Upwork (formerly oDesk) now measures each freelancer’s job performance with a “Job Success Score.”

As a freelancer, this metric is going to become increasingly important because employers will soon make hiring decisions based on it (in addition to your feedback rating). The metric also impacts how you are ranked in Upwork search results.

So, what is it? How do you get a higher score? What impacts the Job Success Score? Let’s take a closer look (based on what we know today).

How Upwork Determines Your Job Success Score

Upwork determines each freelancer’s Job Success Score based on an average of how work performance is ranked by employers. The Job Success Score is updated every two weeks, but it analyzes your performance over a 24-month period. The goal is to keep your score above 90%; scores that fall below 70% could lead to the possibility of an account suspension.

Here’s what my profile currently looks like. Looks like I passed the test so far.

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 6.52.25 AM

Several factors help determine your score, including:

  • feedback/complaints from clients
  • responsiveness
  • work completed successfully
  • deadlines
  • long-term relationships with clients
  • disputes
  • jobs that ended without you receiving payment (or with a full refund)

Success Breeds Success

Perfection 100% of the time is impossible, but you should have a history of good performance. The more successful you are, the more you will be recommended for positions. If you have issues meeting deadlines or completing jobs fully, don’t continue that downward trend. Take the time to follow through, and your score will continue to improve. Major negative trends could lead to a review of your account.

Upwork takes freelancer performance very seriously because it reflects the marketplace as a whole. The Job Success Score offers you a way to ensure that you are meeting Upwork’s quality standards with your work. (Clients are also monitored, and their history is considered when their input is calculated into your score.)

Tips for a Positive Job Success Score

  • Go for the gold. The goal is to complete your tasks in such a way that clients will look forward to working with you again. Always keep this in mind.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. If you need clarification or more information about your work, ask. If you’re going to be unavailable for some reason, let your clients know. I would recommend creating a documentation trail within the oDesk messenger, especially if you see a project starting to spiral out of control.
  • Don’t accept jobs that you can’t complete on time. Before accepting a position, ask about the scope of work and the skills expected. Take the time to understand the deadlines and make sure the position feels like a good match.
  • Ask for feedback. When a job is completed, ask the client for feedback regarding your work and offer to fix anything that wasn’t done to his satisfaction.

Maintaining a positive Upwork Job Success Score shouldn’t be difficult – as long as you pursue excellence. Simply deliver your best work with consistency, and your clients will keep coming back for more.

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Written by Matt Keener

Matt Keener is the original "Executive in Sweatpants," having built a successful online consulting business (from home). His best-selling book offers tips for capitalizing on outsourcing and freelancing. Matt holds an MBA and has been featured by many recognizable brands, including Upwork (formerly oDesk), Elance, Insightly, the Dave Ramsey Show, and Entrepreneur.com.

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