Here’s Why You’re not Getting Jobs on Upwork – For Nigerians

Hola guys, weeks have gone by, although I honestly haven’t had the time to write blog posts, today, I feel I’ll be able to publish two posts. The other one will be about the Tecno Camon CM!

Yes, many of you know I have been a fan of the Camon series ever since the days of the C7. I used the C9, CX, and when I was imagining what next Tecno will bring next, it just happened to be the CMore.

Well, back to our gist. So this friend (Freelancer) actually shared an issue with me, and I honestly feel it’s quite different from many of the requests I have gotten (which have always been about getting verified on Upwork).

This time, it really was about landing jobs on the platform. I’ll take screenshots of some parts of the profile that we’ll be talking about and actually share “my opinions and suggestions” with all of you guys, hopefully, you’ll find that really helpful.


Profile Picture and Overviews

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For someone going into proofreading and editing, I really believe your profile picture and overview needs work. The profile picture would have been better if taken from the front, with more emphasis on your face.

The overview is really short, and I mean too short for someone pursuing your industry. I would subscribe to having this kind of profile overview after you become “Top-Rated” as your Upwork profile will do all the talking. But for someone who needs those jobs, for someone starting out, an 84 words overview is way too short.

On what you could add to the overview, I feel it should include your education, achievements, milestones, past jobs and other skills; and all these should relate to the industry you’re aiming to work in.

And did I mention your overview looks quite poor, and the flow is really not cool? At least for someone working in your niche, you’ll want to give it closer attention.

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No Skill Tests

If you are finding it hard to land jobs, this is one of the most likely culprits. This should have been done long before you started sending out proposals. It might become insignificant after you start landing jobs, but in the beginning, that’s all clients likely need to be able to know just how well you do.

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Mind you, you’re working on proofreading and editing, so any reasonable client wants to be sure they are giving their money to someone who, at least knows what he is doing. Tests take less than an hour, if you sacrifice one good Saturday morning, you should be able to do close to four skill tests, although one skill test isn’t bad.

I will recommend you do a skill test relating to proofreading and editing, it sure will work wonders for you.

Language proficiency and Rate

I hate to bring these two together, because I am a staunch believer in our ability, as Nigerians, as Africans to command really high rates. But for the purpose of your profile and your need, I will bring them together, you’ll understand what I mean shortly.

I don’t know where you were born really, but from the look of things, you’re a Nigerian. Your language proficiency could either work for or against you. If you were born in the USA, Canada, and the UK, you’ll most likely fit the description of a “Native English speaker,” but having that on your profile, even though it’s quite possible that you’re not a native speaker is seen by some clients as deception.


The top freelancers in proofreading and editing are from these countries, and I feel you just need to set your language proficiency accordingly, that way, clients see you as trustworthy. 80% of clients don’t care about where you come from (from experience). I have sent a proposal to a project in which the client expressly requested (Native). I showed him what I could do, I landed the job and it ended up becoming long-term (I was nowhere near native).

If you’re not a native speaker, why not use “fluent?” You’ll not want clients to start questioning you from the moment they see your profile.

Now, let’s talk about the rate. $20? Per hour? For a starter? (I mean on Upwork). This rate, especially for people in your industry is commanded by those we call “Top Rated”… people who have earned over $1K proofreading and editing. Yes, you’ll not want to make your rates too low, but for a starter, start somewhere around $8-10 per hour; in fact, I wouldn’t mind if you take it lower. Land those first jobs, get people to rate your services, then over time, you can compete for higher pay per hour.

To summarize all the jargon I have been spewing in this section, I just attached a picture of a top proofreader and editor (earned over $40), lives in the USA, but instead of using “Native or bilingual” in her language proficiency, she used “Fluent”. It just doesn’t hurt your profile.


Niche Down

I might sound crazy here, but this is an advice I only share with those I personally tutor. Niche down! Proofreading and editing are way too big especially for Upwork starters, I mean, seriously generic for the Upwork space. You have the highest number of proposals per job in that industry, so you should look at areas that people are not really rushing into, and that may be your break.


A primary reason you might not be landing those jobs could be that you’re competing with a lot more people. The lesser the competition, the brighter your chances of success.

Don’t Wait For Jobs On Upwork

As long as you’re not top rated, forget that you’ll ever get jobs if you aren’t ready to work off your ass to land those jobs. Now, I am saying this without knowing how much effort you put in, but also remembering you’re not the only one reading this.

I started on Upwork, landed my first job less than 3 days after getting approved. Why? I was sending proposals like crazy, I didn’t wait for clients to come to me—I looked for them.


Now, I am tired, ?. I feel these points will really help you get your profile running. Feel free to ask any more questions guys.

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