How to Make an Awesome Upwork Application

I’ve applied to more than 90 jobs on Upwork. Sometimes I’ve gotten the job, and most of the time I haven’t. That’s the way the game is played, and it’s why Upwork gives you 30 new applications every month. Below you’ll find some tips about making a great Upwork application. If you don’t want tips, and just want some examples, look at a big list of my successful applications. If you have no idea what Upwork is, read my post: How to Make Money Online.

Let’s begin.

1. Apply for all 30 jobs, every single month. Now matter how amazing your application or profile is, applying to jobs is a numbers game. The more applications you have floating out there the better your odds. You might be surprised what turns up. I’ve had clients contact me weeks after I submitted an application.

2. Make sure that the hourly rate on your profile and the rate you submit on your application are in the same ballpark. Maybe you submit $15 an hour on a job application. The client sees this, looks at your profile, and sees that your hourly rate is actually $8. He’s going to ask what gives, and throw your application away.

3. DO NOT copy and paste applications. This is a retarded strategy. You should be customizing every single application based on the client’s job description. When I needed someone to speed up this website, I posted an application on Upwork. Guess who was rejected immediately? EVERY SINGLE PERSON who started their application with “Dear hiring manager”.

4. Ballpark your application with the job description. If the job description is long and detailed, you should make your application long and detailed. If the job description is three sentences, writing three paragraphs probably isn’t the best idea. This depends though, and should be taken as more of an idea then as a general rule.

5. Make your first few sentences STAND THE FUCK OUT. You want to immediately grab a person’s attention. Almost without exception, I start every single application with:

“Hi, my name’s Sam and I’m the perfect person for this project.”

Maybe it’s corny, but 90% of the time it’s true. Clients can look at my profile, see my perfect rating from past clients, and realize that I really am the perfect freelancer. Another strategy that I would suggest is to customize the opening sentences specifically to that job. Let’s look at an example. This is my successful application for my highest paying job to date ($22 an hour). In the job description, the client mentioned that he needed some technical articles rewritten. So what do I talk about in my second sentences?

Hey, my name’s Sam and I’m the perfect person for this job. Here’s why:

1 – I have extensive experience with rewriting technical product descriptions and documents. One of my current jobs involves improving mechanical engineering product descriptions. My client is pleased with my work, I invite you to look at the feedback on my profile.

2 – I write SEO articles on a daily basis. I’ve written in more than a dozen niches already, and that number grows every month. I can rewrite keywords with proper weighting, add internal and external links, define H tags, specify image, write title tags, and write Meta Descriptions.

3 – I’m a native English speaker from New York. That means my grammar is always perfect.

4 – I’m a professional writer who takes my job seriously. I’m always available via Skype or Email and I answer promptly.

5 – My writing is clear, concise and to the point. I’ve been writing daily for years, and that shows.

I invite you to check out my online portfolio at:

I’m looking forward to hearing back from you!


6. Mention past experience. That’s what I did in the above application, and I believe it’s why I got the job. Always play up any experience you have. A client doesn’t want you to be learning on the job, he or she wants you to be the master.

7. Create an online portfolio. There is literally NO EXCUSE to not do this. You can sign up for a free Blogger or WordPress portfolio. Better than nothing, not nearly as good as… Hosting your own portfolio website. For example, my site is Epoch Writing. I’ve written more about web design in my post: 4 Web Design Tips for Beginners.

8. Never plagiarize. This has nothing to do with filling out an application, it’s just general advice. If you plagiarize and get caught, your career is over. The client will leave you feedback saying you did it, you could potentially get kicked off of Upwork, and so on. It’s never, ever worth it. If you don’t know how to complete a job without stealing someone else’s work, you shouldn’t apply in the first place.


Forest Gump saying wordsLike Forest Gump, that’s all I’ve got to say about that. Out of everything here, I think the most important point is number one. You should apply for a lot of jobs. Even with a great application, you’ll still only hear back from about 1 in 4 clients. Maybe even less, that’s totally normal. As a rule, if you’re spending less than 10 minutes on an application you’re doing it wrong.

Also you can find loads of my successful applications that I’ve copied word for word from Upwork. Feel free to copy, steal, paraphrase or do whatever you like with it.

13 replies
  1. April
    April says:

    Thank you, Sam, for sharing this. I will surely use all your tips. I am a stay at home mom looking for a job where I can work at home while looking after my kids. =) Hopefully I will get hired soon.

    • Sam
      Sam says:

      Hey April, I’m sure you will. If you keep trying and have a skill that other people want you’ll definitely be able to find work!

  2. Felix
    Felix says:

    Hey Sam…what will happen if they reiect my submitted work and secondly,
    If i am not able to finish the work before the deadline….
    Pls advise

  3. Alfonso
    Alfonso says:

    Hello I’m Alfonso, and I’m starting in upwork, you advise me because it’s very difficult for someone to look at my profile if I have not done work in upwork.

    Thank you very much greetings from Bogota Colombia

  4. Shawn sam
    Shawn sam says:

    My friend took all the available connects and sadly he didn’t get any.. ( he had done almost $1000 projects in the past ).. and UPWORK blocked his account saying “he is ineligible to work in UPWORK anymore.. ”
    I’m new to UPWORK and I have sent 6 job applications.. starting from last month and the interesting fact is that no one has hired any… So I’m now reluctant to submit anymore job proposals fearing they may suspend my account too..

    What should I do to get a start?


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