Upwork Profile Not Approved? Here’s What You Can Do

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.

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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

Related posts:

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.

See also: 12 Steps To Creating An Upwork Profile That Gets You Freelance Clients, FAST

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.


Upwork profile not approved

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.


Upwork profile not approved

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.

See also: Best Online Course Providers: Learn the Skills You Need to Become a Digital Nomad

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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Was your Upwork profile not approved? Here's what you should do before to ensure your application is accepted before you resubmit it. | FulltimeNomad.com

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Fulltime Nomad

Fulltime Nomad is your passport to saying no to normal, and yes to a life of unlimited travel. Founded by Radhika & Johnny, this blog will help YOU take that big scary first step towards building your own freedom lifestyle. Are you new? Start here.




  1. Jemoh


  2. Melissa

    Thank you so much for this post. After reading this, I formatted my profile differently and I was approved!

    You guys are awesome!

    Thanks again.

    • Radhika

      Wow, that’s awesome to hear Melissa! Super happy that it was useful for you.

    • Paulo Paciente

      Hello Melissa, What did you do to make your profile approved?

      • Radhika

        Hi Paulo,

        As Melissa mentions, she followed much of the advice we have above. Perhaps it will help you too?

  3. Anil Saini

    I have a running project on my profile and still I’m unable to put bids on Jobs. What should i do?

    • Radhika

      Hi Anil, not exactly sure what you mean. I think your question is better suited for the Upwork support team. You can contact them here — https://support.upwork.com

  4. Dhara Raval

    I have profile already created which is not approved saying “at this time there are already many freelancers with a similar skillset to yours and we cannot accept your registration.” Now i have client who wants to work on upwork with me. so shall i give profile email id or this not approved one? Help me with this asap!

    • Radhika

      Hi Dhara, all our advice on profile disapprovals are above. Beyond that, you’d need to contact Upwork customer service. support.upwork.com

  5. oyewo

    Hi everyone, I also have the same problem here. upwork has been rejecting my profile for the past 3weeks. can some one tell me how to get it approved?

    • Fulltime Nomad

      Hello Oyewo, sorry to hear about your profile. Have you tried making the changes we’ve mentioned? You could also try contacting the Upwork support team here — https://support.upwork.com to find out more about why your profile was rejected.

  6. Chris

    I have tried applying 5 times and keep getting rejected. Each time before applying I change my skills, and I know that they are very valuable and relevant. I also signed a contract with a person who hired me and I STILL AM NOT ACCEPTED. You say to contact customer support, but that is only available if you are already accepted, otherwise I only have access to the forums. PLEASE HELP!!!

    • Radhika

      Sorry to hear that, Chris! Obviously, there’s only so much advice we can give but at the end of the day – the decision to approve profile is Upwork’s.

  7. Dongxian

    Hello dear,

    I am a Chinese software developer and I wanna get help from you.
    About it: I’ve read your blog and hope to join Upwork. So I tried to sign up to there but I can’t get approve my account profile from Upwork.
    They shows me first like this message:
    After that ( in 2 or 3 hrs later)

    I’ve tried several times but never get approve.
    How can I do for now? Please help me.

    • Radhika

      Hi there, we have shared all our knowledge above. Perhaps try to apply some of the tips before you apply again.

      • Oyewo

        Thank you very much for your advice, we really appreciate you here and may God bless you.
        I’ve tried again and again, still yet my profile isn’t approved.
        I did all the necessary tests including upwork readiness, still yet my profile isn’t approved.
        I’ve tried to contact upwork, but it’s only available if profile has been accepted. I don’t know what to do, but as freelancers we can’t give up.

  8. oyewo

    Hi Nomad, thank you very much.Yes i have tried getting in touch with upwork support team through the page, but they didn’t respond than to send the same message to me. I don’t even know what to do anymore. I’ve spent all my time on this, I have been having sleepless night for a couple of months. I can’t even stop thinking of this in order to have an hour rest. I closed the duplicate account and I signed-up for another one this midnight, I closed it again. This is the link of another account I just completely created right now, still rejected. Please take a look at it.

    • Fulltime Nomad

      Hello Oyewo, unfortunately there is nothing much we can do to get your profile to be approved as that is a decision made exclusively by Upwork team.

  9. Rajashekar

    HI this is Rajashekar,
    My profile is 100% completed, I also took test on my relevant skills and scored more enough to qualify. But still my profile is being rejected. Please help me to get through this.

    Thanks in Advance.

    • Fulltime Nomad

      Hello Rajashekar, unfortunately the final decision to approve a profile lies with the Upwork team. Our only effort is to give you advice on how to increase your chances of getting approved. You can appeal the decision by contacting Upwork support directly here: https://support.upwork.com

      • Rajashekar

        Hello Nomad, Thank you.

        Can you help me what should I do more to get my profile to Approved.

