Hello, if you are planning on becoming an online freelancer, agency or client on Upwork then you will definitely need an Upwork account to achieve these. I’m going to show you the steps on how to create an Upwork account and get your Upwork profile approved fast. Because it is one thing creating an Upwork account and also another, getting your Upwork profile approved.
Upwork is by far one of the most popular and credible freelancing platforms where thousands of freelancers are making their online money legitimately. According to Upwork, if you are planning to become a freelancer, agency, or client, you can have only one account but you can have separate profiles in this one account you created. It is a crime to have multiple Upwork account.
Note: Before you get started on Upwork and create your profile, it’s important to pick the right skill for your freelance business. Upwork is frequently rejecting freelancers these days as often, there is a surplus of certain skills and not enough of another. Don’t get your profile rejected.
Choose a skill that is in high demand (learn a new skill if need be) and create an Upwork profile based on this skill.
Let’s get started…
Steps on how to create an Upwork account and get your profile approved fast
1. Go to upwork.com and click on sign up as shown below
2. You can either sign up using your Gmail or by inputting your work email. So, Enter your full name and email address. Fill out the First name, Last name, and Work email address fields to start creating your profile.
Upwork recommends using a work email for registration. For example, if you enter a gmail.com type of mail (e.g. email@example.com) and press “Get Started”, you will not go directly to the next step, otherwise, you will receive a warning that you must use a work e-mail, not Gmail.
You shouldn’t register mail on another domain, just press on “Get Started” again and Upwork will accept your “non-working” email.
You should enter an existing and valid working email because after the first step of registration, you will receive a verification email and you can’t proceed without it.
Also, the working email should be a well-protected (with a password of at least 8 characters without shared access, 2-factor authentication is preferred). Don’t forget to set up phone number for email, so you will restore access if something will go wrong. You can find a lot of stories on the web from people who lost Upwork accounts with all earned money because they have bad email protection.
Your First and Last Name should be written only English letters and they should match your name in the government approved documents (e.g. international passport, National Identity card etc). Because Upwork can ask you to provide documents to confirm your identity in the future.
3. Click the green ‘Get Started’ button. This will confirm your name and email address.
4. Select your country of residence. Click the country drop-down on the “Complete your account” page, and select your country.
5. Enter your password for your new account. Click the Create a password field that is after the country drop-down area, and enter the password you want to use with your new account.
6. Select “Work as a Freelancer” under “I want to.” When this option is selected, you can create a freelancer profile to view posted job ads, and apply to work on a project as a freelancer.
Alternatively, you select “Hire for a Project” if you want to make job postings to find and hire freelancers who will work on your projects.
7. Enter a username for your account. Click the Username field, and enter a username to use with your account.
However, If you select “Hire for a Project”, you won’t need to enter a username here.
8. Complete the Captcha task. Type the letters you see in the image into the Captcha field below the Username field.
10. Click the “Next” button. This will confirm your account information, and send an automated verification email to your email address.
11. Now it is time to verify your email. To do this open your mailbox, find the automated email from Upwork, and click the verification link in the email.
This will verify your email address in a new tab, and allow you to complete the rest of your profile.
12. Now select your main field of work, the type of service you can provide to your clients.
Click the drop-down menu under the “What are the main services you offer to clients?” heading, and select your area of expertise. First, you need to choose your specialization. For example, “Web, Mobile & Software Dev “.
After that, you can select several categories that you are engaged in, like “Mobile Development” and “Game Development”. You can select up to 4 different sub-fields after selecting your main field.
13. Enter your professional skills. Click the text field under the “What skills do you offer clients?” heading, and enter your skills related to the type of work you want to do.
A drop-down list will show matching skills as you type.
Usually, these are names which are relative to your work. I would recommend you to choose 4 to 6 skills most related to your specialization. You can click a skill here to add it.
14. Select your level of experience. You can select Entry Level if you’re just starting out, Intermediate if you have some experience under your belt, or Expert if you have substantial work experience in the field of work you selected earlier.
Experience level (Entry/Intermediate/ Expert) is related to the level of payment. Upwork recommends clients pay up to $ 15 per hour for freelancers with Entry level, from $ 15 to $ 30 – with an Intermediate level, from $ 30 and above for Expert. I would not recommend you choosing an Entry level, because clients often associate this level with poor quality of work. Choosing between Intermediate and Expert level depends on your confidence in your skills.
15. The next step is to click Save & Continue. This is a green rectangular button in the lower-left corner of the page. It will save your basic information, and allow you to fill out the rest of your profile.
16. Now it is time to upload a professional profile picture. Click the “Add a photo now” option to upload a picture.
You can click Choose File in the “Edit portrait” window to select a file from your computer, or just drag and drop a picture to the Drop files here box.
Click the green Save button to save your picture.
