Hey all, I am a freelancer, but I wanted to ask clients a question. I often come across very vague job posting. Here is an example that I am making up, but is similar to what I come across:
"Need a proofreader for my college application and CV. This job was uploaded from a mobile app, please excuse any errors."
Often, there is no budget attached. I have no idea how many words need to be edited. There is nothing here that explains what I am getting into.
Why on earth would I waste connects to apply for something like this? Listen, you want freelancers to create good proposals so you can make an informed choice about who to hire for your job. Well, for those of you who post jobs like this, respect the freelancers enough to give more information in the initial job posting. You cannot really expect quality freelancers to apply for something like this.
I know this does not include most clients. Most of the proposals have more detail. For those who do post like this, please consider adding more to your description.
I was thinking about posting something here about the issue as well.
The number of vague, 'mobile' postings has been growing quite a bit over the last month or two. You are right about the need for more information with regards to jobs. A single line with no embellishment is not worth wasting connects on. Not only does one not know what the job is really about, but the client often does not have a verified payment and (of course) no history. It is a huge waste of time and I have all but stopped replying to these adverts.
Another issue with these postings is the client spends zero time offering a budget. While I am going to post what I think the job is worth. At the same time, a client who just hits the $5 button because it is convenient dooms the bidding to a range that will automatically put me at a disadvantage as 95%+ of the bids will be the bottom feeders. Of course, any realistic bidding stands out like a sore thumb as being horribly overpriced.
If I wanted to take on jobs at fiverr.com, I would do that. On Upwork, I expect the site to at least attempt to attract a higher quality client. Just getting new clients to sign up with only the smallest amount of committment is, I am sure, self defeating for the site.
I'll stop now before I get on a snark-roll.
> Why on earth would I waste connects to apply for something like this?
Because it's not always a waste. Some of my best projects have come from vague posts.
"Need a proofreader for my college application and CV."
These types of documents are reasonably standard so it shouldn't be difficult to say, "Assuming xxx words... Once you've clarified the wordage, I'll amend my bid if appropriate." Plus, you presumably wouldn't agree a final price until you'd seen the document.
By the way, you have a couple of grammatical errors in your overview.
Thanks Kim! I hope I got all of them.
I understand that some good jobs can come from vague postings, but for me, it's just is not worth the connects if I don't have a little more information. As for the CV and resume, it was just something off the top of my head. Sometimes it is something like, "I need an editor for my research paper." Well, depending on what academic level, that can be a wide range of pages and word counts.
I guess everyone handles it their own way, but I think if I were a client I would be more detailed.
Fourth sentence :-)
"for me, it just is not worth the connects if I don't have a little more information"
In an ideal world, all the info anyone would need would be posted and everyone else would be asleep when you placed your bid. However, you can make it worth your while. A lot of people will ignore the project and others will place bids that have nothing to do with the price of fish. if you say, "My bid is $xx for xxx words based on..." you've provided a firm bid and are already ahead of many people.
Even with details, you'd still have to see the document (or at least part of it) before you confirm your bid to make sure you understood the post correctly (to be charitable).
And the number of connects won't matter once you begin pulling in regular projects as you won't have time to use them.
Oh my, thank you! Of all things, it was on the sentence about me paying attention to sentence structure! This is why we don't edit our own stuff. My students would tear me apart right now.
Shane, I usually just bypass jobs with so little detail, unless there's some reason that I'm particularly interested. But, this is a huge marketplace with very different freelancers and very different clients. Not everyone is a good match for everyone else, and that's fine. There are plenty of jobs with complete information for you and I to bid on and plenty of people willing to bid on one-line jobs to staff those clients.
Personally as a client my job posts tend to be overly detailed rather than too short (and always have been). As a translation client I always include a standard paragraph about my company, a brief overview of the job, and a word count. I don't attach the file to the post, because the couple of times I've done that I've had freelancers do the work and submit it with their proposal, which then makes me feel bad if I choose someone else.
But like others have suggested, if you have spare connects you can always take a gamble on this type of job, especially if the client is established and has a good history. Or even if they're new, you can always take a chance. If you don't want to, you don't have to. Either the client will hire someone who *did* take that chance, or they'll repost their job with more detail when they realise they're not getting applicants.
@Jennifer D wrote:
Personally as a client my job posts tend to be overly detailed rather than too short (and always have been).
This makes me feel better about the job posts I've been submitting lately for my Upwork client. While we have gotten some great people on our team because of those posts, I always feel like my job posts are way too big.
As a freelancer, I prefer a big job post. I'm one of those crazy RTFM people.
Pandora, I've trimmed mine a little since I started hiring a few years ago, but it's still always at minimum 3 paragraphs. I include the blurb about my company at the start, for example, because some freelancers may not be comfortable working in my industry (and also because I quite often get great stories in proposals because of it). I figure that a detailed post helps show I'm a serious client (although my stats should show that anyway) and that serious freelancers will be happy to read it.