Create a professional overview for Upwork in an hour (with template script)

Create a professional overview for Upwork in an hour (with template script)

In many ways, writing a professional overview for Upwork is similar to writing a cover letter for a traditional full-time job.

We try our best to tell our story on a single page and explain why we are a good fit for the job.

The Upwork overview is the same. One of the most annoying challenges is that we tend to get stuck writing it and tweak it forever.

In this mini-guide, we’ll first go through different examples of professional overviews for Upwork that have gotten more than a hundred job invites. We’ll look at examples of Upwork services like graphic design, web development and more. 

Last, we’ll dive into how you can quickly create your own Upwork overview with the template script I’ve prepared for you and what is important to consider throughout the process.

Data-backed Upwork overview examples

Allow me to share a quick note with you before we jump into the examples. I’ve used the “recently invited X times” indicator to find examples for each service. 

That might not be the perfect way to judge it by but this is the only data we have available from Upwork on how many invites other freelancers get.

Professional overview for an Upwork graphic designer

Upwork professional overview

Photo editor

Upwork professional overview


Upwork professional overview


Upwork professional overview

Professional overview for an Upwork web developer

Upwork professional overview

Upwork professional overview sample for data entry

Upwork professional overview

Why they are good and what we can take away from them

These Upwork overview examples are so different from each other yet all of them got more than a hundred invites recently.

That means that there is no sure pattern as to what makes a profile overview text attract more invites. The important detail here is that we don’t know the quality of any of the invites. For example for those freelancers with lots of invites and low rates, the clients can’t be that great.

As I compared the Job Success Score (JSS), I noticed that it does not seem to have an impact to be at 100% among those that I looked at. All were 90%+ except for one at 83%.

Next, I compared the top rated banners. Except for two, the rest had some form of a top rated banner but both that and the JSS likely determines that they show up early in my search more so than they seem to lead to more invites. 

I imagine that they might have tested those metrics internally at Upwork and found that they tend to lead to more interest from clients and that’s why they’ve set it up in this way.

But even if we do a good job on our end, the platform is optimized for clients. So if a client doesn’t leave feedback, even if they’ve had a good experience, it can destroy e.g. our JSS. 

That means factors like badges and JSS are largely out of our control. Sure, we can follow up and ask but if lazy clients won’t do it, we are out of luck. The point is that we can’t worry too much about external factors like that because we can’t control them.

The takeaway here is that there is no clear correlation between the different details in the Upwork overview and how many job invites we get. Nothing that we are able to clearly measure and isolate.

The trap of the Upwork overview

Most articles on the topic give generic advice such as “you know people will read the profile text so a good headline is important” and “include a call to action”.

The best part is that no one really argues for why it’s important to spend all this time optimizing our profile. Especially, since many Upwork freelancers don’t get any invitations until they’ve completed jobs for months and even so, most are low-quality, garbage invitations.

Regarding what really works when creating a profile, we know a lot less with certainty than you’d imagine. 

The only thing we have to go by, beyond if clients actually send us invites, is the “my stats” area that shows how many people visited our profile. 

Last week I had a potential client respond that she had read my articles. 

At first, I was confused as to how she had found them since we hadn’t talked before. I was sure she wouldn’t just be able to find them since I’m not famous and I wouldn’t have been able to send her the links. 

Then it occurred to me that she found them in my Upwork portfolio where I had uploaded them. Yet, my account still shows 0 views in “my stats”. 

That must mean that people visiting our profile from a proposal won’t show up in the ‘my stats’ area.

Since we want invitations, that doesn’t seem to matter. But it is easier to test changes in your profile text via the visitors from proposals we send out because we have more control and insight into what we said in the proposals (e.g. “look at my profile”) and how many proposals we sent out.

Without this data, it makes it harder to figure out which of our overview changes had an impact since we don’t know what’s going under the hood of the Upwork machine and why we get more invitations at one point than another.

Confusing, I know.

That means that we can’t run tests to create a better profile based on a data-driven approach, since we can’t learn the results of our experiments properly. Hence no one technically knows how well each change is performing.

That means that unless someone goes by the number of invitations, no one really knows how well our “optimized” professional Upwork overview really works for us — including me.

Since when we start out we usually don’t get any invitations, we are going in blind. Meaning that we can spend A TON of time optimizing it without any real result.

It’s like applying for a bunch of traditional jobs and never hearing back — not even a no. We have no clue why we are not getting hired or what to improve.

It’s hell.

But we still need a profile text on Upwork, so let’s create a quick and dirty one that looks professional, shall we?