  10. vishal fulwani


    Thanks For this guide. My upwork profile rejected 2 times but after reading your post i done everything which point it and after it my profile accepted by upwork 🙂

    • Radhika

      Great to hear that, Vishal! 🙂

      • preetiraj

        please help me to find out,why my profile is not selected.

        • Fulltime Nomad

          Hi Preetiraj, check the kind of skills that you’re offering because chances are that you’re in a skillset that is oversaturated or not in high demand from clients. Try and find out the most sought after skills on Upwork and try and build your profile around one that is most suitable for your experience and expertise. Checkout this post for more details: What Skills Do You Offer Clients on Upwork?

    • Nitish Jha

      Hi , May I have the honor to know that which category you submitted your profile to ?

      • Patience

        Are they approving Kenyans

    • Sarah

      Can you please tell me which skills you have included in your profile?

    • Makuna Namakamachi

      will you please show me your profile on upwork?
      I also tried to do create upwork account, but rejected several times.
      I am not sure how to solve it….

  11. John Wick

    I have applied on upwork but my profile is not accepted .. I tried 4 times but still no success. What should i do ? Now i have completed my profile 100% and resubmit it just know . Lets see . Even now i am not sure and chances are 99% for rejection

    • Fulltime Nomad

      Hey John, unfortunately Upwork changed it’s requirements and is now more strict on who gets approved. Do everything right and keep trying.

  12. Ellen Bidari

    So I did everything possible mentioned in this article including getting hired for a project and completing it successfully, but upwork still won’t approve my profile. When I contact support, all I get is automated replies from their bot. I doubt they are out to win a popularity contest with new freelancers.

    • Fulltime Nomad

      Hi Ellen, your profile should be approved if you have finished a job successfully? Have you tried reaching out to Upwork via chat instead of email or support ticket?

  13. Rita

    Hi everyone! I just went through getting several applications on Upwork rejected and then approved!

    From my experience I can speak to what worked and what didn’t from the list above as some the above mentioned steps aren’t necessary. In order of the list above the following steps weren’t necessary to get approved.

    Steps 3, 4, 6, 7, & 10 – not needed to get approved on upwork.

    What you DO need to do is focus and specialize on a key area you want work in. Everything from your title to your overview and even additional experience needs to be focused to your specific area or niche.

    Once you build a professional and specialized profile this should get you approved.

    I had this issue a within this past week and once I submitted my specialized profile focusing on what I intend to work on, my profile was approved! (after 2 rejections)

    Keep trying and don’t give up because they are approving applications!

    Best wishes!

    • Fulltime Nomad

      Thank you Rita for your advice! This is a very big issue for most new freelancers and any help is highly appreciated 🙂

    • Kevin Steele

      Hi Rita, Just out of interest what was your specific area. Mines is technical writing for engineers, I fear I’ve cast my net too wide. I may try being more focused.

  14. Ch Muhammad Hasnat

    Very Good Information. Thanks for the help 🙂

    • Fulltime Nomad

      Thank you for reading! Glad that you found our blog post useful.

  15. jakir

    I complete my profile 100% and submit my profile, but I see this message. now what I can do……..please help me….
    “We’ve reviewed your profile and currently our marketplace doesn’t have opportunities for your area of expertise.

    If you have more relevant skills or experience to add, you can update and re-submit your profile. You can find more information regarding our decision here”

  16. Ezekiel

    This post was helpful. After struggling for six months, I was able to have my account approved. Completing your profile to 100% is not enough. Check that you have a niche in terms of skills. Don’t be an expert in everything. Identify 6 of your outstanding skills. Have at least two files for your portfolio. Do not have a general education description like I hold BS. IT rather break pick the skills from your profession that match with the 6 skills you identified. Extra skills, should have keywords of your skills. In your profile write up, build from your heart. Make it at least two paragraphs rich in keywords from your skills. Most importantly, resist the urge to be lazy that may crop in when working on your profile.

    • Fulltime Nomad

      Hello Ezekiel, thank you for your advice your tips are super helpful. We also cannot emphasis enough the importance of having a niche and not being a jack of all trades.

  17. Hugh

    Is UpWork paying you to say nice things about them in your blog?

    • Johnny

      No, but I wish they were 🙁

  18. Jehoshaphat.N

    I have been submitting my profile over and over again, yet it has not been approved, please what else can i do? i even changed my skills to the one that meets market standard, still not approved, please review my profile, what else am i missing?

  19. Vivek Sharma

    Hi Radhika & johny,

    I have tried so many times (with all your mentioned points) to got my profile approve but every time I got rejected. 🙁

    Please advise!

    Vivek Sharma

  20. Aditya Vikram Singh

    i finally got entry into upwork today in web designing & UI designing

    • Johnny

      Awesome Aditya! Good to hear.