7 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Hired on UpWork (and what to do about it)

I know that feeling. Applying for jobs left and right, but not hearing anything back.

Here are 7 reasons why that is happening, and what to do about it.

1. You have no reviews and no past work history

Applying for jobs with no reviews or work history is the toughest spot to be in (we have all been there). To get over the hump, keep your rate fairly low, and apply for jobs that closely match the capabilities of a similar built demo project.

2. You are not proving you are capable of doing the job

The client can get over the fact that you have no reviews, but you must prove you are capable of doing their job. It must be backed up with proof in the form of sample code, a previous project, or (once again), a solid demo project.

3. You do not meet the prerequisites for the job

If the job requires 100 hours of previous work on UpWork and you only have 10, there is a chance your proposal will be filtered from the client’s view. Even if they do see your proposal, the prerequisites that are not met will be highlighted. If they are too off, the client will likely move on without even reading your proposal.

4. Your proposals are generic and not tailored to the job requirements

Every one of your proposals should uniquely address the client’s problems and job requirements. It will definitely make you stand out, because most freelancers are spamming generic proposals.

5. The job is old

It is best to strike when the iron is hot. Try to apply for jobs that are 48 hours old or less. I find clients are much less likely to respond when their job is older than two days.

6. Your hourly rate is too high

This is not necessarily something to fix. I recommend new freelance developers in the US market start at $30 per hour. That may be too high for some clients. But don’t lower your rate. Clients that are looking for an absolute bargain are likely to be problematic.

7. Your reviews are unrelated to the job at hand

Clients are looking for an expert. If they need a Django developer, then they want to hire the developer that has worked on 20 Django projects. So if your reviews are all based around WordPress and you are applying for a Angular job, expect you may not get it. That’s why it is extremely important to stay in a niche.


Have questions about anything I mentioned here? Contact me and ask for advice! I would love to hear from you.

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