[convertkit form=2593736]

How to create a professional overview for Upwork in an hour

One of the most powerful things we can do to attract the right clients is to speak their language so they feel at home when they see our profile. 

We can’t speak to everyone at the same time but by specializing we can speak to just the right type of clients. Specializing has so many benefits that it only makes sense to do such as commanding a higher rate and making it easier to land clients. 

Specialization is challenging on Upwork because there often isn’t enough work to sustain us if we specialize our services as much as we might elsewhere. 

We can create several specialized Upwork profiles but when the client can see each one with a single click, it sort of defeats its purpose.

In some cases, we can specialize such as if we are a programmer and optimize WordPress sites to load faster but often, it simply becomes too broad.

For example with a service like Facebook ads, there are only a few options such as working with ecommerce businesses if we want to be sure that there is enough consistent work on Upwork. 

The challenge is that when every other freelancer offering the same service is “specializing” in Facebook ads for ecommerce services, it’s not really that useful anymore. Not to mention that e.g. an online pharmacy might count as an ecommerce shop but it has little to do with other stores like one that sells sports shoes.

A note on job invites

Invites are not made evenly. We can get plenty of generic invites that are clearly from a template script mass-sent to lots of freelancers at once. That is not the same as when we are the only ones invited for a project and the message is personal and clearly meant for us.

They tend to depend highly on the service we offer and our specialization. For example, a programmer might get more invites than an archaeologist because clients tend to know that they can get programming help on Upwork.

It is unclear exactly how Upwork ranks freelance profiles when clients are searching and no one truly knows except those building it. All the rest of us can do is a guesstimate based on the limited data we have available from the website.

On top of that, there are all the tactical details like if we have a top-rated badge, our job success score, how well our profile matches the keywords the client is using when searching, how much we’ve earned, and if we fit the search filters they use.

Since we can’t control those, let’s ignore them for now and instead, focus on what we can control.

Write a professional overview Upwork – example

Let’s break down what one requires into different sections within a professional overview:

  • Headline/title
  • Intro
  • Explanation of what we do
  • Social proof
  • CTA

There are many ways to structure it and the most common one is to follow the intro with the explanation of what we do and then the social proof. 

If you don’t have any testimonials yet, you can still follow the same process without adding those in.

The reason I like to put testimonials almost at the top is that they tend to sell well no matter on Upwork, for freelancing, or for any other purpose. 

It has been known as a good sales tool for many years no matter the situation because it is other unbiased people saying the service is good rather than ourselves.

I know there is talk about keywords especially in the title of the overview and how it can help people rank higher in Upwork’s search results. As I discussed in the article on Upwork titles, it may work but we have yet to see any proof so don’t worry too much about it for now.

Keywords have another beneficial factor: they help the client feel that we speak the same language–that we are one of them.

Instead of optimizing the overview for search results, make sure that the language is relevant to your clients based on your expertise.

In the intro, I typically just write a slightly longer paragraph than the title but as an extension to it with the purpose being just to get them to make sure they are in the right place. Here’s a good example:

Next up is the explanation of our services. I like to break it down into a few short examples of the most popular services but there is no one way to do it. 

That might be 3-5 sections with ideas of what the client might help with including a simple sub-headline and a few paragraphs as a description or what you’ve done in the past — the point is that the reader can recognize it and thinks “that’s exactly what I need!” For example:

“Get more customers with Facebook ads

I’ve helped a bookstore get 21% more customers each month with Facebook ads. I’ve also helped a skin clinic increase bookings by 30% per month at $46 per booking.”

If you don’t feel as if you have great case studies to show off, I like explaining the process and benefits instead. For example:

“I help clients get more customers with Facebook ads by A/B testing different elements in the sales funnel so we can understand exactly what works based on data. There is an unlimited number of things we can test and I’ve found that there are just three that make a big difference: the offer, the targeting, and the ad copy.”

Heck, even with good case studies we might combine the two! The key here is to focus on what clients want and show off our knowledge.

In this case, clients don’t care about Facebook ads. They care about more customers and revenue. One of the concerns that clients have is that there are many freelancers on Upwork claiming to be an expert but is really learning the robes at the client’s expense. 

We can mitigate that by sharing our knowledge and experience with the clients so they can feel that we know what we are doing.

Some freelancers are afraid of giving away the farm thinking that clients will just steal the information and do things themselves. I understand if you might feel like that but the reality is that those would be shitty clients that would kick us out after we’ve done some of our work anyway. 

By giving it away, you are saving time that would otherwise be wasted on them and it attracts better clients that see your value and knowledge.

Finally, I like to end the text with a call to action (CTA) like “send me a message and tell me about your project”. People tend to overthink the CTA but clients are smart so in most cases, just make it simple and tell them what you’d like them to do next.

