Searching for Freelancers

I would really appreciate some feedback from the moderators or customer service.


I posted a job and then went searching for a freelancer. 


I put in the specific category and sub-category and chose the rating and expert level.


Up comes a list of people for me to review and hardly any of them have the skill I'm looking for and do not even have it listed in their profile that they do this kind of work.


I'm being shown totally irrelevant people.


How can I better refine my search criteria so I don't get people with all the wrong qualifications?


As well, people who say they do the kind of work I'm look for - don't really do it. I chose a few people to look at and when I go to their portfolio they have nothing to show that backs up their claim that they do this kind of work.


I just posted the exact same question (but from a freelancer's perspective) here: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Question-about-search-algo/m-p/82554#U82554


It's the 4th time I have posted the question in the past 2 weeks.


An answer/explanation would be greatly appreciated.


Where is the answer please?


In this competitive world People wants to assure their next meal. The annoying thing is that they dont even look at the job description. The minute you post a job you will be flooded with proposal. The worst is they wont even post anything relevant to the required job. All they use is ctrl+c and ctrl+v. A perfect example is very much in this thread. Scroll down.. 😛

As a entry level freelancer this is what I do. I put a job into my watch section for 4 days. I keep watching  the client's last active login time and Interview count. If I see some activity going in the job then I will take some time to guide the proposed issue/job.


Most of the client post job here as a one of a source among several freelancing portals. I have seen jobs posted with same description in both odesk, elance, freelancer in the same time and same day. 🙂

Upwork should have a process where the client could click a button and inform that the job proposal is irreverent to what the actual requirements is. By this process they could eliminate some copy pasted spam proposals. May be its already there. Since I only post job applications I am not sure.


It's weird on the freelancer end! I recieved an invitation to interview for a job that wanted a voice talent in Japanese...???? Very confusing! I only speak English! haha


I am bumping this thread because I too am interested in this. I understand that releasing information on this might be a double-edged sword because if freelancers can figure out how to make them show up more/higher on searches, this will most definitely be exploited. (Although, on the other hand, I do believe there should be guidance for freelancers to improve their search ranking and I don't see why this kind of guidance isn't offered - or did I miss it?)


However, I do hire on Upwork occasionally, either translators or transcriptionists. Just now I did a search on "German transcription", I doubt there is any other better description of what I am looking for to type into the search box (if there is, please enlighten me?)


At the very top of my search result list is a freelancer whom I had recently hired as a German to English translator. They also have "English transcription" in their headline. The previous hiring experience with them was a  good one (as captured by the feedback I gave), so I could understand why Upwork wants to "remind" me of this experience (although I am certainly able to remember perfectly fine, thank you), but at the same time this freelancer absolutely isn't what I am looking for. I also tried "German+transcription" as I didn't know whether this has an impact on the search results (and this freelancer doesn't have this combination anywhere in their profile), but same result, they are on top of my list again.


Apart from the fact that Upwork's incorporation of my previous hiring data into this search is not useful at all in this case, the overall search result is extremely unsatisfactory. Under 10% of the contractors of the first 5 pages I went through offer what I am looking for. "German transcriptionist" completely jumbled results around but with the same overall results.


Filters didn't help much either. Obviously I would be interested to see only contractors with such and such feedback or hours worked, but only AFTER I get results that pretty much only shows freelancers who actually offer what I am looking for.


I would really appreciate some advise on how this search experience can be improved from a client's perspective. Posting a job in order to see what "confident freelancers" apply isn't really an option, I have already tried that before. But I want to avoid having to sift through the applications and want to contact/hire people directly since I absolutely know what I am looking for, but am unable to find it?


Thanks and best regards.



Is someone from management going to address these questions and tell us what is going on?

Apart from getting confused about where to look for a freelancer (found!) - I found the search so confusing and time-consuming that I gave up, googled and found someone on the Internet, who has done the job without fuss and extremely well.


A lot of things have only been getting worse since oDesk united with Elance and especially after rebranding to Upwork - the irony is they went Downhill.

I asked about this in another post, but it was a tangent to the main topic there, so I hope it's ok to repeat it here. My question is this. This link supposedly searches for freelancers in my area of expertise:




Exactly how are the results ordered? It's not by job success, feedback score, hours, first or last name, location, hourly rate, or last active. Is it random?


Later edit: it's not keyword either, because on the first page of the results is a developer who doesn't mention WordPress once in his profile. It's quite mystifying. Maybe there's a coded message in some of the profiles or even the profile image. (That's been done in a couple of novels I've read.) Robot surprised

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

Hi John,


The search results can vary from person to person and from day to day. We want to make sure that the results the clients see match their requirements and expectations and that as many profiles of professional freelancers as possible get a chance to show up in search.

~ Valeria



Thank you for the explanation. You're right, I tried the same search in a different browser without logging in, and the results are completely different. Job success isn't even displayed -- that's only visible when you're logged in I suppose. But when you say results vary 'from day to day' and that you make sure 'as many profiles of professional freelancers as possible get a chance to show up in search', are you acknowledging that some sort of shuffling takes place, even if it's not in random order? Stephen B elsewhere mentioned something similar regarding invitations, that you distribute them in some way so that many freelancers get invitations, and not necessarily the most qualifed freelancers.

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce



Yes, it is correct regarding the search results. We do not distribute invitations, however. Only the client or hiring manager can invite freelancers to apply for a posting. 

~ Valeria

 I suppose what I meant was that the invitations come in spurts because Upwork has tinkered with the visibility in searches - so If you're visible in a search you're likely to get more invitations...

New bug:


More options is no longer working http://screencast.com/t/LrV7LXeVZ



Thank you for reporting, Natasha. We'll check with our engineers about this issue.

~ Valeria

It's funny because this same conversation is happening over on the Elance forums (where I do most of my work - I identify as an Elancer). Isn't keyword search the most basic search function in all of history? We're not asking for a Google algorithm!