Skills on Upwork. You are not your client!

An article about choosing the right skills for your Upwork profile

Skills on Upwork. You are not your client!
Photo by Branko Stancevic / Unsplash

Table of content:

  1. Intro why profile skills are important
  2. Upwork current algorithm
  3. How to choose the best skills for your profile instruction

Intro why profile skills are important

My skills are: .net, ajax, phpscript, nginx so I put it exactly as my main Upwork skills. What's wrong?

The problem is that most of your clients don't know such skills. Remember the mantra "you are not your user"?

They may write "web development" or "real estate" or "photoshop" and your profile will not match the job. Just clicked on Web dev category now and here are a couple of examples:

Upwork current algorithm

Let's talk a bit about Best Match. "Best Match" right now (July 2023) is not working! It's just not working. However instead of a work history (like it was before Nov, 2022) it matches you by skills in profile and portfolio (please, mind the date I am writing this article).

Most people didn't see how clients see the bids. Here is an example. Should be matched with jobs but instead - it's a mess. See the screenshot below. Mind the date I am writing the article as Upwork is a live organism that changes every day.

How to choose the best skills for your profile instruction

So what to do to be matched by skills? How to understand what skills do you need to put into your profile? Easy!


  1. Choose 100 jobs that are perfect for you without using any filters. It's important because with keywords you may find "too techie" clients or vice versa.
  2. Create an easy Google spreadsheet and start writing skills there from these job posts. When the skill is repeating - add a number near it

3. Choose your best 15 (for the General profile) and change/add it everywhere

4. Add all you can for your specialized profiles

Pro-tip for good readers who read till this point: make the hourly rate different between all your 3 profiles (general and 2 specialized) as clients are searching in the 10$ range. For example, they search for 10-20$ and if you have 21, you are not included in this search. So would be smart to have, for example, 33, 41, 52.

If you have questions or you want to book a consultancy, please contact me on LinkedIn.