How to Post a Job on Upwork

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You have a project in mind and you’re ready to start your search for the right freelancer. What’s next? Posting your job to the Upwork site. This article will walk you through the seven-step process to get your job post published. (Note: The process is slightly different for Enterprise users—learn more here…)

Start from My Jobs, a dashboard where you can quickly get an overview of published job posts, draft job posts, pending contracts, and active contracts. If you’re joining an existing team of coworkers, you can also track your team’s activity in real time and invite others to collaborate on your talent search.

Example: The My Jobs dashboard for a marketing team

GET READY TO WRITE YOUR JOB POST

You can create a new job post or, if you’re part of a team, you can also reuse a previous job post from a colleague. It’s best if you have the following info on hand, although you can always leave your draft job post and come back to it later:

  • Details about your project: Include the timeline, budget, significant milestones, and key deliverables
  • A description of the type of expertise you’re looking for: Consider the type of skills and level of experience your freelancer will need, as well as any other requirements your project may have, such as previous experience in a particular niche or specific language skills.

You may also want to prepare for a test project: It may not be necessary to include information about a paid freelancer test project you have in mind, but figuring it out ahead of time can help make the overall process more efficient.

Here’s an overview of the process from start to finish. Read on for step-by-step details…

Step 1 — Title

The first thing you’ll be prompted for is a job post a name. Capturing the most important pieces of information in an eye-catching title isn’t always easy, here are a few best practices to help you narrow down your options:

  • Try to summarize your end goal or deliverable (i.e. launch new site, series of blog posts)
  • Include the most essential skill requirements to get the deliverable you need (i.e. WordPress developer services)
  • Give a brief description of the project and the expected deliverables (i.e. Need a designer to create a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation for a webinar)

You’ll also be prompted to choose a job category. Select the appropriate category and sub-category for the skillset you need. Depending on the category, the Upwork site will offer prompts throughout the rest of the process to help you optimize your job post.

STEP 2 — DESCRIPTION

This step is one of the most important: Getting a great freelancer’s attention means writing a great project description. In an analysis of job posts on the Upwork site, one of the factors that stood out among job posts that got a poor response was a short description. Looking specifically at jobs posted via mobile device, 30 percent of the descriptions were 100 characters long or less! Just as it’s unlikely that a one-line proposal would make your shortlist, top freelancers are looking for details.

Here’s some of the information you may want to include:

  • Explain your project and the deliverable(s)
  • Describe the type of skills the freelancer you’re looking for should have (i.e. skill level, type of experience)
  • Highlight anything that’s unique about the project or team

Feeling stuck? You’ll find lots of sample descriptions in Upwork’s Hiring Guides. You may also want to check out these tips to help you write an awesome job post.

It may also be helpful to share relevant project files for freelancers who want to submit a standout proposal. This could include:

  • Examples that help illustrate what you’re looking for
  • A document with more detailed project/deliverable requirements
  • A style guide or similar reference documentation
  • Inspiration or ideas, such as a concept or mood board

Step 3 — Details

This section collects additional project details or guidelines for proposals that will help freelancers get a better understanding of your project and help you get proposals that better meet your needs. This may include identifying the type of project you have or requesting a cover letter.

Depending on the job category you indicated in Step One, you may also be prompted for additional information. For example, if you indicated that you’re looking for a developer, you may be asked to confirm your target platform, whether your application uses APIs, and its current stage of development.

You may also want to include a screening question, which can be a tool to help you quickly sort freelancers who take time to respond from those who don’t. The Upwork site may offer suggestions related to your project. Or you can use the screening question to request a quick action from freelancers, such as including a keyword in their subject line.

Step 4 — Expertise

Identifying the skills and expertise that are most important helps ensure the right type of freelancers will see and be interested in your post. Based on the information you’ve already entered—such as the category you chose up front—the Upwork site will offer a number of suggestions. You can choose from these suggested skills, or add new ones if needed.

How many skills should you select? Upwork’s own analysis indicates that selecting two or three skills is the sweet spot: Specific enough to be relevant to freelancers who have essential expertise without adding the noise of related-but-not-essential skills.

Step 5 — Visibility

Upwork enables you to determine who can see your job post. You have a few different options so you can share your post broadly or keep it to a select few.

By indicating qualifications your project needs, you can tailor your job post to match Upwork’s filters. For example, you can indicate if you’d prefer to work with:

  • An independent freelancer or an agency
  • A freelancer with a high Job Success Score
  • Someone in a particular location

While freelancers who don’t meet these requirements can still submit proposals, they’ll be notified about your preferences.

Consider inviting specific freelancers to check out your job post to increase your odds of finding the perfect fit: You’re 80 percent more likely to connect with top talent when you send an invitation. If you’re part of a team, consider inviting freelancers your company has worked with in the past that have the skills you’re looking for.

Step 6 — Budget

Should you organize your project and payment structure as an hourly or fixed-price project? For a more in-depth look at which project type might be the best fit for your project, read this post.

Here’s a brief overview:

  • A fixed-price project has a set price that’s either paid all at once or by milestone—predetermined deadlines that break your project into smaller pieces of work. The funds are deposited into escrow at the beginning of the project and/or milestone, then released as you approve the work.
  • An hourly project is paid by the hour, with the freelancer tracking the time they spend working on your project. Hours are then billed on a weekly basis; as the client, you can set a cap on the number of hours billed every week. While hours can be tracked manually, time tracked using the Upwork app may qualify for Hourly Payment Protection.

How you structure your project post will determine the rest of the information you’re prompted for in this step.

First, indicate the level of experience you’re looking for. Then, if you’ve chosen an hourly project, indicate how long you expect the project to last and the amount of time you anticipate it will take on a weekly basis.

STEP 7 — REVIEW AND POST

Your job post is almost ready to launch! Review all the information you’ve entered—use the job post checklist below to help ensure you’ve covered all the details.

Checklist of what employers should include in a job post

You may also have options to promote your job post and share it with coworkers so they can help you find, interview, and evaluate freelancers.

Upwork is a freelancing website where businesses of all sizes can find talented independent professionals across multiple disciplines and categories. Ready to let freelance experts help you get more done? 

Post a job on Upwork. It's free!

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