Upwork professional overview sample template

Here’s a complete template based on the points above that you can copy and use for yourself. All you need to do is fill in the blanks based on what you do.

“I help [your type of client] get [primary benefit that the clients get by working with you e.g. earn more revenue] with [your service].

My clients say:

[Testimonial 1] [Testimonial 2] [Testimonial 3]

This is real feedback I received from real clients here on Upwork.

The value of the relationship I have with my clients is more important to me than making a quick buck. I take great care in satisfying my clients and providing high-quality work – even if that means less work for me. It’s just good business.

Below are examples of the most popular projects clients have asked me for help with:

1. CHATBOTS (ManyChat, ChatFuel etc.) [exchange with your own example]

I build affordable marketing chatbots to increase sales or decrease cost. A chatbot requires very little work for you after it is set up and can also work as an automated customer service tool.


Sometimes it just requires a bit more than just linking from the ad to the sales page to make sales consistently.

Generally what I’ve seen is that the higher the product price the longer the funnel you need. The funnel can consist of the Facebook ads, email, retargeting etc.

If you are new to Facebook ads I can help you hit the ground running because I’ve seen what works before.

If you already run ads I can help you improve the funnel by split testing each part of it to lower your cost per sale.

3. [YOUR OWN PROJECT EXAMPLE TITLE] [Description of the project]

Whatever you choose I can also:

-[Example of tasks that the clients tend to be interested it in but isn’t their top priority e.g. write copy for ads]

-[Example of tasks that the clients tend to be interested it in but isn’t their top priority]

-[Example of tasks that the clients tend to be interested it in but isn’t their top priority]

Why choose me

-[Reason why clients would like you/your work e.g. that you’ve never missed a deadline]

-[Reason why clients would like you/your work]

-[Reason why clients would like you/your work]

-[Reason why clients would like you/your work]

Hit the green button and let’s talk!”

Feel free to use this template. I’ve kept a few examples within the template here and there to give you an idea of what it might look like from someone offering a service related to digital marketing but you can use it for anything. 

The trick is to focus on what the client needs rather than what we feel is important. For example in the “why choose me” section, the reasons we give have to be important to the client otherwise they are meaningless. 

If we know that clients are concerned with freelancers’ communication and if they are flaky, we can show examples where we have been the opposite so the client has more reason to trust us.

Using an advanced tactic: the offer

The above is a good starting point for getting something quick and dirty down so you can move forward but if you are serious, a bonus option is to craft a small offer that they can take you up on when reading your profile.

If you’ve ever been traveling somewhere with a tour guide, you might have noticed how they tend to offer a little something to whet our appetite.

For example, they might take us to a nearby hill for free, one that doesn’t require a lot of effort but has a great view. And at the top of that hill, they show us a more beautiful mountain in the horizon, one that we must see.

The idea is that instead of asking the client to buy one big item and make one big decision, we can make that decision easier by breaking it up into small chunks and show them a little bit at a time.

If we continue the example above with Facebook ads, that offer might be a brief diagnosis of their existing ad account with the benefit that they will get concrete ideas on how to make the ads perform better. 

Or perhaps that there is no room for optimization and the client is already doing well (the secret benefit for us freelancers here is that we didn’t waste time taking on a client that we couldn’t help).

Here’s a fun little example. I wish it was more specific but it might still intrigue some clients to reach out:

The most common one is the offer of a free consultation, and that is a good enough place to start.

To create your own, research and speak to the type of client you want to work with, so you have a list of common problems they tend to have.

Of the things they want, pick something small. Ideally, something free or at a low cost that you can do quickly and easily but offers the client great value at the same time. Here’s an example:

I like to speak with businesses first to understand what kind of problems they have and then keep the insights in a document before I apply for jobs. That way, I know what’s important to them and I can tailor my pitch around that.

I know that most people won’t do that, so instead here’s a trick you can use for quick results: go look at ten relevant jobs and note the similarities in what they are asking for.

For example, if you are a photo editor working with sport and fitness you might notice that they tend to want before and after photos showing results. So talking about that and showing examples of related work will go a long way because they can instantly connect what you’ll be able to help them with.

This is all you need in order to get your Upwork profile overview ready. The reality is that betting on job invitations with a new Upwork account is not a good one since we can’t control the outcome.

A more predictable approach is to send Upwork proposals proactively.

1 Comment

  1. Samar

    Hi Chris,
    I’ve read your blog and wondered how to create my professional Upwork overview when I am starting my data analytics journey. I don’t have testimonials neither case studies but working on my portfolio, would this help me customize my profile and get invitations?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *