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chebbaelyes
Community Member

How do proposals appear for the client?

Hello,

 

I've been having lots of trouble landing a job, because I don't have a previous work record yet in upwork. My profile is well made and I followed the advices on how to write the cover letter and everything else. But it's just not happening.

 

So, I'm starting to wonder if the client ever sees my proposal. In my line of work, which is transcription and translation, tens of applicants apply for the jobs. I wonder if the client just sorts them by price or by work history, never bothering to actually read all of them.

 

How do the proposals even appear to the client? Any one got a picture for that?

 

Thanks.

29 REPLIES 29
vboikova
Community Member

Hi Elyes,

 

I have posted a job on UpWork and from my experience I've observed the following:

 

Certain applicants to a job appear as "Recommended", I am not sure what the algorithm for determining which freelancers are recommended for which jobs, but I'm assuming it has something to do with the "Recommended" feed in the job search - so try to look at the recommended jobs for you, and the ones e-mailed to you if you have e-mail notifications for jobs that match your skills! That way you will show up higher in the applications for jobs.

 

If there are additional questions to fill out when submitting your proposal, such as "What past project or job have you had that is most like this one and why?" those appear first in your application, and the proposal letter is below them - so make sure you answer the additional questions as descriptevly as possible and put the most important information in the beginning of the questions because the job holder will see them first! 

 

Your status ( online or offline ) is also visible along with your proposal - so make sure to stay online as much as possible, as that might encourage job holders to message you.

 

Edit:

I've posted a private job and invited myself to it in order to demonstrate - here is a screenshot of how job proposals appear to clients on UpWork:

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 8.51.01 PM copy.png

Thanks for the screenshot, Valéria.

It might be less disheartening to have client questions be the first thing clients see if Upwork weren't encouraging them to ask things like "What is your favorite color?"

Lucky me, I rarely see questions. The one time I did recently, they had clearly been created by the job poster and were specific screening questions for the job. Others have reported different experiences.

Best,
Michael

I do believe it is against TOS to post a job and invite yourself.  I know you are just trying to help, but you could get "warned" about this.  

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"

Hi Valéria,

 

Please, note that it's against the policies to have more than one account per user. Make sure you close all accounts but one as soon as possible. Additionally, we do not suggest posting a job as a means of testing the candidates selection page or other flows. If there are examples you'd like to see, we'll do our best to provide them. Posting jobs without the intent of hiring can raise flags within our system and we'd hate for you to see any issues with your account as a result of your 'testing.'

 

Thank you.

~ Valeria
Upwork


@Valeria K wrote:

Hi Valéria,

 

Please, note that it's against the policies to have more than one account per user. Make sure you close all accounts but one as soon as possible. Additionally, we do not suggest posting a job as a means of testing the candidates selection page or other flows. If there are examples you'd like to see, we'll do our best to provide them. Posting jobs without the intent of hiring can raise flags within our system and we'd hate for you to see any issues with your account as a result of your 'testing.'

 

Thank you.


 In her defense, it was a private job so no one is wasting connects on the job.


@Valéria B wrote:

 

....If there are additional questions to fill out when submitting your proposal, such as "What past project or job have you had that is most like this one and why?" those appear first in your application, and the proposal letter is below them - so make sure you answer the additional questions as descriptevly as possible and put the most important information in the beginning of the questions because the job holder will see them first! 

 

Your status ( online or offline ) is also visible along with your proposal - so make sure to stay online as much as possible, as that might encourage job holders to message you....


Again, the fact that the Q&A appears first is interesting, and a reason to keep answers concise as well as—if applicable—cogent (or perhaps as dismissive as "Not relevant to my proposal.")

 

I did not become a freelancer so that others could determine, or my working life would depend on, maximizng hours or availability. Your marketing may vary.

TU many times, Michael.

 

It is nice that some remember the FREE (in) lancer.

"Please, note that it's against the policies to have more than one account per user. Make sure you close all accounts but one as soon as possible. Additionally, we do not suggest posting a job as a means of testing the candidates selection page or other flows. If there are examples you'd like to see, we'll do our best to provide them. Posting jobs without the intent of hiring can raise flags within our system and we'd hate for you to see any issues with your account as a result of your 'testing.'"

 

@Valeria K

 

I appreciate you have to be the policewoman here,

 

but the OP Valeria has posted an insight that we (freelancers without client accounts) have never been allowed to see before. I think it was Lena who recently showed (re-showed) a screenshot of how clients view the list of proposals. Now we finally get to see how an individual proposal appears. And to me it's worrying. Why is this not stated at some point to the freelancer?

