Discover what the so-called ‘Job Success Score’ is all about and how you can improve it.
When you sign up on Upwork for the first time, you may think that the review system works in the same way as other freelancing platforms such as Fiverr or Freelancer.com.
While it’s true to an extent (Upwork does have a regular review system), it has also a ‘meta-metric’ called the ‘Job Success Score’. This metric is so important that it’s used by Upwork’s algorithm to decide whether you’re a good fit for the ‘Top-Rated’ status.
What’s the Job Success Score anyway?
In Upwork’s own terms, the Job Success Score is a measurement of client satisfaction. It’s a percentage that’s displayed publicly. Supposedly, the closer you are to 100%, the more satisfied your past clients were, overall.
You may find this metric to be a little bit redundant, and even wonder why it exists in the first place.
The thing is that while regular reviews are useful to evaluate a client’s satisfaction at the end of a contract, Upwork figured that it was not sufficient to grasp implicit satisfaction signals.
For example, let’s imagine that a client leaves you a 5-stars for a graphic design gig. Now, let’s also imagine that the next time he needs someone for graphic design work, he doesn’t hire you but try to find someone else.
What would this say about his past satisfaction? You can guess.
How is the Job Sucess Score calculated?
Since Upwork wanted the JSS to be more refined than your typical review system, they had to build a more refined calculation method that would take into consideration meaningful factors.
We have no way to know for sure how the Job Success Score is calculated. However, we do know that these factors matter:
That really shows you that the Job Success Score is more than just a mere review metric. It’s really an all-encompassing overview of how successful you are as a freelancer on the platform.
From my experience, this indicator is pretty accurate. If you’re really hard-working and conscientious, it will never go below 95%. However, if you start to become lenient and passive, there’s a risk that it goes below 90%. I’ve discussed in this article why it’s important to keep your Job Success Score above 90%.
How can I get my Job Success Score?
If you don’t have yet your own Job Success Score, don’t panic. It’s normal.
When you sign up on Upwork, you don’t have a Job Success Score at the beginning. It’s a rather neutral thing since it means that your JSS is neither good nor bad. However, interested clients may ask you why you don’t have it.
To get it, you need to complete between 5 and 8 projects. Upwork says that it can vary depending on how substantial the projects are (and how much they made you).
Getting all the contracts from the same client won’t cut it either. You need to have worked with *at least* 3 different clients to qualify for a Job Success Score. So, even if one client is particularly generous with you, you shouldn’t stick to this client alone and start looking for more clients.
The last condition to qualify for your own Job Success Score is that all these contracts should have been completed within the past 24 months. That’s a non-issue for you since you’re just getting started.
How often is the Job Success Score updated?
Your Job Success Score will be updated every 2 weeks. That’s a good thing since it gives you the ability to improve it rapidly in case it decreases a little bit.
If it was something like 1 month, it means that you would be stuck with a shitty Job Success Score for a full month – and it can mean a lot of troubles.
The update takes into consideration three different periods:
- The past 6 months.
- The past 12 months.
- The past 24 months.
Now, the interesting thing is that Upwork will take the *best* score of the three as your Job Success Score.
That sounds a little bit counter-intuitive, but it can work in your favor if you had a particularly high JSS for a few months.
How can I improve my Job Success Score?
Once you’ve got your own Job Success Score, your job will be to maintain it at the highest level possible.
I remember the first time ‘loosing’ my JSS 100% rate and thinking that my world was falling apart. What had I done? Would I ever be able to find work again on Upwork?
Don’t worry too much about it. As long as it’s not below 95%, you’ll still be able to find work as usual. However, if it starts to get really concerning (around 90-94%), you should really start working actively towards increasing it.
And here are all the possible ways to increase your Job Success Score:
- Select your contracts carefully. There’s nothing worse than applying to things you cannot properly perform. It always means troubles (and bad reviews along the way).
- Don’t work with shitty clients. That sounds obvious but most of the time, greed and the appeal of money will make you ignore your inner feelings about certain clients. If you don’t choose the right clients, it can become a real nightmare.
- Close your contracts. When your active contracts are completed, close them and ask for a review. Do not let them run forever.
- Private reviews are important. Remember that when asking for a review to your client, tell him that he’ll be prompted to give two kinds of review and that you need *both* to thrive as a freelancer on Upwork.
- Upsell services. If you succeed to get more contracts and more work from past clients, it will significantly increase your JSS. Upwork likes freelancers who work long-term.
- Stay coherent. Even if it’s tempting to apply to everything because you’re hungry for more work, don’t. Your profile should remain coherent and not all over the place.
Upwork’s Job Success Score is an interesting metric that goes beyond your usual review system. If you’re good at what you do, you’ll orbit around 100% and crush the other not-so-great freelancers that will orbit around 90%.
Remember that this metric is not used just for the sake of using a fancy metric. It’s tightly associated with the idea of ‘good practices’. As time passes, you’ll become better at being a freelancer on Upwork, and it will appear natural to you.
For example, you’ll know instantly to which jobs you shouldn’t apply and with which clients you shouldn’t work.