Greetings new Upworker or seasoned veteran! How long have you been on Upwork? One day, one month, one year? No matter how successful you are, Top Rated or Rising Star, you’re probably doing something wrong on your profile. If it’s been some time since you updated it, you might find there are a few more tweaks since it changed from Odesk.
Use the Tags
One new addition since Odesk switched to Upwork is the profile tags. These help potential clients find you wish simple keyword use. As you would with a blog post, use simple and effective phrases. For example, my profile tags are content writing, blog writing, WordPress, proofreading, copy editing, creative writing. Think about the sort of keywords you would use if you were writing a blog post. Upwork now has categories, making the right choices easier to find.
A Good One-Line Summary
Don’t be tempted to use words like “guru” or “ninja” that litter the worst job listings. You might think you sound like a maverick, but they’re pure style over substance. These cliched stock phrases don’t tell potential clients anything about you other than that you’re unimaginative. You want something that will explain what you do. Potential clients’ time is limited. Yours might be one of 30 profiles they look at today; trust me, they will forget you as soon as they click away. Make them want to read on. Here is mine:
Professional Content Writer and Proofreader
No “ninja” or “guru” and certainly no “rock star”. I’m pretty useless musically, so that’s probably just as well. It tells potential clients what I do. Although I have my niches, content writers do tend to be generalists. With good research skills and an eye for evaluating quality sources, you can write about almost anything.
No, you don’t need to be handsome or beautiful, but you do need a good quality picture to show potential clients what you are about. Good images draw the eye and it helps to put a human face on the profile too. You need a good head shot, a bright background and a professional looking image. They are, after all, dealing with a human being. And don’t forget to smile!
Do You Add a Video?
Personally, I don’t have one. My voice isn’t ideal for video and I don’t feel it’s beneficial for me to put something together, even with basic video editing skills. I have tried to make profile videos but I’ve never uploaded it. I’ve got by perfectly fine without one.
The Main Profile
I’m not going to tell you what you should write as it will vary depending on what you do. Of course, you can tell them how diligent and committed you are and point out how you love your job, but recognise that everybody else is doing that too. Ideally, you want to spell out precisely what makes you unique.
Aim to make your main profile between 300 and 400 words. They don’t want your life story but they also want to know enough information to figure out if you’re a good fit for them. 300 words will take about 2-3 minutes to read.
You could use the opening paragraph to reinstate how much you expect to get paid. Anybody who reads it should then decide whether or not you are a good fit for their budget. I would say the hourly rate should be a good indicator of cost, but some people who invite me to jobs still complain my rates are too high despite that my rate is clearly listed.
Missed something, didn’t you? You won’t get very far as a proofreader if you tell your potential new clients how you are responsible for runing a large marketing project fir a multinational. They’ll wonder what the futhark you’re talking about. Everybody makes mistakes but you’re ability to spit them (or otherwise) shows just how attentive you are to detail. If possible, ask somebody else to proofread your profile. People tend to read what we expect to see when it’s something we’ve written.