How to Post a Job on Upwork

How to Post a Job on Upwork

You’ve created an Upwork account and now you’re ready to engage a freelancer. Depending on your project requirements, there are two ways to search for talent on your own:

  • Project Catalog™. This is a collection of services—predefined by the independent professionals who do the work—that makes it easy for you to browse, compare, and buy.
  • Post a job. Posting a job allows you to connect with talented professionals and agencies in Upwork’s work marketplace, who can tailor a solution to fit the specific needs of your project.

In this article, we’ll go through the six steps needed to post your job on Upwork:

Don’t worry if you don’t have a job post drafted already. With templates available, built-in tips, and customized prompts to help you learn how to write a job posting on Upwork, we’ll help you ensure the most important information is included so you can connect with the right talent for your project.

How to publish a job post on Upwork in six steps

To get started, go to your client account dashboard—the page you land on when you first login to your client account on Upwork.

Job Post

Click on “Post a job” to start the process. This will give you a few different options:

  • Create your own job posting. We’ll walk you through each step of the process—both in this article and within the Upwork platform itself. Upwork uses artificial intelligence to offer ideas and suggestions, customized to fit your project, that will help you find the expertise you need.
  • Edit an existing job post. You don’t have to finish your job post in one sitting! If you aren’t ready to publish a job post right away, your draft will be automatically saved so you can come back and finish it later.
  • Use a colleague’s job post. If you’re part of an organization, you’ll also have the option to use job posts created by your colleagues as a starting point.

Step 1: Job post title

Job Post Title

First, give your job post a name. A clear title makes it easy for an independent professional or agency to quickly decide whether they can deliver what your project requires or not.

It can be helpful to:

  • Include your end goal or deliverable (i.e., launch a new website)
  • List the most essential skill requirements (i.e., WordPress developer)
  • Create a title that gives a brief description of the project or the expected deliverable (i.e., “Need a WordPress developer to help launch a new website”)

Is the job category correct? Based on your title, Upwork will suggest a likely job category. If the category isn’t quite right, however, select a category and specialty that are more accurate. We’ll use this information to make additional suggestions for your job post as well as to help match your project with talent on Upwork’s work marketplace.

Step 2: Project skills

Skills

Indicating the most critical skills for your project helps independent professionals and agencies understand whether they’ll be a good fit, and enables Upwork to make better talent suggestions.

To help you narrow the options, Upwork will use the information you’ve entered so far to suggest popular skills for projects like yours as well as similar types of skills you may want to include.

How many skills should you select? Upwork’s own analysis shows that choosing just two or three skills is the sweet spot: it’s specific enough to be relevant without the noise of related-but-unessential skills.

Step 3: Project scope

Project scope

Scope refers to project requirements such as key milestones and the intended deliverables. If you don’t know how to define your project, it’s OK—that’s why you want to engage an expert! Upwork’s AI will give you a nudge by suggesting different project sizes, choose the one that best matches what you’re looking for.

For example, the founders of Loquere, an AI coach for inclusive conversations, knew they needed a linguistics expert to move their product from idea to launch. The independent professional they found had both the necessary subject matter expertise and the hands-on experience to determine what the statement of work should look like to get the project moving forward.

Do you need to have a detailed scope of work? An estimate of the project size and timeline can be a solid starting point even if you don’t have more specific information to share. It also helps to set expectations with independent talent that may be interested in submitting a proposal.

Step 4: Project budget

Project budget

The project budget section boils down to one question: will you pay the professional you work with using a fixed price or hourly rate? Your answer will determine the other questions you’ll be asked on the Budget page.

Hourly rate

With an hourly project, an hour worked is an hour paid by you. The professional tracks the time they spend on your project using the Upwork Desktop App—or manually, if you enable it—and you’re billed on a weekly basis. You can set a cap on the number of hours billed each week to help keep your budget in check.

To give you an idea of what rates to expect, when you select an hourly project Upwork’s AI will show you a typical range for projects like yours. Actual rates will ultimately be determined by a number of factors including your timeline and the level of experience your project requires.