- Your face should be clearly visible on the photo and centered so it will look good when Upwork frame photo into a circle;
- Photo must be of good quality;
- Use photos without complicated background because accent might be on you.
17. Enter a professional title for your profile.
This section is probably one of the most ignored sections during Upwork registration; yet, it is one of the most important parts when creating your profile. It is important to know that, this is the first real description of yourself that clients will see, so you want to catch their attention immediately. This small line will play a big role in determining whether a client will continue looking at your profile and ignore you or look at your profile and consider you for the job.
When writing your title:
- Be simple and concise: Use straightforward words to create a professional title that describes your skills.
- Be specific: Remember competition is high and therefore you have to be very precise on what niche you want to work in and avoid being a jack of all trades as this will narrow your chances of getting hired for a job.
- Make sure your specific niche comes out clearly on your title.
- Make use of important keywords: Use keywords and phrases that describe your skills and that a potential client might use to search for someone with your skills.
Example: If for instance, you are a Graphic Designer you can quote “Specialized areas such as logo designer, visual brand designer, or go for general areas such as web designer, web developer etc”.
Click the text field below “Add a professional title that describes the work you do” and enter a title for your professional freelancer profile.
18. Write a brief overview of your skills, experience, and interests. The next is to write an overview of your skills, experience and interests. Writing an overview is a hard and long process, so it is a topic of a separate article. But at this stage you need to write a small, eye-catching overview, otherwise, Upwork may not accept your account. My guidelines:
- Recheck your text for mistakes several times;
- Don’t put your name. It is already in you Profile header;
- Don’t put abstract phrases, which you can find in almost all profiles, like, “Hello, I have 5 years’ experience in …”. Tell clients how you can be useful to them instead;
- Don’t put any link (forbidden by ToS);
- Don’t use lists. Convert all information in several sentences;
- Tell about your past experience related to current Upwork profile specialization. Don’t put information about design if you have developer profile;
- Describe software, technologies, which you use for work;
- At this stage make overview at least 500 letters length.
To add “Overview” click the text field below the “Write a professional overview” heading, and enter a detailed profile summary here.
19. Enter your “Education and Employment history”.
In education it is better to specify your university (if it is not in the drop-down list, then just type in its name as text). If you did not study in any university then indicate your school instead. Describe name of the educational institution, the year of study and degree, which you must select from the drop-down list. For students who have been studying for 5 years, this is usually “Master of …”. Area of Study is optional but highly recommended. In the description you can add information about the courses and areas that you have studied, but this is not necessary at this stage.
For Employment History, describe only related to your current Upwork profile specialization work experience:
- Company name in English
- City and Country;
- Position and role of your business in the company
- Years of work;
- In the description, you can add technologies and projects you participated in. But at this stage, you can skip this.
Click the “+” icon next to “Education” or “Employment History” to add a school or past employer to your profile.
Clicking the “+” icon will prompt you to enter your school or work details in a new pop-up window. This way, you can add all your schools and past employers one-by-one.
20. Select your level of English proficiency. Click the Select your proficiency drop-down, and select the option that best describes your level of English.
In the future, you may be asked to confirm your level of English through video call or chat (you will need to say your name, perhaps the address and profession). It is very easy to confirm even fluent level of English because interviewers often do not know English well. I would not recommend choosing the Basic level, because clients think “Basic – don’t know English at all”, although, this choice depends on your self-confidence: if you are not ready to communicate with clients through video or audio chats, then it’s better not to put the fluent level of English.
21. Set the hourly rates you want to charge for your services. Click the Hourly Rate field, and enter the rate you want to charge for an hour of your services.
You can choose an hourly rate depends on the work experience (Entry level up to $15 / Intermediate is $15 – $30 and Expert from $30).
But I don’t recommend you to choose less than $15 per hour because a lot of clients don’t work with low-rated freelancers.
Upwork automatically charges a service fee to all freelancer accounts. You’ll see an automatic calculation of the fees on your hourly rate here, and the deducted final amount you’ll earn as well.
22. Select your level of availability per week. Click the drop-down under “How many hours do you have available for work each week?” and select how many hours of work you can complete each week.
23. Enter your address details under “Add your availability and location.” Fill out your street address, city, state, postal code, and phone number in order to complete your profile.
Please do not write fake and existing address. It is not required at this step but could be asked to confirm your address in the future. In order to indicate the city, in the first column, we write the region, and in the second, the city itself.
If you suddenly do not know your address zip code, then it’s time to take your mind off the computer and go to the nearest post office or Google it on the Internet.
The last column is for phone number. It’s better to specify your real phone number so it will be easier to restore access to your account in an unexpected situation.
25. Click the green Submit Application button. This will submit your application for a new account.
- After submitting, you’ll get a response from Upwork in 24 hours.
- If your profile is approved, you can start applying for jobs right away.
26. Once you Upwork profile is approved, Build Your Portfolio
When using a client’s work in your portfolio such as a website you created, a brochure, a blog post etc. make sure that you get your clients’ permission before sharing it.
