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Actionable steps to improve JS?

Community Guru
Daniel C Member Since: Nov 21, 2010
1 of 14

What can we do to improve JS?


In the last 2 years, I've had 16 jobs.  


4 without feedback.  


The rest are all 5 stars, really happy clients. (one 4.8 in Oct 2013).


3 of the jobs span 3 or more months.


I am responsible and close contracts when clients are inactive.  There is 1 that I'm waiting for details on but I work on it occasionally.




My Stats:


Feedback score (Last 12 months): 4.99???  (Should be 5)

Clients who would recomment you: 93%

Long-Term clients: 0% (Shouldn't this be more than 0?)

Recent account hold: 0

You reply within a day: Always

You reply every time: Always


Marketing effectiveness:

You were viewed: 70%

You were interviewed: 98%

You were hired: 98%


Job Success: 81%


Your JS score is taken from the highest score between the 6, 12, and 24 month average.  So my 6 month score is equal or lower than 81%?  Same with my 12 month and 24 month average?


(successful contract outcomes - negative contract outcomes) / total outcomes


2 Years

(16 - 3) / 16 = 81%


So somehow I got 3 negative outcomes in 2 years?


1 Year

(4 - 1) / 4 = 75% (Anything else, and I would have 100%)


6 Months

Same as above...


And at least 1 negative outcome in the last 4 jobs.




At this point, I want to work on improving my JS but I have no idea what I can do to improve it.  I finish a long-term job, get a good 5 star review, and my score dropped 4 points.


In all honesty, the JS score is not that important to me.  I feel like 81% is probably fair but I want to improve and I can only manage to lower my score.  


The only thing that I could think of to improve my score would be to take more jobs at a lower rate.  It would be stupid to do that, but I guess that is a sign of success around Upwork?  Haha, I can't figure it out!


Community Guru
Javier M Member Since: Sep 16, 2015
2 of 14
Community Guru
Daniel C Member Since: Nov 21, 2010
3 of 14

Thanks Javier,


I did notice that my name doesn't show up in the Proposals when I was invited to the job.  I haven't seen my name in any of the job invites lately.  Maybe I actually have to apply to show up in the propsals list now?



I don't think the JS rating system is accurate, but I don't really think I'm a 100% top freelancer either.


If I'm not being shown when I bid on projects or being shown in another list then that would be upsetting.  I don't think my performance is poor enough to deserve being hidden.  Plus, my stats are good from proposal to acceptance rate so I don't see why Upwork would want to hide my bids.


My problem isn't really what my JS score is, just that I can't figure out how to improve it.  The only thing that I could think of is to nag clients for feedback, and taking more jobs at lower rates.  That is the opposite of job success IMO.


I don't work on nearly as many jobs as some people.  The jobs that I take are generally weeks or months of work.  I do a good job and my clients have a stable working product that doesn't need much repeat work.  I have a lot of repeat clients but most are years ago.  When I take smaller projects, then it's easy to have more repeat projects because clients usually need multiple things.


I don't think that I'm the type of freelancer that Upwork is looking for.  

Community Guru
Irene B Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
4 of 14

Don't close those jobs....let Upwork do it themselves eventually. The send the unresponsive clients notifications eventually....unless they are really really old!..then it is ok to close them yourself.


What I did was to take on some short jobs. Score went up quickly....although I have not broken through the 90% again yet.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
5 of 14

Hi Daniel, (I love to see your name here Smiley Very Happy )


I think we have the same attitude towards JS. I have this weird interest in figuring it out especially since I kinda alternate between 90%+ and slightly below, so I get my shiny blue badge taken away sometimes.


I just did a cancellation on Elance, so I"m expecting a hit. If you look at the people who post here, it seems the major factors are cancellations (upwork seems to really kill scores for this), jobs opened for a very long time, and of course the secret feedback.


I'm wondering if your score is only based on the 2 year window, and I'm wondering if it will start fluctuating because it seems you have a lot of closed ones at the end of 2013 that will drop off. 


You only have 4 jobs for 6 months and 1 year, so I'm wondering if they are disregarding the 6 month and 1 year window because not enough data to rate you.


The 2 year average I would think would be a killer, because you get 1 bad rating and it sits there for 2 years as opposed to the 6 month and 1 year that falls off much sooner.

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
6 of 14

I wish I could even begin to understand how the metrics work. I have seen 'rising talent' for freelancers who claim to be writers, who can't string two words together, let alone sentences. I have seen top-rated freelancers who haven't been active on Upwork since 2012.


One of the reasons why I am not going to merge my Elance account with Upwork is that, although I have earned a great deal more on that platform than this, without knowing why, my stats are so mercurial , I can't risk a JSS score here of 100% (even though I am not top-rated).


Daniel, quite honestly, I don't think 'improvement' comes into it. You do what you have to do to the best of your ability. I would follow Javier's advice and get enough off-site clients to make Upwork or any online work platform an extra rather than a necessity to your requirements - easier said than done, I know.  I find working with  off-site clients is a totally different ball game. I am relaxed, and I have a real relationship with them. If they don't like anything I have done or suggested, we talk it through; work gets done. I get paid and invoices are a doddle.



Community Guru
Javier M Member Since: Sep 16, 2015
7 of 14
Community Guru
Daniel C Member Since: Nov 21, 2010
8 of 14

Hi Jennifer!  Thanks, I have been busy and the Upwork community is a bit distracting.  I don't have the multi-tasking ninja skills that you have.


It sounds like it would be benificial for you to figure out how to stay just above 90%.  I don't know because I'm not top rated, but I assume that it does help you get work.


The averages make things even more confusing.  The 1 bad review in 2 years shouldn't be a big deal if you haven't had any in the last year or six months.  It would seem like you would get the 6 month JS score.


I read in another thread Upwork mentions that a couple of projects without feedback won't affect you unless it's a majority.  I guess it would be remedied by taking a couple of small jobs and getting feedback.  It really looks like that is the only option to improve my JS.


The thing that I don't like about JS is that it's sounds like they're saying 19% of aren't completed because my JS is 81%.  Or maybe I only finish 81% of the job and I can't complete that pesky last 18% of the project.



I'm a bit worried about what rating you stop being shown in the main proposals page.  I mean, if I'm not going to be shown then I would like to know so I don't waste my time having my proposal hidden from their view.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
9 of 14

Daniel, because you also do long term contracts like me, the numbers are lower and so is the sample used for calculation which makes any negative factors weigh far more heavily.


With 30 contracts over 2 years 2 without any feedback would not matter or hardly matter, with only a handful it weighs more heavily.


You could swing things by taking a few quick contracts to up your stats quickly (assuming a successful outcome of those quick contracts)


The 4.8 contract which may be affecting you will fall out of the time frame this month, so that may help.


You could also consider asking your current client to end the contract and rehire you. That would help (assuming a successful outcome)


I think safety lies in numbers, the more successful contracts there are in the relevant time windows, the less of an impact a negative factor will have.

Community Guru
Daniel C Member Since: Nov 21, 2010
10 of 14



Yeah, I do like the 100-200 hour jobs the best.  


Small and fixed priced jobs in development are highly problematic.  Clients, especially the ones with small budgets, have rediculus expecations a lot of the time.  I really don't want to tangled in anyone's code-snare either.  


The 4.8 star review was small, and it was affecting my score before so I don't see why it would have gone down because of it.  I guess we'll see how it affects my score when it falls off.  I just took a small project so I'll see if that has any affect on it as well.


I guess I'm off to find a few super-quick-n-easy projects to pump my JS up.  I have 210 connects to blow on proposals!