Fixed project budget

With a fixed-price project, the budget is predetermined by you and the talent you engage. You can pay all at once or by milestone—deadlines that break your project into smaller pieces of work. The funds are deposited into escrow then released as you approve the work.

Not quite ready to set a budget? Alongside the scope of work, providing budget information helps independent professionals and agencies better understand your expectations. However, these details will often be negotiated and reconfirmed once you’ve connected with talent that understands your project and what it takes to get the results you’re looking for.

Step 5: Job post review

A long job description is often unnecessary on Upwork, but we have found that job posts with descriptions that are too short often get a poor response. Just as it’s unlikely that a one-line proposal would make your shortlist, high-quality talent is looking for more!

To write an effective job description, you’ll want to try to anticipate the questions you may be asked about your project, then include that information in your job post. Here are a few ideas:

  • Explain your project and deliverable(s), as well as problems to be solved—skilled professionals love a good challenge
  • Describe the type of expertise you’re looking for (i.e., skill level, type of experience, industry insights)
  • Highlight anything that’s unique about your project or organization, such as a compelling mission or use case
  • Don’t hesitate to mention if you need help confirming the scope of your main project

Use the job posting checklist below to help avoid missing any of the basics.

Checklist

You might also want to share relevant files for professionals or agencies to check out as they’re putting a proposal together. This could include:

  • A document with more detailed project specifications
  • A style guide or similar reference document
  • Inspiration or ideas, such as examples from other companies or a concept or mood board

At this job post review stage, you can also adjust any of the information entered in previous steps by editing the relevant section on this page.

Step 6: Optional fine-tuning: Screening questions, preferences, and sending invites

Your Upwork job post is almost ready to publish! Before you post your job, you can add additional details to help improve talent matches and speed up your search.

Screening questions

Screening questions

Screening questions are optional to the hiring process but can make it easier for you to scan and shortlist proposals as they come in. You can choose from questions suggested by Upwork or add your own.

Advanced preferences

Advanced preferences

None of the advanced preferences will prevent otherwise qualified professionals or agencies from submitting their proposals, but including more information allows Upwork’s AI to make better talent matches. This may include preferences for:

  • Independent professionals vs. agencies
  • Location
  • Existing Job Success Score
  • Fluency with English
  • Amount earned on Upwork
  • Members of an underrepresented group, such as U.S. Veterans

Job post preferences

Job post preferences

How widely do you want to promote your job post? You have the option to:

  • Share it with the public, whether they have an Upwork profile or not
  • Limit visibility to talent within the Upwork community
  • Share it only with a select few that you approach through direct invitations
  • Boost your project visibility by paying to promote it as a Featured Job

If you decide to make your job post invite only, keep in mind that you won’t receive any unsolicited proposals. This may create more work upfront as you search for and invite individual professionals and agencies to consider your project. However, it can also mean a shorter and more curated list of proposals to review.

Option to invite talent

Invite talent

Even if you set the visibility of your post to “Anyone,” consider sending invites to specific professionals; you’re 80% more likely to connect with top talent when you get their attention with an invitation to check out your job post.

If you’re part of an organization, you can also invite professionals from your Virtual Talent Bench™, a series of features that makes it easier for you to reconnect with experts your organization has worked with in the past, as well as to discover new talent.

Upwork job description examples

A job post is a critical link between you and top talent. It’s a sales pitch that delivers essential information about your project to independent professionals and agencies so they can decide whether to submit a proposal for your consideration.

Here are three Upwork job description examples for popular skill sets. Use one to inspire your job post or customize an existing job description template.

Example 1: Virtual Assistant

What works? This job post includes:

  • A clear, specific project title
  • A concise description of the work that includes the anticipated timeline and deliverables
  • A description of required skills and other project needs
  • A specific question for talent to respond to in their proposal

Data Entry VA Needed For Temp Project with Sales Team

We’re a growing marketing agency looking for an individual to support our business development activities.

