What is the Upwork Job Success Score & How Do I Improve it?

According to an Upwork report, 73% of hiring managers are more likely to opt for freelance workers than they would’ve three years ago. The abrupt change in the work model in recent years has made companies and employers more willing to use freelancers.

And Upwork comes as a favourite for many businesses looking for qualified professionals. Sites like Upwork provide remote workers with a reliable, practical platform to barter their skills. These sites are a marketplace for remote workers to advertise their skills, scout for clients, and negotiate custom rates for projects.

Becoming a freelancer on Upwork is relatively easy and is based on a simple sign-up system – though there are quality checks along the way.

If you’re someone looking for work, focusing on your Upwork Success Score can give you better results. Here’s why.

What is Upwork’s Job Success Score?

Upwork’s Job Success Score is an overall rating of your performance as a freelancer on the platform. This system is developed to allow both clients and vendors to have successful transactions based on transparent/beneficial grading.

If you are worried about your Upwork’s Job Success Score being affected by a single negative review, you needn’t be! Instead of accounting for each project individually, the JSS tool calculates an average of four different Upwork jobs every two weeks to create your Job Success Score.

In addition, the platform also captures your work history for every 3, 6, 12, and 24 months on the platform to review your performance. The JSS system collects an average rating for each of these timestamps – the highest score among these time windows is then chosen to be your Job Score Scale and added to your profile.

Your Upwork Job Success Score is available on your account and visible to all. This transparency is crucial to promoting trust between you and your client. Vendors can use their higher scores to land better-paying customers and build long-standing, mutually beneficial relationships.

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Job outcomes are essential when dealing with Upworks’ Job Success Score as your client satisfaction rate affects your rank as a freelancer. For clients, the Upwork Job Success Score system is a way to find reliable, skilled freelancers. Such reliance is possible because the JSS tool uses crucial data from the vendors to calculate the final score.

The factors influencing your rating include success rate with past customers, overall client satisfaction, private/public job feedback, project scale, and long-term client relationships.

Why Your Upwork Job Success Score Matters

Your Upwork Job Success Score is a major factor influencing your chances of landing these jobs. Also simply called JSS, this score is an overall rating of your performance on the site. Upwork collects data from all your clients to compile a score reflecting your ability as a freelancer on the platform.

Typically, a 90% + Upwork Job Success Score is the preferred rating as it shows the overwhelmingly positive response to your work from your past clients. Even an 80%+ rating is not bad, as it signals a generally favorable review for old projects while still showing room for improvement.

This Upwork Job Success Score is essential when working on Upwork because it affects your ability to land high-paying jobs. Freelancers with a 90%+ rate are approached by high-paying accounts. These workers can also demand higher rates for their work.

For example, for a general content writing piece, $30/hour is a generally accepted rate. However, if you manage to acquire a 90+ JSS on Upwork, you can raise your rate to $80+ for the same work. With the right setup, the perfect client stream, and high Upwork Job Success Score, you can earn up to $8,000 even as a new freelancer on the platform.

This article seeks to help you understand how the JSS system works. Figuring out how the Upwork Job Success Score works can be a huge boost to your own profile. As a freelancer, you can use your understanding of the score grading system to ensure you achieve the desired 90% + score.

How are Upwork Job Success Scores Calculated?

Upwork Job Scores are calculated using a simple system that includes

  • Successful Project Outcomes
  • Negative Project Outcomes
  • Total Number of Projects Undertaken

The JSS reflects your overall work history on Upwork and should thus echo your current feedback and relationships. While the system does not explicitly reveal the exact mode of calculation for these ratings, they reveal the general framework used for these rankings. This precaution is necessary as it helps hackers artificially boost their JSS metric.

However, to ensure fairness and privacy to both vendors and clients, Upwork’s system uses an average-based system that targets accuracy. Since the rate is expressed in percentage, the Job Success Score for this platform is generally derived using the following formula.

Successful Project Outcomes – Negative Project Outcomes / Total Projects Undertaken X 100

For example, if you have 12 successful projects and 3 bad ones out of 15 total jobs, then the Upwork Job Success Score for your profile would be calculated as

12 – 3 /15 X 100, which would then equal a 60% JSS.

In addition, the following factors also play an important role in calculating your Upwork JSS:

  • If you are unsatisfied with any rating/feedback, you can request the system to remove one review for one Project Catalog per month.
  • Your most current, “Trending JSS,” is calculated by dividing the sum of the last 6 months and the last 3 months’ JSS by half.

Upwork Job Success Scores: Good Scores vs. Bad Scores

If you are new to Upwork, you probably have no idea what a good Job Success Score looks like. Since the score is calculated using diverse data, it may be difficult to estimate independently. Upwork develops the JSS score based on metrics like

  • Client Rehire Rate
  • Long-term Client Engagement
  • Successful Contracts
  • Private/Public Client Feedback

Job Success Score: 90% +

If your Upwork Job Success Score comes up to at least 90%, it means that you have a positive track record of completing projects successfully. According to company policy, small rating variations of 1% to 2% beyond this do not significantly affect your ability to land enviable clientele. However, if your score slips below 90%, it is considered generally unfavorable in comparison.

