Will Upwork help fill my resume gap?

My situation is that as a 33 year old, I have a resume with a few businesses that have failed. I have unrelated experience freelancing as a writer.

My end goal is to work 100% remote, either through a stable of freelance clients or a remote salaried position. Both paths would benefit from getting a local junior developer job.

While I’m working on FCC projects right now I’m trying to think of how to make my resume look less janky. I think Upwork (a low end freelancing site) may help me there. Problem is the projects will be small in scope and may not be the kind of work that high paying employers want to see.

What do you guys think? Do Upwork jobs or just apply like crazy to local Jr. Dev jobs with my resume as it is?

This is a tough one…have you tried Upwork? I was on it for awhile, and mostly got very small jobs, like someone wanting a minor css fix, or to fix an issue that the last freelancer left on their site. Absolutely nothing that translated into something I could put on my resume, and all pretty low paying so its nothing that really helped pay the bills…which I kind of figured is what would happen, I was hoping to at least do it for the experience and add something to my portfolio, but that didnt happen either.

My goal is also to work remotely, but I reasoned that I would have to put in my time before I can get to that point, so I created a game plan.

Personally, I have no interest in running my own business…I freelanced for years and learned about myself that I dislike working with clients about as much as I dislike paperwork, and the only thing I dislike more is chasing people down for my money. (sidenote, dislike is my nice way of putting it lol)

I just want to be able to focus on the thing that I love, and thats coding, building stuff, being challenged to learn more so that I can do more. So I knew Id rather work for a company where the option to work remotely would be a possibility. But I also knew that being a new dev, Id need to put in my time, and I want the experience of working on a dev team in person when Im new and have so much to learn, before working with a dev team remotely.

So yeah, figure out what is important to you…if its working for yourself, then start working on building up your clientelle. My experience with online freelance sites was not so hot, but that doesnt mean yours will be the same…at least give it a shot. I had much better experience with networking and getting clients with word of mouth. Decide on what would make you happpiest, then focus on what steps you’ll need to take to get there. And be realistic, that no natter what you choose, it will not happen overnight…its going to take time.


I figured the same. I guess I’ll make my portfolio the best it can be!

Wow… Aside from me not having ANY experience with freelancing or UpWork…your post mirrors my feelings about owning my own business or freelancing!

I’m not a people person… and the headaches of self insured and taxes… :scream:

But… if it works for others- more power to them and I’ll support y’all. :slight_smile:

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Hey @SeanDez

To be sure, Upwork and the like are funny places to make a living. You need to go into it with a plan working towards an outcome that will work for you and your goals. And at the start it will be slow, small quick jobs mostly, but that’s okay as it builds your online profile ( reputation ) and raises you up the ladder when clients do a search. In the beginning I think you are so far down the list in searches you may as well not be on Upwork. But that is where those 60 connects per month comes in. I’ve never used them all in any month applying for jobs, although at the beginning I was constantly worried about it. Now months go by without using any connects at all, people wanting work done come to me. And that was my goal. Stick with it, do small jobs, build your Upwork profile to give clients confidence in you. Bend over backwards to make those clients happy and get great reviews. Be modest in what you charge per hour to start, then give it a nice jump when you finally earn your Upwork “Top Rated” badge ( one of my major goals starting out ). Another goal for me was repeat clients. Checking the stats this morning 43% of my work is repeat clients. Clients looking for someone often throw out small jobs to get a feel for freelancers, looking for someone they like, seems reliable, is good to work with, etc., then if all goes well they will come back with bigger jobs. Those bigger jobs look great on your profile and attract even bigger jobs from other clients. You see the strategy? Its taken me a bit over a year to get to this point, and now I am scoring jobs that pay $1000+, and a year from now I expect to be making a good living at this.

So SeanDez, it is true that places like Upwork can be challenging, frustrating, and all that, pay crap for a bunch of work, but if you take the year or two year view and “work” the system you can do pretty well.

One last point. If you do well, build your profile, agencies notice this and you will probably start getting approached to take on some of their overflow. This was another of my goals starting out. and I am happy to say I’ve been test driven by several agencies, and a couple have worked out for me. You can gain a predictable steady cash flow doing this, a freelancing dream come through.

A word of advice. There are a few courses around on how to write a winning profile. Take a few of these, you can get a few really good pointers on how to make yourself stand out, and especially on how to write a winning cover letter when applying for a job. Any time you spend on polishing this will be time very well spent.

Great luck to you whatever you decide.


Thanks Rick! I am in the unusual position of having a highly reviewed profile from my writing days. Last job was 2 years ago though. I imagine the irrelevant work experience may help me with rankings but not the client review.

It’s time for a profile brush up too. Can you recommend any profile related courses that you hinted at?

Good morning @SeanDez,

I think it was this one that I got the most out of:

It has been updated recently it looks like.

When I searched Upwork on Udemy I got back 41 hits, so there are a lot of courses available.

There is usually good Black Friday deals on here I believe, so maybe wait and pick up a few cheap…


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