your Upwork profile is composed of your name, job title, the rate per hour, self-video, an overview of your skills, To build an effective introduction about yourself, you have to be specific and sincere in everything that you'll put in your profile.

3. Build your portfolio - your portfolio tells about the projects you've done in the past. You can add every successful project that you've accomplished, it can be an online or offline task then explain what is that task all about.

4. Upload certifications - you can build your credibility with proof. Adding certifications of your accomplishments is a good way to gain trust from employers.

 5. Take tests - take at least 3 related tests in order to certify that you are capable of doing the tasks that you are applying for. You can take an unlimited number of tests and once failed, you can only retake it for a certain period of time, as I remember, you have to wait 30 days for another chance.

Typically, an effective profile can be completed for days and you can always add more info every once in a while. Once your profile has been established, you can now start browsing for job vacancies. To look for available jobs, click "Find Work" at the top left-hand side of your dashboard.

Important points to remember when applying for a job.

1. Types of job -  There are two types of jobs in Upwork: hourly job and fixed rate job.
  • Hourly will track your working hours and you need to download the time tracker to count your hours worked, you can download the app here. With an hourly job, every logged time is paid.
  • Fixed rate job is an agreement between you and your employer, you'll only get paid once the project has been completed and approved by the employer. This is a little bit risky but once your employer has a verified account and good profile standing, it usually ends up successful.

2. Employer's profile standing - it is important to ensure that your employer has a verified account. This can be confirmed when there is a green check below the job post summary.

If you find a non-verified client, you can still apply and accept the job offer but ask them to verify their account before accepting the contract. This is to ensure that there will be no problem in billings.

3. Client's Ratings - ratings are given to both parties once the task has been completed. An employer is able to rate a contractor's performance and a contractor can do the same. Both can tell their experiences working with each other. It is important to know how the employer communicated with its contractors in order to know if this client has a good reputation to avoid problems in the end.

Once you've found a job post that matches to your skills and experiences, click on that job posting and start writing your cover letter. A cover is your first chance to impress employer so make the most of it as the first impression is always critical. Read this article to learn more about writing an effective cover letter. An impressed employer will then send an invitation for an interview, it can be a phone interview, Skype, chat or whichever your client desired,  you have to be ready for it. Once you passed an interview, you will receive an offer. Don't forget to read the contract carefully before accepting it. It is important to verify the agreed amount for fixed rate jobs and hours of work and rate per hour for hourly jobs.

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