We know how important it is for you to find jobs that are the right fit for you. Our search functions are important tools for doing that, and we understand that the better you know them, the more effectively you can use them.

We can’t reveal everything about how search functions work because doing so could make it easier for some users to artificially boost their rankings, but we can share some tips and tricks for maximizing our Advanced and Boolean search functions.

How Search Works

When you search for jobs, our algorithm uses client-generated information such as category, desired skills, title, and job description.

You can search with your own keywords or use the ones that are auto-suggested when you begin typing in the search bar.

Advanced Search

Our Advanced Search function utilizes Boolean logic to optimize your search and maximize your results. Boolean search is a type of search allowing you to combine keywords with operators (or modifiers) such as AND, NOT, and OR to further produce more relevant results.

If you’re familiar with utilizing Boolean functions in searches, you may do so directly in the search bar on your home page. Otherwise, click the “Advanced Search” link below the search bar to open the Advanced Search window. We currently support the following functions:

  • All of these words — This search function will show you job listings that include all of the keywords you input, regardless of what order they appear in. If you search “content marketing writer,” results will only include jobs that include the words “content,” “marketing,” and “writer.”
  • Any of these words — This search function will show you jobs that include at least one of the keywords you input. If you search “content marketing writer,” results will include jobs that include the word “content,” “marketing,” or “writer,” or combinations thereof.
  • The exact phrase — Just as it sounds, this search function will show you jobs that include your input keyword(s) exactly as you entered it. If you search “content marketing writer,” results will only include job posts that use that exact phrase word-for-word.
  • Exclude these words — If the results you get with other functions are too broad, you can try excluding unwanted keywords. For example, if you’re looking for a blog writing opportunity but searching “content marketing writer” results in too many webpage-related jobs, you can input “webpage” into this box. Job posts that include the word “webpage” will be filtered out of your results.
  • Title search — This search field is an “any of these words” search function, but limited to job titles. If you search for “content marketing writer,” your results will include jobs with the word “content,” “marketing,” or “writer” in the title.
  • Skills search — This search field functions as an “all of these words” search, specifically using skills recognized by Upwork. You can search for as many skills as you like, though the more you include in a single search, the more limited your results will be.

You can use these different Advanced Search fields separately or in various combinations.

If you use Boolean operators — NOT, AND, and OR — directly in the search bar, you must type them in all uppercase letters for them to work. You can use parentheses for sub-searches and * for wildcard searches. +, -, and ! operators are currently not supported.


If you'd like more help finding rewarding projects that speak to your passions, check out Upwork Academy. The interactive courses can help you find the right projects with clients who value your expertise.

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