Before the end of this quarter, we need a professional who can help our sales team to:

- Score and organize new leads

- Add new data into Hubspot

- Review and update existing data in Hubspot

- Create a standard operating procedure (SOP) for data entry moving forward

Our ideal VA has:

- Excellent written and verbal communication skills (English)

- Experience working with a sales team

- Lots of hands-on experience with Hubspot products

You should have a high-speed internet connection. Location isn’t important but availability to participate in team meetings (mornings, Pacific Time zone) would be helpful.

In your proposal, describe your sales-related experience and tell us about SOPs you’ve created in the past. We look forward to hearing from you!

Example 2: UI Developer

What works? This post includes:

  • A clear, specific project title
  • Thorough project overview with a challenge to be solved
  • A detailed list of qualifications
  • The desired skill level
  • Information for those who want to review project details and specs

AngularJS and Kendo UI developer

Looking for an experienced developer for a 3-6 month project. You will work with a team of international experts. This contract includes multiple sub-projects. Must be experienced with Javascript, AngularJS, Bootstrap, and Kendo UI.

Please note we are creating a Rich Internet Application, not a website/blog/etc. We have specifications available for applicants to review upon request.

Required Experience:

  • Experience creating localized (many languages) interfaces with AngularJS and Kendo is preferred
  • UI, UX, interactivity design experience a huge plus
  • Graphics design experience a plus but not required for this project
  • Experience in making architectural recommendations (wireframes will be provided)
  • Prior experience with Scrum is a plus
  • JIRA knowledge is a plus
  • Prior experience with continuous integration is a plus
  • Experience with GIT source control
  • The UX goal of our project is to take a highly technical and difficult topic and translate that into a beautiful, intuitive, and functional interface.

To be a best fit for this project you need:

  • Ability to communicate clearly
  • Dedication to meet project deadlines in a timely manner
  • Knowledge of Smart Commits for our ticketing systems
  • Write “I am a human” at the top of your proposal
  • Attention to detail
  • Willingness to sign an NDA

If you are interested in this project, please reply with your prior experience.

Example 3: Presentation Designer

With Project Catalog, you can browse and purchase predefined services on Upwork. Many independent professionals use Project Catalog to promote their most in-demand work. It can also be an effective option if you’re short on time or need help to confirm your project requirements.

If you purchase a service on Project Catalog, you don’t need to have a job post. Instead, you select a package that matches your project needs then confirm the details with the professional you’ve engaged.

However, it can still be helpful to write a job post to clarify the project requirements for yourself and create a shareable project summary. You can also use Project Catalog to find professionals with the skills and experience you need, then invite them to consider your particular job post.

What works? This post includes:

  • A clear project title
  • The timeline and specifications for deliverables
  • References and links to help explain the desired style
  • Proposal directions to request the information needed to make a decision

Design A Pitch Deck For A Travel Startup

We’re a sustainable travel startup that needs an effective investor pitch deck. We’re looking for a professional or agency to help us:

- Craft an effective narrative

- Write content for the deck

- Design a pitch deck that meets our brand guidelines and existing visual brand

The presentation needs to be completed by the end of September. We would like the final file to be shared in an editable format, ideally using PowerPoint.Previous experience with early-stage startup funding is essential.

In your proposal, please share:

- An overview of your process

- How much money startups you’ve worked with have raised

- Examples of decks you’ve created in the past

Attached to this job post, you’ll find our brand guidelines and links to a couple of sample pitch decks that have caught our attention.

That’s how to write a job posting with confidence! If you’re ready to get your project moving forward, click here to go to your Upwork dashboard or sign up to start your search for talent on Upwork.

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Author Spotlight

How to Post a Job on Upwork
Amy Sept
Writer & Editor

Amy Sept (@amysept) is an independent writer, editor, and content marketing strategist who’s dedicated to helping businesses of all sizes navigate the future of work. As a Canadian military spouse and slow traveller, she has a lot of hands-on experience with remote work, productivity hacks, and learning how to "go with the flow."

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