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Boost Your Proposal to the Top of List (March 2022 Update): Questions & Feedback

Today we’re reintroducing the boosted proposals feature with some changes. Read the announcement from James, Director of Product, here and let us know your thoughts about these updates in the comments below.

Mike J.
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hello Everyone,


First, we want to acknowledge the ongoing feedback you all are sharing. We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts, opinions, and concerns with Boosted Proposals and want to ensure you our product teams are listening and reading every comment. 


Second, we want to reiterate that part of our mission at Upwork is to connect talent with more opportunities which is why we launched Boosted Proposals in support of that. With that in mind, we know there are lingering questions and we want to take this opportunity to be transparent on the value of Boosted Proposals to freelancers and clients, and also answer a few of the recurring questions/themes. 


Why Boosted Proposals? We created Boosted Proposals as an opportunity for freelancers to show a strong interest in jobs they feel they are the best fit for. Additionally, Boosted Proposals increases the chances of getting noticed and receiving their desired rate. 


What is the true value for freelancers and clients? Boosted Proposals provides an additional lever for freelancers to pull when submitting a proposal without removing existing features (JSS, Top-rated, etc.)  that signal success. Freelancers with a Boosted Proposal have more control over their outcomes while clients gain insight on who has a strong desire for a job. Additionally, boosting improves a freelancer’s chances of being hired by 43%, this means that a freelancer can use the feature as a way to secure the same amount of work they did before, but lower their proposal volume, saving their time and effort.


Based on the test, it appeared there was a lot of negative feedback in the Community, how did you decide to move forward with Boosted Proposals? We collected feedback via multiple channels and methods within our testing, including tracking hire rates and speaking directly with freelancers and clients—this evidence fueled the team to move forward with this feature. 



We hope this addresses some concerns regarding Boosted Proposals and the Upwork team always encourages feedback as we look to make Upwork The World’s work marketplace. 





Content Program Manager, Community


View solution in original post

463 REPLIES 463

"The professionals like me that you want on this platform applying for serious jobs are plenty adept at writing cover letters, answering application questions, and providing proof of work quality and skills.  Between this and the incessant scam posts it looks as if I will be seeking other gig solutions soon."

My sentiments precisely. It seems like would-be freelancers with no skills have turned to starting "agencies" and are willing to pay to bid their way to the top of the candidates' list just to farm out work to those of us who have already made a mint for Upwork and actually have skills to offer. Let freelancer profiles, history, and reviews stand for themselves—not how much someone is willing to gamble in this ludicrous bidding war.

Community Member

When it was first tested, I was against this "feature", but now, having thought more about it, I think it's a good thing for experienced/professional freelancers and clients - it pairs up the desperate freelancers (which are usually so because of low skill) with lazy clients that will look only at the top bids.
Of course, my conclusion is based on the assumption that this is what actually happens, but I could be wrong.

Community Member

It seems that now with this "booster" option, it's getting harder to find a good client, right? As far as I can see, this experimental "speed-up" program simply gives clients the illusion that they can choose from good freelancers... in fact, a normal freelancer who can work hard can't even find a good client. because he's outbid by... the next freelancer. We're just wasting connections and we have to spend more and more money to buy more and more... and the odds are getting worse with every bet. What are your thoughts?

wordpress / woocommerce / shopify etc. look at my profile!

It's the worst idea ever. 

Yes, I am a Top rated Freelancer and I don't like this idea. I believe the community can speak up so the Upwork team can consider about it and may be make some changes. Especially the outbidding part is not acceptable because the outbidding for a proposal must only be done through "talents" > good score, good earnings, good reviews, not by connects. The platform encourages the talents and it must stick to that fundamental. I hope they reconsider this. 

Community Member

Sorry to say but 'Boosted Proposal' is just another way for Upwork to leech money from hardworking freelancers! We are already paying you a 5% service fee on EVERY contract. This should be a sign enough that we are committed to Upwork's platform!


Please note where you need to do the real work. Stop the scammers! Clean the platform for serious freelancers and clients. If you're  REALLY committed to providing service, every Client should be bound to verify their payment account before they even post a job.


Half of the time, the client posts a job and disappears into thin air. This means that a freelancer loses his/her connects.


Please stop making every situation a win/win for yourselves and actually start thinking about the community! Otherwise the platform will loose it's credibility when freelancers are forced to take their talent elsewhere.

