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All You Need to Know to Get Your Upwork Account Approved

Back in the day, anyone could create an Upwork account. However, this leniency crowded the platform with freelancer-wannabes who don’t have marketable skills. These unqualified freelancers compete with their well-established counterparts.


This affects the clients' experience because they now have to sort through numerous applications, and need to weed out the unqualified freelancers from the qualified ones.


So, Upwork came up with the solution of reviewing freelancer registrations. If Upwork finds that your combination of skills and experience don’t have enough opportunities in the marketplace, Upwork will reject your registration.


No worries! You may resubmit your profile for another review if you feel that you have more relevant skills or experience to add. If you’re not sure what niche to pick or what services to offer, click here.


Although you may resubmit your rejection application more than once, it’s important that you get it right the first time because the more unsuccessful attempts you make, the greater the chances of your account getting permanently suspended from the platform.


There is really only one way to greatly increase your chances of approval and that is to:


Ensure that your profile is 100% complete!


A big mistake new freelancers make with their Upwork registration is rushing through their profile so they can get it reviewed as soon as possible. This usually ends in tragedy. Don’t do this.


Before submitting your profile for review, you’ll need to first complete the required sections in your profile such as uploading your photo and adding your professional title, overview, employment history, and at least two skills. 


This will get you to 60% complete profile. If you’re missing any of these required sections, you can get up to 60% only. 


After that, you have several options to continue building your profile to 100% completion. You can choose to add any combination of the following: 

  • Education (+10%)
  • Other Experience (+5%)
  • Each Employment History (+10%, max 30%)
  • Each Skill Test (+10%, max 30%)
  • Each Certificate (+5%, max 10%)
  • Each Portfolio item +5% (max 10%)


As long as you complete the required sections to reach 60%, you can use any combination of the choices to reach the remaining 40% profile completion (a skill test is required for 10%). 


A beginner might choose to pass three skill tests (30%), add two portfolio items (10%), enter their educational background (10%), and then submit their profile for review. 


This leads to another mistake: settling for 100%. And by that, I mean submitting their account for review immediately after reaching the 100% mark. 


Although your profile is technically 100% complete, the sections you skip might come back to bite you in the behind.  


So by creating a 100% complete profile, I really mean literally completing every section in your profile! 

If you're eager to grow your freelancing business on Upwork, you better take the time to start on the right foot. Don't rush! 


Here are some things to keep in mind... 

  • Provide authentic personal information (e.g., your real name, photo, physical address, email address, phone number, etc.)
  • Take the Upwork Readiness Test
  • Make sure that you don't have another (duplicate) Upwork account created using a different email address. If you do, pick one account only to use and delete your other existing accounts. Creating multiple profiles may be suspected by Upwork as fraudulent.
  • If you feel you've done everything right and your account gets rejected, contact Upwork Help and Support and plead your case.


There are other ways for you to use the Upwork platform.


The first is having a client hire you directly through the "Bring Your Own Freelancer" feature. Your profile will be activated as soon as you accept the client's invitation, but you're restricted to work with that client only.


The second is joining an agency. If you know someone who has an agency (team of freelancers) on Upwork already, they can invite you to work exclusively on their team. Your profile will be activated as soon as you accept the agency invitation.


Although these methods allow you to bypass the review, you won’t have full access to Upwork’s features as your work is bound with the client who hired you directly or with the agency you joined. 

Your profile will not be included in the marketplace unless you later submit it for another review and get approved. 


So for you to really soar as a freelancer on Upwork you need to get your account approved, and the best way to do this is to create a 100% complete profile offering in-demand skills. 


If you don't have any skills to monetize or service to offer yet, hold off on creating an Upwork account until you're ready. Again, your goal is to get your profile approved the first time you submit it for review.


If you're wondering what skills are in demand...


Here are the 20 fastest-growing freelance skills on Upwork for the 4th quarter of 2016.

  • Natural language processing
  • Swift
  • Tableau
  • Amazon Marketplace Web Services (MWS)
  • Stripe
  • Instagram marketing
  • MySQL programming
  • Unbounce
  • Social media management
  • AngularJS
  • Business consulting
  • Machine learning
  • Brand strategy
  • 3D rendering
  • Information security
  • R development
  • Node.js development
  • User experience design
  • Bluetooth
  • Zendesk customer support


Here are the 20 fastest-growing freelance skills on Upwork as for the 3rd quarter of 2016:

  • Machine learning
  • Tableau
  • User experience design
  • C++ programming
  • MySQL programming
  • Pardot
  • Social media management
  • Project management professional (PMP)
  • Swift development
  • Chat support
  • Android development
  • Unity 3D
  • Shopify development
  • Video editing
  • AutoCAD
  • Facebook marketing
  • API development
  • Content writing
  • .NET framework
  • WordPress development


If your skill set is not on the list, don't fret! You may pick and learn one, or you may still pursue other niches.

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