 

I know I'm just banging my head against a brick wall here, but IMHO freelancers should be given guidance at the point of submitting (scarce) proposals as to how the proposals will be viewed by the clients, so as to guide them in how best to structure their proposal.

kat303
Community Member

If it weren't for contractors who, at times become clients and come and post about what is going on, then us (contractors) wouldn't know anything. For example, on Elance,

 

A contractor posted in Elances Water Cooler discussion forum about hidden proposals. She had posted a job, had picked a contractor and was going to hire them, when all of a sudden, their proposal disappeared. Had it not been for the fact that she was an experienced user and long time member of Elance she would have never found out that Elance had dicided that, that contractor was not a good "fit" for the job (even though she thought they were) and decided to hid the proposal. Even as an experienced user and long time member it took some time searching to find where Elance had put the proposal. That doesn't say much for new clients who really don't know things such as that.

 

Also, had it not been for another contractor, who also at times becomes a client us contractors would never have know that if we didn't choose the Formatting Option on our proposals, then the sentences and paragraphs that we typed in our proposals are just one huge paragrapg.

 

So even though it's against Upworks TOS to post a "fake" job I'm glad she did and hope nothing is done about it. Because had it not been for her, us contractors would never have known that the answer to any questions are presented first.

jmccpa
Community Member

Kathy,

 

You wrote:

 

"Also, had it not been for another contractor, who also at times becomes a client us contractors would never have know that if we didn't choose the Formatting Option on our proposals, then the sentences and paragraphs that we typed in our proposals are just one huge paragrapg."

 

Please tell us what is the Formatting Option and how does one find it?

 

Thanks,

 

Joe

Joseph M. C. ,P.C., CPA/ABV
hodgesh
Community Member


@Kathy T wrote:

Also, had it not been for another contractor, who also at times becomes a client us contractors would never have know that if we didn't choose the Formatting Option on our proposals, then the sentences and paragraphs that we typed in our proposals are just one huge paragrapg.


 I've never even heard of this before. Where is the formatting option?

lysis10
Community Member


@Heaven H wrote:

@Kathy T wrote:

Also, had it not been for another contractor, who also at times becomes a client us contractors would never have know that if we didn't choose the Formatting Option on our proposals, then the sentences and paragraphs that we typed in our proposals are just one huge paragrapg.


 I've never even heard of this before. Where is the formatting option?


She's spreading rumors again. On Elance, we had a formatting option on our proposals for things like bold and bullet points. Supposedly, if you didn't use the formatting option, the proposal was one big wall of text. She's talking about Elance not here. 

Jennifer wrote:

 

'She's spreading rumors again'

 

Wow, Jennifer, that is quite a serious allegation to make.

 

'She' - and I prefer to use people's names - may have been mistaken, but that is not what you have said.  I personally am grateful to you and all the other more Upwork-experienced people who contribute to the forum, but I sometimes wonder if we are in the grown-up world here.

 

Elspeth

kat303
Community Member

Joseph and Heaven - The 2 examples I typed were about Elance. I used that to show, that if not for contractors (who at times were clients posting jobs) coming on discussion forums, no one would know what's going on. Although, with what I'm saying I do Not encourge contractors to go out now and post fake jobs etc., I'm glad that the above client/contractor posted a "fake" job because we would never have know that the answers to the questions come up, above our proposals. That CAN make a difference in the hiring process especially if you choose not to answer those questions.  And any one posting a Real job, if they see something new or something that comes up (or gets hidden) that we contractors don't know about, please come on here and tell us about it. 

 

As for this site, the formatting options are built in. (hopefully) On Elance, if you wanted bullet points, numbering etc, you had to click the small format link above the proposal text box. But it was assumed that if you didn't click on formatting, when you pressed the enter key paragraphs would be separated. But they weren't. Any client reading an "unformatted" proposal would think the contractor didn't know how to type,  Don't know if Elance ever fixed that as it was toward the end of the acquisition.

 

And Jennifer, no rumors, just facts.

HI Valéria,

Your screenshot is very revealing.

 

I see 'No. of Jobs' is not displayed. I thought from reading other threads in here that 'No. of jobs' was only NOT displayed on freelancer search results - ie. a condensed version. I didn't realise it's not even displayed on the full proposal that a client sees.

Is it still the case that a freelancer's answers to a poster's add-on questions are presented first in the proposal? 

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Johnnie,

 

Yes, that's still the process.

~ Vladimir
Upwork

Hi Valeria,

           Can I ask what is the most important thing you are looking for in a freelancer who doesn't have experience?  Or you will never go after the freelancer who doesn't have any experience.

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

 

Kind Regards,

Usman Khan

charlieecpa
Community Member

Elyes,

 

From the client side, I have noticed that freelancers who have no work history have their applications automatically hidden by Upwork.

 

So, there is a good change that your application is not being seen by clients.

 

Maybe someone from Upwork could Chime in? Don't know if this is a hard and fast rule, but It's what I've observed for over 90% of freelancers with no history. 

Charlie wrote (and thank you so much!!):

 

'From the client side, I have noticed that freelancers who have no work history have their applications automatically hidden by Upwork.'

