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How to Get Your UpWork Profile Approved

Updated on July 12, 2017
Arleen Roja profile image

I work from home as a Lead CSR and I love my job. I love sharing stories hoping it will help or motivate other people.


About UpWork

UpWork, formerly Elance-oDesk, is a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent professionals connect and collaborate remotely.

In 2015, Elance - oDesk was re-branded as UpWork. It is based in Mountain View and San Francisco, CA

UpWork has twelve million registered freelancers and five million registered clients. Three million jobs are posted annually, worth a total of $1 billion USD, making it the world's largest freelancer marketplace.


UpWork is a great help for people who wants a home-based job. Employers there are more responsive than at other freelance sites, one of the reasons why UpWork gets plenty of membership applications.

After signing up, UpWork will carefully review your profile to make sure that you don't have a previous account or multiple accounts. They will also check your skills to make sure that both you and the platform will earn.

Recently, I noticed a bunch of posts from new freelancers asking help with how to get their UpWork profile approved. I also had the same problem before and got the same rejection letter. Here's an example:

Letter from UpWork stating that the profile was not approved.
Letter from UpWork stating that the profile was not approved.

What to do?

  • Understand the letter

Sometimes, people just scan and fail to read the whole letter. The letter shows the reason why the account got declined and suggests ways to solve it.

Here are some highlights from the sample letter I attached above:

"There are already many freelancers with a similar skill set to yours and we cannot accept your registration."

"For example, at times our marketplace may have too many freelancers with similar skills competing for a small number of projects. To avoid the frustration that goes along with that, we must limit the number of new freelancers that can join our website."

The message is clear and people might've missed that part. They just want the Demand and Supply to stay in good shape. I'm not a pro when it comes to business management but it makes sense to keep the numbers balanced to avoid any possible problem for both the site and its users.

  • Fix your skill set

Based on the letter, "If you have more relevant skills or experience to add.. update and re-submit your profile and we'll take another look.."

It's all about your skills. Answering as many tests as you can, adding a payment method, or a great profile picture won't be the solution. Be honest when entering your skills. When thinking about your skills, it does not have to be "what else can I do?", you can also enter any tools or software that you've handled.

TIP: Check someone else's UpWork profile with the same expertise and use it as a guide. Observe their skills because you might be good at it too.

  • Don't give up.

Don't check other platforms right away, that's not how a great freelancer acts. A great freelancer does research first prior to giving up.

The letter from UpWork provides links that could help. Check it and be patient in reading. If you want to be a freelancer, you need to be patient and open to new learning.

Every platform has its pros and cons. It's always up to us how willing we are to learn the site.

Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine. - Jack Ma


Let me use my expertise as an example. Let's say you're a Customer Support, you can choose from these following skills:

  • Customer Support
  • Customer Service
  • CRM
  • Google Docs
  • Microsoft Office
  • Email Support
  • Email Handling
  • Chat Support
  • Phone Support
  • Phone Handling
  • Data Entry
  • Technical Support
  • Telemarketing
  • Cold Calling

You can include software/tools, apps or sites that you've handled. Examples are:

  • JIRA
  • HubSpot
  • Amazon
  • Slack
  • Sococo
  • Avaya
  • Xlite
  • Zoho

You can also include skills that you know outside the scope of your Title. Examples are:

  • Translation
  • Writing
  • Blogging
  • Painting
  • Graphic Design
  • Logo Design
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Lead Generation

There are a lot more. You need to assess yourself and determine your skills. You need to be honest with it all the time.

Do you have a different rejection Letter from UpWork?

If you have a different one, feel free to leave a comment here and state what the message or error is.
If you already worked on your skill set but still not getting the approval, you may also leave a comment here with your UpWork profile link so we can take a look and see what we could help.

Here's a video guide on how to build your UpWork profile


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    • profile image

      edzumi 5 weeks ago

      good day just want to ask why my profile at upwork didnt yet approve until now? what shoul i do to approve my profile?


    • Arleen Roja profile image

      Arleen Roja 6 weeks ago from Philippines

      Thanks again @John! I appreciate it!

    • faith-hope-love profile image

      John Ward 6 weeks ago from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

      From what I read of Upwork in this tip section, it, seems to be, a Venue to offer just one view of or on any subject and so would encourage one "Blinkered" narrow view. But, I, will not make a judgement till I can at least look it over. Always remember that an expert is a "Spurt" under pressure. hey may sound tops but offer no new Ideas or knowledge on a subject.