Newbie question: are there any circumstances in which it is permitted to have contact information on your profile? I have seen profiles where contact information is posted in the portfolio, and flagged the profile but nothing happens so I think there may perhaps be exceptions from this?
You can't include your contact information on your profile. Please send me a PM and include the link to the freelancer profile you are referring to so I can check with the team? Thanks!
You can change your notivication settings if you click on your name on the top right, choose "Settings" and then go to "Notification Settings" at the bottom of the list on the left.
Like Preston already explained, it is absolutely okay to exchange alternative contact methods with clients. I always have a sentence in my cover letting saying that I am happy to discuss their project further via Upwork messages, Skype or email at their convenience.
I would however make sure to not delete any communication that was done outside of Upwork before and after hiring in case of any misunderstandings or a possible dispute, just to make sure. Skype calls etc. are bit tricky in this regards, some people record them for this purpose (or also to listen to them again in case they think they have missed any details), but if you do, make sure to ask the other party if they are okay with this recording beforehand.
I applied for an 'urgent' translation today. One of the boxes said to provide a skype contact. I put (politely) that I did not give my Skype number until asked to interview.
However 'urgent' the job is, it has not been awarded. Or maybe it has, but not on Upwork. I know it is ok to give contact information once a job has been awarded and at interview stage, but surely not before? I can't find this information in the ToS.
Your cover letter can include:
I don't include anything but web URLS in my Cover Letters, unless a client asks for my Skype ID.
Typically clients who do the above have concerns about:
1) Language skills (maybe they have been burned before)
2) Voice quality (specially for client facing jobs)
3) Professional speaking manner
These are jobs that require weekly meetings and interaction with teams. So I'm fine "proving" I've got the Skype thing covered.
Obviously, this not going to be same for all jobs out there. Like Preston says, it depends on the job.