If you want to become a freelancer, we often recommend Upwork as a good starting point.
However, lately we’ve been getting some feedback and questions from our readers that they are having trouble with their registration.
So today, we want to address why your Upwork registration might get rejected.
Why was your Upwork profile not approved?
With more and more freelancers signing up, Upwork now seems to be looking for freelancers with expertise and those who offer the most sought-after skills by clients worldwide.
So if your profile does not have a combination of skills and experience that clients are looking for, Upwork might just reject your registration.
How do you know which skills are more valuable than others? Skills that will be in demand now and in the future. The answer lies in tech or tech-adjacent fields. We go into this in great detail in our article here: The Most In Demand Skills of 2018 – Digital Marketing, Tech & IT Skills
- 12 Steps To Creating An Upwork Profile That Gets You Freelance Clients, FAST
- What Skills Do You Offer Clients on Upwork?
- 7 Rookie Upwork Profile Mistakes That Are Costing You The Job
- 9 Upwork Proposal Tips To Win You More Jobs
- What is Upwork
What can you do to make sure your Upwork profile is accepted?
Besides your skills set, there other issues that could get your profile rejected. Let’s take a look at how you can make sure your profile doesn’t end up in the unapproved bin.
1. Use Authentic Personal Data
When using an online platform your first instinct is to hide your identity and personal details.
“What if I get hacked?”
“I don’t want my boss to see my photo on a freelancing site.”
Such thoughts are common and understandable. We get it.
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.
- 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 email address, phone number, and address.
In most cases, Upwork support will use a couple of ways to authenticate the information you provide. You may be asked to provide your government issued identification card, a utility bill or receive a phone call via the provided phone number.
If they are unable to verify your identity, your profile might not be approved.
2. Complete your profile to 100%
A common practice when joining freelancing jobs sites is to do a quick registration and then come back to complete your profile later.
While this is ok, chances are that it will take you weeks if not months to go back and complete your profile. With so many incomplete profiles, it definitely makes sense to reject them.
When registering on Upwork, increase your chances of getting accepted by completing your profile immediately
Complete your profile to 100% by adding a profile pic, a headline, overview, portfolio, certifications, employment history, education and any other experiences.
Don’t just mindlessly fill out the fields just to complete your profile – put some thought into it and create a profile that will get you hired.
Once you’ve completed your profile, you should see the 100% complete bar below ‘My Profile’
3. Take the Upwork readiness test
The Upwork readiness test tests whether you are ready for Upwork (duh!) and 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.
Demonstrating that you understand how the platform works by passing the Upwork readiness test will put you one step ahead of the other newbies.
4. 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, basics of copywriting, Bookkeeping, Virtual Assistant Skills, Internet Marketing, grammar and so on.
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 favorably.
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.
5. Delete multiple profiles
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 for a fraud.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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 ok 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.
9. Contact Upwork support 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 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.
10. 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.
We have a mega list of 52 Best Freelance Jobs Websites to Help You Find Online Work.
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.
Are there any other difficulties that you’ve encountered on Upwork? Let us know and we’ll do our best to help.
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