When adding your portfolio ensure that you put your best work first. If you have some work that you’re not so proud of it is better not to include it. If you have expertise in more than one area make sure your portfolio reflects your wide range of skills. In essence, let your portfolio speak for you, let it tell your story.
Make sure that you keep your portfolio up-to-date by updating any new projects that you finish. This will show clients how your talent has grown over time. Also, when you get feedback from past clients, make sure you link them to a related item in your portfolio.
Finally don’t forget to file every item under the most relevant category for example, Article & Blog Writing, Social Media Marketing, Web & Mobile Design, Graphic Design etc.
Upwork allows you to withdraw money in the following ways:
- Payoneer (you can earn additional $50 bonus);
- Direct transfer to any bank (Wire Transfer – SWIFT);
- Direct withdrawal to the US bank (ACH).
Upwork Profile not approved, what can I do?
- Use Authentic Personal Data
However, authenticity and transparency are very important to Upwork in order to filter spam and bots. The platform obviously doesn’t want a reputation of having scammy freelancers. So, your profile will be automatically rejected should your personal data be deemed inappropriate or inauthentic. To prevent disapproval;
- Use your real name instead of pet names.
- When uploading a profile picture, ensure it’s a picture of yourself and not celebrities, pets, abstract objects and the likes.
- Use your real work email address, phone number, and address.
- Complete your profile to 100% by adding a profile pic, a headline, overview, portfolio, certifications, employment history, education and any other experiences.
- Take the Upwork readiness test
The Upwork readiness test, tests whether you are ready for Upwork and if you have a clear understanding of how the platform works.
Before you get started on the test, you will be provided with a freelance guide with everything you need to know about using Upwork as a freelancer; From getting started, types of freelance accounts, getting hired, getting paid to withdrawing your funds.
Passing the Upwork readiness test will make you understand how the platform works and it will put you one step ahead of the other newbies.
- Take tests relevant to your skill set
Having the right skills is a prerequisite on Upwork and the more you’re able to showcase that you’re highly skilled, the better your chances of getting accepted on Upwork.
To further demonstrate your skills, take free skill tests. There are hundreds of these tests and they cover a range of topics such as SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), basics of copy-writing, Bookkeeping, Virtual Assistant Skills, Internet Marketing, grammar, etc.
Take as many tests as you can but make sure you only concentrate on those that correspond with the skills you want to market yourself for. If you score below average, you have the choice to hide the score and only publish what you’ve scored favourably.
Skills tests can be found by clicking the Find Work tab and the clicking on Tests. You can search for the relevant test either in the category list or by searching using a keyword.
- Delete multiple profiles, don’t create multiple account
You may have created a profile in the past that either was rejected, you lost your login details or you completely forgot about it. Before you create another profile ensure that you delete any other profiles that you’re currently not using. Multiple profiles will make the system suspect you to be a fraudster.
- Find a client to hire you
Upwork has a program called “Bring Your Own Freelancer” (BYOF) that allows clients to directly hire freelancers that are not currently on Upwork.
If you know someone who wants to hire you, you can request them to hire you via Upwork. If someone wants to hire you, it proves to Upwork that your skills are valuable.
When the client hires you, you will receive an email with the client’s contract terms. Your profile will automatically be activated once you accept the invitation to join the client’s team.
- Join an agency
Alternatively, if you don’t know anyone who is hiring, you can join an agency. This is a team of freelancers already on Upwork. Your profile will be activated immediately you accept the invitation to join an agency.
An agency works differently from independent freelancers so make sure you understand all the ins and outs before you sign up as an agency freelancer.
- Build your profile around an in-demand skill
This is probably the most important step in improving the chances of getting your profile accepted.
Take a look at your skills and what skill is in high demand. Use this skill to build your profile in a manner that expresses your expertise clearly. If you do this well, then you might just get your profile accepted without much struggle.
If you’re not highly skilled this might be a difficult step for you and it’s definitely okay to take some time to learn or practice one or two skills that are in high demand that might interest you. You can always come back to improve your profile and re-submit.
- Contact Upwork support team directly
If you believe that you’ve done everything right and your profile deserves a chance don’t give up, instead, contact Upwork Help and Support team and plead your case. Even if they don’t approve your profile, they’ll at least give you the reason for your rejection and possibly some tips on how to improve it and then you can resubmit it.
- Seek clients elsewhere
If everything fails and your Upwork profile not approved, don’t throw in the towel, you can still run a successful freelancing career. While Upwork is by far one of the best places to find clients, there are other avenues to find paid work. You can use other platforms to build your skills and earn some experience that you can later on use to create the perfect Upwork profile.
There’s no guarantee that doing any or all the above will get your profile accepted on Upwork. But with so much competition you want to make sure that you do everything right and increase your chances of getting accepted.