Community Member

5% service fee 😱??? The fees upwork takes from hardworking freelancers is actualy 20% , only after the contract reaches/passes $500 value, the fee is reduced to 10% for the contract, plus additional 20% VAT/Taxes on those fees they charge us. Thats surprising that not everyone gets to pay the same fees. 

Community Member

Am I understanding this right? I applied to a gig, in which the employer stated "Be sure to prove you read this by sending us a  note in chat after applying" but after applying, I realized there's no way to chat w someone until they chat w you first.


So I withdrew my application, then went to reapply with an added explanation, and the system says I can't reapply to a job if I withdraw a boosted submission?


WTAF? Is there any way around this?

Hi William,


If you withdraw a boosted proposal, you can’t submit it again (with or without boosting) and you will still be charged as if you had not withdrawn. A notification would show on the Withdraw Proposal screen highlighting this:


I'll also be moving your comment to the thread dedicated to questions and feedback about the feature.


~ Valeria
Community Member

For the second time I am having the same experience; Since the Boost Proposal started, I have had practically no interviews, even though I continue to apply in the same way as before.
Without Boost Proposal, out of 10 applications I send out, I get 4-5 interviews. With Boost Proposal, I have more than 10 applications and no client answers.
I wonder what happens.
I think that for those of us who have built a portfolio, a good reputation and responsibly fulfilled clients, we are being harmed by this system.
In turn, clients see in their list first, not those who are better qualified, but those who invest the most connectors, something is confusing when evaluating the worker.
I don't understand what the purpose of the Boost Proposal is. The only thing I see is that we will have to buy more connectors and the only one that makes a profit is UpWork.
Please clarify this issue for me. Thanks

I agree:  It's basically creating a 'shortcut' for freelancers that may not be the best qualified for the job to 'jump to the top' of the list of proposals the client sees.  However, I have heard negative feedback about that feature from clients because it shows them who 'paid the most to bid' at the top of the list instead of the 'most qualified' or 'best fit'.  


As a result, some of the clients I know have actually told me they have started IGNORING proposals that come in boosted (It shows a little icon next to the proposal that basically says "This freelancer paid more to be noticed".)    So some clients are perceiving the 'boosted' proposals as coming from freelancers who are desperate and skipping over those proposals. It's like if you walked into a job interview holding up a sign saying "Please hire me. I need work." - you're probably not going to get hired. In other words, 'boosting' a proposal might be having the opposite effect for the freelancer doing the 'boosting'.    If the proposals are now coming into to clients "reshuffled" by who paid the most instead of who is the best fit, you probably have clients that simply abandon the job post because the 'top' of their list is not qualified, or create a new job post that is 'invite only' or simply use some other site/platform for hiring. 


Either way, I wouldn't change what you are doing as a freelancer: I think the 'novelty' of the 'boosting' will wear off as clients realize that what is being shown now at the 'top' of their list is not always the best qualified, but simply who paid the most to be seen.   It's actually very deceptive to the clients, since most clients want the most qualified, not the most 'in need' of a job.  Eventually, clients will either ask Upwork to turn the feature back off or simply start ignoring and immediately archiving 'boosted' proposals more and more.  


I personally haven't seen a change in the responses I get. However, I have seen an increase in INVITES from clients that post a job, get bombarded with unqualified proposals (including 'boosted' ones), and take matters into their own hands and start inviting people they think are qualified themselves. I got an invite from one client that got 50+ proposals and stopped reading them after the first few because the top of his list was all 'boosted' proposals from people not even remotely qualified. Possibly, it's messing up the chances for the freelancers that bid and were actually qualified if 'junk' profiles and proposals are being bumped to the 'top' of the list simply because somebody paid more. I don't see this feature sticking around too long if that type of client frustration continues.

Same here, I get more invitations. But less responses to applications. I do not use boosting, it is cheap and lazy feature made solely to milk freelancers naiive enough to spend their connects on this. I literally had two invitations among many I received since this "feature" started infecting the system, where clients directly informed me they had a flood of irrelevant bids boosted by freelancers not even near the scope of work that was needed and they hope to find a good fit by looking for the freelancer on their own. It says a lot about how shortsighted UW is re. this feature. They simply cannot imagine consequences because their vision ends on $$$ they can earn in couple of days. This "feature" of pay-to-win jobs is harmful to whole community, not only to freelancers but clients as well, if they still don't see it I have low faith anything changes.  After asking for feedback (lol) and receiving mostly negative one rergarding boosted proposals, one could think that common sense will tell them to remove this from UW...