 

As a complete newcomer to Upwork (and NOT coming from Odesk or Elance, but from the bricks and mortar world), I find this seriously disheartening.

 

I have gone through all the hoops, sat loads of tests, read everything there is to read, and have now started submitting a few proposals to jobs for which I appear suitable.

 

But if the clients do not SEE my proposals, because I have no history here, what on earth is the point of being here??

 

Come on, Upwork Garner, or Vladimir or whoever is out there, please respond.

I guess the long-discussed "hidden folder" is a thong from the past. Last time I posted a job, there were no hidden folder and I was able to see all the bids.

 

I remember however a moderator saying this was the new version of the client dashboard, maybe someone from the staff could confirm?

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

It's a hard knock life, for us...

Very great incite, much needed.

vboikova
Community Member

 

I had a client profile because from my current freelancer profile, I cannot seem to be able to post jobs and I actually needed to hire a freelancer - It wasn't made with the intent to just  'test' things, but when I noticed the questions appearing first on the proposals I found that quite odd and decided to share it with the community.

 

 

Kathy T wrote:

"I'm glad that the above client/contractor posted a "fake" job because we would never have know that the answers to the questions come up, above our proposals. That CAN make a difference in the hiring process especially if you choose not to answer those questions. "

 

Exactly, I do beleive it can make a big difference, seeing as we type out our cover letter first but it's actually the last thing clients see.

 

 

I wasn't aware that my actions are against the TOS. The test job I posted was private, so no connects were wasted. Anyway, I have disabled the account as Valeria K suggested and I can advice other freelancers not to post jobs just to see how their proposals appear on UpWork - I think my screenshot was enough in showing how things look from the other side and I'm glad other freelancers found it helpfull.

 

Valeria K wrote:

"...If there are examples you'd like to see, we'll do our best to provide them."

 

I certainly think we need examples of how our proposals look for job holders, similar to the View my profile as others see it option on our profile - Maybe an option called View my proposal as it appears for the client could be helpful, seeing as some freelancers appear as recommended to certain jobs ( which brings their proposals higher in the list and grants a recommended badge to our proposal ) and others don't, or just an option above the job post notifying us that if we submit a proposal, we would be listed as recommended for that particular job - or even just a topic in the help section letting us know about the algorithm behind that, and what things look different for clents.

 

I believe a lot of people have no idea about the recommended badge and the fact that the additional questions are actually first in the proposal.

 

Another thing worth mentioning, also visible from my screenshot is that our number of hours worked are visible right below our success score on the proposal, but the number of completed fixed-price jobs isn't ( it's only visible to the client when viewing a freelancer's profile )

Perhaps that puts freelancers who don't prefer hourly jobs and only work on fixed price projects at a disadvantage?

 

 


@Valéria B wrote:

 

I had a client profile because from my current freelancer profile, I cannot seem to be able to post jobs and I actually needed to hire a freelancer - It wasn't made with the intent to just  'test' things, but when I noticed the questions appearing first on the proposals I found that quite odd and decided to share it with the community.

 

 

 

You said you invited yourself though.  So why would you invite yourself if you were posting a legit project? That's where it looked like you were testing things. 

 

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"

Valeria K the mod said posting a  job with no intention of hiring wasn't allowed. Well Valeria B just explained that she had every intention of hiring, so what's the problem there? Valeria B has done us a service. Valeria K said that they would be happy to show screenshots of anything a client sees that we'd like to see. So please, Valeria K, could you just show us everything the client sees from posting a job through searching for freelancers to looking at proposals. It would be good to have them all in one place...

 

By

This is what she said:

I've posted a private job and invited myself to it in order to demonstrate - here is a screenshot of how job proposals appear to clients on UpWork.  

 

My point was what triggered that was "testing" is the fact she posted the job and invited herself.  Why would you invite yourself to a post you explicitly put up for hiring? 

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"

For clarification: Perhaps my wording wasn't correct ( I'm not a native english speaker ) I hadn't invited myself to the project I posted a while ago. I saw the things mentioned on the proposals of the freelancers I was looking to hire back then.

 

I did log back into my client profile to create a new job when I replied to the thread, in order to take the screenshot and show what I've observed earlier when hiring through UpWork. 

 

 

All in all, posting a job with no intention of hiring ( even a private one ) is against the TOS and I advice against doing so, and as per Valeria K's advice I have disabled the account.

 

Hopefully in the future there will be more information on the differences between the client's side vs freelancer's side of UpWork and things will be more clear for both.

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Valeria, thank you for following my advice and closing the duplicate account. You can still use your current account to hire freelancers, you just need to create a client-company. Please, check this help article for more information about it.

 

Stephen, please see Lena's announcement post here. It contains a screenshot. We will also be sharing more information about the new applicants page very soon once it's rolled out to all users.

~ Valeria
Upwork
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