I'm new to Upwork, but I've noticed that every time I click on a job that interests me, 25-50 people have already sent proposals. How can I expect any client to even bother getting as far as mine? Is it that the job/freelancer ratio is this disproportionate? And if this is the case, won't the freelancers who have been with Upwork the longest get all of the jobs? A coworker told me that he joined two months ago, and his profile has never even been looked at. I'd like to think he's just doing something worng.
I became a freelancer 7 months ago and it took me several weeks to get a first job and 2 monhts to get a first long-term job. Few months after that I landed another job. And another and so on. Before that first long-term job I was close to giving up as the competition was really fierce. I'm glad I didn't.
Just be persistant. Keep applying on jobs that interests you and that are appropriate for your skills. Do more tests in Upwork that are connected to your set of skills. You only did one so far. Read blogs and insights on how to land a first job, how to attract clients, and how to improve your profile if needed.
Best of luck to you
Welcome to Upwork and kudos for asking great questions. I don't think you can draw a firm conclusion looking at the number of applicants, especially since it's a range and not an exact figure -- all things being equal, your odds are 2.5 times better if there are 20 applicants as opposed to 50, for instance. Also, I think much depends on how specialized the job requirements are. It's well-known that many freelancers apply for jobs without reading or understanding the job description -- and if you look at enough job postings, you'll find some that state your proposal must contain a particular word or phrase at the beginning, which is designed to exclude freelancers who haven't read or understood the description -- so most of the time, the number of qualified applicants is significantly less than the total number of applicants. But this probably only applies to jobs with a realistic budget, because qualified freelancers generally spurn jobs that pay pennies on the hour.
It's also important to keep in mind that if a position in "real life" got 40 applicants it wouldn't be that surprising. In fact, in certain industries, if you don't receive 40 applications/resumes for your job posting you are doing something drastically wrong.