I believe it will change when:

1. Clients start complaining to Upwork because they are getting proposals sorted in a 'distorted' fashion based on who paid the most with a bunch of 'garbage' proposals at the 'top' of the list instead of the 'best matches'

2. Clients start leaving and hiring on other platforms

3. Freelancers stop using the feature because it's probably not doing any good for them


I still get the same ratio of responses, mostly because clients are starting to treat 'boosted' proposals on their  dashboard the same way most people treat 'sponsored' search results that show up at the top of the page when you search for something on Google:  Our eyes have become trained to ignore anything that says 'sponsored' and SCROLL past it to the real stuff.  


I tried the 'boosting' feature during their 'pilot' program back in the winter (like December or so), and actually got fewer responses to proposals and fewer profile views.  When I found out that when you boost a proposal the client saw an icon next to your proposal that says 'highly interested' and a note that said 'this freelancer paid more to be noticed', I immediately understood why I was getting fewer responses. I wouldn't respond to a proposal that had a 'desperation' tag attached to it.  They've since changed the labled to 'boosted' from 'highly interested', but with the same note saying "this freelancer paid more..."


I immediately quit using the feature after I read the FAQ about 'boosting'.


If I was a client hiring on here, the other thing I would 'see' if I saw a boosted proposal come in is the following: The freelancer sending it lacks respect for rules and processes and lacks patience and temperment.  Nothing screams "lack of respect" for rules and norms and "impatience" like a person who 'cuts' in front of the line at a grocery store, movie theatre, or anywhere.   Think about it.  If they 'cut' corners and 'cheated' to get to the top of the list before the interview, what level of integrity can you expect from them after you hire them?  Not much, in my opinion.



All this is true and logical. Then why UW is forcing such stupid changes I wonder... What else must happen to finally show them how wrong they are? For now it looks like arguing with 3 years old, with UW being this 3 yo: no because no, yes because yes.

Yeah i suspected something like this would be happening, thanks for checking eith the client and writing what's going on. 


This reading your tread should make the upwork team shake as I think it's creating a crappy system 

Community Member

Hi Mike,
I hope that you are well. I cannot see how to boost my proposals when I send them- what is the process? Thanks for your feedback and help

Best, Christian

Hi Christian,


The option will show at the bottom of the "Submit a Proposal" page and would look like this:



Note, however, that boosted proposal auctions run for up to seven days or until the client makes their first hire. If the auction is closed but the job is still open, then the boost option will not be available. So that may be what have happened for jobs where you didn't see the option. You can still submit a proposal regularly though.

~ Valeria

Valarie, with respect go your position as a member/advertising on this forum there are several threads that have asked a question go why thos system. 


It's very convinebt to see that you only anwer people who want to know about the system and not anwer people questioning its relevance. 


Please stop being partial in your response and fairly anwer all of them, some of them will be tough to anwer but since your playing the role of a representative of upwork you should anwer all. 


Thank you 

Community Member

Hi Upwork,


Why Upwork has introduced the Proposal Boosting feature to force all Upwork freelancers to purchase the connects in huge numbers or let the unskilled freelancers rank at top positions to get hired over deserving freelancers??

This feature has ruined the life of all talented freelancers. It is the most terrible feature I have ever seen in Upwork. 

I'm not boosting while applying for the jobs because I believe in genuine Winning not cheating with talented and skilled freelancers. It's effective my work progress and not getting any responses since this feature has been introduced. 

If this feature wouldn't discontinue till the end of May. I will leave the Upwork and will start using other platforms to find new opportunities.

I hope any senior will take my concern seriously and will provide the resolutions. 

Rest wanted to say to every freelancer to raise the complaint against Upwork new updates. Are you with me??





Jyoti K wrote:

Rest wanted to say to every freelancer to raise the complaint against Upwork new updates. Are you with me??


We tried. We raised complaints multiple times. But when you face stubborn $$ machine, blind to any logic and arguments, there is nothing you can do. 