Job Success Score: 80% +

While a JSS score of 80% is not bad – it shows that you have managed to satisfy a consistently significant number of clients. However, despite this solid review, this rating is not excellent either – it signals that there is room for much improvement.

Job Success Score: 75% –

A score below 75%, however, can prove to be an issue as it shows that there is a general inability of the vendors to meet client demands and expectations. With such a score, you may struggle to find consistent clientele or new projects on the platform.

Tips to Raise Your Upwork Job Success Score

Improve Client Relationships

Since Upwork’s Job Success Score hinges on client satisfaction, improving customer relationships should be at the top of your list. Since this platform is based on a bidding system, the task of developing a solid vendor-client relationship begins the moment you make your bid.

When approaching your customer, you will want to sound informed, capable, and reliable. Instead of sending a generic proposal, you should send a project-specific bid to show the client that you understand the job requirements. Such a move will help you land more work and boost your JSS in the long run.

Communication and cooperation are key to developing long-standing client relationships. In addition, as a freelancer, you should always be open to client recommendations.

If customers feel you have properly taken in their input and worked according to their demands, they are more likely to re-hire you. A satisfied client is also more likely to offer you a testimonial highlighting your performance at the end of a successful project.

Have Clear Expectations with Each Project

Don’t bite off more than you can chew is a smart motto when starting out on Upwork. The general rate for new freelancers may seem unfair and low at first. Seeing the higher prices offered by more demanding work, you may be tempted to take on more complex projects.

However, this is a bad move, and you should avoid it. Whenever you bid on a job, you should target those projects that your skillset can actually cover. When choosing your work, you must be clear about the expectations of each project – with the client and yourself.

While higher-paying jobs may seem tempting but require a more developed skill set. As a beginner freelancer, you may be unequipped to handle the extra work demanded by the job. Instead, you should work to build your skills and portfolio steadily by gradually increasing the types of projects you take.

As you acquire more experience and skills, you can begin to customize your rates and charge higher for your services than when you first began.

How to Keep Your Upwork Job Success Score High & How to Recover If Needed

Regular attention is required to maintain and recover your JSS on Upwork, as the rating can slip even without recent activity on the vendor’s part. For example, a high-rating, high-paying job may be giving your score that extra boost to make it past the 90% + level. However, once this project feedback is past its expiry of 6 months, it will be obsolete as any old activity over 6 months is edged out of the Job Success Score calculation.

Other factors potentially affecting your JSS rate could be

  • Positive/negative private/public feedback from one or more clients
  • Addition of higher-value project creates a significant shift in JSS calculation

To maintain a consistently high score, you should foster long-term collaborations with your clients. The JSS system looks out for repeated requests and long-standing projects and collaborations as a sign of reliability and quality. Having repeat customers signals that your service is worth revisiting; this can immensely benefit your Upwork Job Success Score.

The Upwork system can also benefit you in this – if you have a bed rating seriously affecting your overall Job Success Score, you can request the system to remove one project report per month. This tool can be a boon if your ratings have slipped down, as this exclusion could help you recover and move back up the charts.

Sometimes, poor collaboration on the client’s part may badly affect your performance rating. If your customer’s inability to cooperate is negatively affecting your work and scores, you can reach out to the system managers for review.

The managers will check the said client for previous flagging or reports of similar incidents from other freelancers. If they are found to have a history of such poor collaboration, the system will not include their feedback in calculating your Job Success Score.

Raise your Upwork Success Score today

Developing a high Upwork Job Success Score can immensely benefit your career in the long run. As a freelancer, you will want to take advantage of the tools available on the platform to raise and maintain your higher customer satisfaction rate.

Maintaining essential responsibilities like constant customer communication, constantly evolving skill range, high work availability, high-quality output, punctual adherence to project dates, open response to client input, and more can help you achieve this goal.

On Upwork, you can stay updated about your Job Success Score by referring to the My Stats page on your profile. By paying careful attention to your client output and communication, you can steadily build a formidable reputation of the platform. Once you make it to the Top-Rated list, you can be even more in control of customizing your work rates and clientele.

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Written by Soubhik Chakrabarti

Staff at Millo.co

A prolific writer and a Top Talent on Upwork with over $200,000 in earnings, Soubhik is both a journalist and an entrepreneur. With a journalism degree from Langara College, Vancouver, Soubhik today helps companies focus on their SEO efforts through SEO consulting, and also owns websites like icytales.com - which today has more than 150,000 pageviews a month.

Reviewed & edited by Adam Wright, Editor at Millo.

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