As a side note, their new "feature" with raising fees for clients is currently making many clients leave the platform. **Edited for Community Guidelines** Also the end for many freelancers but UW showed many times how little they care about ethics. It is a money making machine but somehow they forgot that while they do need to make money as a corpo, we, freelancers, are here primarily to - surprise, surprise! - make money. Now that balance and fair-play flew out of the window, it's a paradise for all kinds of scammers. Yay.

Community Member

Hey, guys, are you all satisfied with the Upwork boost proposal option?

I can only speak for myself, as always, but I wish they'd get rid of it again never bring it back.

I can speak for myself and the many other freelancers who absolutely hate it. 

I absolutely hate it. It's a waste of connects, and clients don't understand it so they think they're getting a better freelancer because they spent an extra dollar on connects to make them "rise to the top." Hate it. Did I mention that before? Hate it!

We hate it. 🙂

Most irritating thing is:

We heard a lot of bad vibes from the community but we figured we dont give a single futk and went ahead with the change 😄  

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
Community Member


Community Member



I reviewed some cons of the boost proposal for new freelancers. 

Example: A new freelancer who started his career in Upwork, he just invested some money to buy the connects. Now they are waiting for the new job post and quickly add the proposal on it because they want to get that new job. Right now his proposal is top due to not many proposals there. After a few minutes, many freelancers add the boost proposals and their posts are going to the top. Here disadvantage is for the person who tried first and waited a whole day to get the new post and wants a job, his proposal goes down due to other boost proposals.


Suggestion:  I am not against the boost proposal, but if you really want to implement the boost functionality you can apply as below.

1. You need to create a range of boost proposals and it will apply only between them. Like 0-5, 5-10, 10-20, 20-50, 50+. So if the freelancer daily finds the job his proposal will be arranged in that range, not at the bottom.


2. If the client wants that boost post functionality, you can add that feature for them.


I hope you can understand my suggestions. 


Thank You,

Hardik Sanghavi



Community Member

Those that 'boost' proposals may want to read this because it may not be doing the 'good' you think it is:




Notable quotes from that client's complaint:

"I don't care who has boosted their post. I am looking for the best fit, not who paid to annoy me in my filtering ability. "

" I don't give two cents about freelancers being first in line or if they land the work THEY want. I care about finding freelancers who I WANT to hire. Anyone can boost their post. That doesn't mean they are a good fit. "


"Are you trying to drive clients from the platform?"


" I will simply have to start writing in my job posts that any boosted proposals will automatically be declined. "


I posted several times I thought 'boosting' was doing more harm to a freelancer's chances than 'good'.  There's your proof.  "Automatically declined" does not sound like much of an 'advantage' to me.



Community Member

Since this has been put into place, my work has slowed to a trickle. I am top rated with 100% satisfaction rating and was getting a decent percentage of jobs for which I applied. Now, even when boosting, I am getting very little work. I've started to look for other options in case this continues on Upwork. Very unfortunate.


Hello Upwork Community, 

 I have a question if you guide me so thats a great help. I want to know currently in Upwork there is boost proposal feature that shows the top 3 bids first to the client so can you tell me how many averages connects should I invest in each good project. Or can I only focus on writing the great proposal to the client and submit bid on actual connect of job or should I use the boost feature to show my bid up?


Because due to this boost feature on Upwork nowadays it is too hard for me to get client responses.


When this feature is not in Upwork so daily I got one or two responses from clients on my proposal and win 5 to 6 jobs a month through Upwork. But now in 1 week hardly I got one or two responses and it is very hard to win 2 good jobs per month. Everday I submit 22 good proposals but hard to get a response. So please let me know what I have to do in this case. Upwork is my single source of earning and this boost features decreases my 60 to 70 percent income through Upwork.

Please guide me on the below topics also 

1. In the boost feature how many averages connects should I use that will raise my chances that clients view my proposal because I write good proposals and still no responses due to this boost feature of Upwork


2. If I use boost features on any job and If client do not select my proposal for their job so in how many days do connect roll over back to me?

3. In the boost proposal feature what are the cases I got I connect back if I am not selected for the job?


4. I have a question for the Upwork community the boost feature will decrease the chances of talented freelancers or agencies landing on a good job. It is my suggestion that Upwork has to remove this boost feature option because due to this it is hard for the right talent to connect to the right client. 






Community Member

Here is an example of a problem on ALL of my boosted propsal interview refunds.

I applied for a job that cost 6 connects.
I bid 4 on a boosted proposal.


6 + 4 = 10 connects spent.

Interviews award 10 connects. I get an interview, I get 10 connects.

Boosts are refunded via the lowest top3 bidder. I boost 4, no one else boosts, I get a 4 refund.


10 + 4 = 14 Refunded.

**Edited for Community Guidelines**


What is this? 10+4 = 10. 

Why am I getting interview awards for less than 10? (when interviews award 10 connects)

Here is the help article for boosted proposal.




I don't think the cost of proposal is refunded when you boost them. When there is an interaction with the client, you are at least charged for the Connects for the proposal. 

Yes. I am aware. I've read all that. Thoroughly. It doesn't answer my question at all.

Okay. Let's try this again. I'll break it down & make it real simple for you.

Just answer the following basic yes/no questions for me.

1) I get 10 connects for obtaining an interview & interacting, correct? 
2) Are they awarded as a lump sum of 10?
3) or are they always awarded as a weird combination like 6+4?

*Let's say I'm eligible for a boosted refund.*
4) But the client never closes the job, ever. Do I never get my eligible refund? 
5) When I get messaged by the client, do I recive my boosted refund at the same time as my +10 interview award?

I have been credited 6 times for interviews, for 10x6 connects.

I have 9 interviews open in my messages right now. (Not counting the ones that have closed, or been scams.)

Those numbers, don't match. Explain this.

Community Member

No words for Upwork check the stats after this update, the hiring rate is now 1% really really hard to survive.

I have been to purchase more than 300 USD connects, in 2 months.

I will hardly survive the next 2 month 😞




Community Member

It's hard for me to get client responses because of this "boost proposal" feature. Everyone is facing this problem. Right? So why don't you (Upwork) remove this feature? 

Hi Nirmal,


I certainly understand your concern and your feedback really means a lot to us. Please note that boosted proposals will be pinned to the top of the client's Proposal Manager regardless of the sorting settings or which tab they are in since freelancers use Connects to bid for a chance to have their proposal boosted. We will enforce all of our standard rules for all other proposals and they will be located below, ranked, and sorted just like they are today. I'm not aware of any plans to make changes to the way it currently works. 


~ Arjay
Community Member

Arjay M wrote:

Hi Nirmal,


I certainly understand your concern and your feedback really means a lot to us. 


May I ask then why this feature is still present? What kind of feedback do you need to finally understand that this is major drawback for all interested parties? It makes clients leave the platform as they cannot find suitable freelancer (on top of raising fees they pay), it makes freelancers earn much less because those refusing to use this pay-to-win feature must compete with trolls and people not qualified yet paying to stay on top of proposals list. Do you actually read feedback or just scroll down to the last post and write some general statements to tick off "forum participation"? This is unbelievable that you have the nerve to write such lies in front of freelancers that are NOT happy with this "feature" and yet it is still there, despite FEEDBACK. I personally haven't landed ANY project for WEEKS, how am I supposed to survive? I see SIGNIFICANT drop in invitations, responses and even projects relevant to my profession. Are you simply closing your eyes to real impact this "feature" has on the platform health? Because every time I read "we gathered feedback and decided to go ahead with this" I wonder if there is one person in UW staff that can actually read this feedback and draw conclusions? If yes, why there is conclusion to keep this infectious feature still active if the feedback is clearly AGAINST, with valid reasoning? It looks like UW is absolutely detached from reality and purposedly blind to ANY feedback since we ask you to remove this thing from UW and you keep it still. Tell me, genuine question from human to human - how is it not blatant lie to write "your feedback really means a lot to us"?

Community Member

Let everyone bid for jobs fair and square then the client will decide on whom to award the job based on qualifications not because someone had enough "connects" to get noticed. You are locking out those who don't have money to buy connects yet are qualified. The overall effect is that clients will work with freelancers who may not be that qualified and opt-out of the platform.

Community Member

Since this update, I see as a Freelancer significantly less no of responses. I literally didn't like this filter before nor now. Sending a quality proposal was the thing that I think is best as we are writing to the point proposals and sending them to the client. Then the client decided after reading the proposal. Now if someone has enough connects or can invest easily only he is able to put more connects into the boost proposal. There is as such no thing now after this update which I called a quality submission of a proposal. I think it is only for their more income. We buy more and more connects to increase revenue for Upwork. Totally rubbish for using this platform now and also for the new freelancers. 

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