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New to Upwork: How to know if your proposals are getting anywhere?

Active Member
FAISAL M Member Since: Mar 24, 2021
11 of 14

Hi Petra


I am facing the same issue, can't search my profile and GET HELP button is inactive, 


I would be grateful if you can have a look at my profile etc.




Active Member
Caroline M Member Since: Mar 19, 2021
12 of 14

I wanted to jump back in one more time to this thread to give some final thoughts!


To all those to came to offer constructive feedback, thank you very much. Mikko, your additional tips here are invaluable, as well as the advice from Petra, Tonya, and Christine. I appreciate it!


I think that the current biggest obstacle on my end is organization of my profile page. I know what I'm capable of, who I cater to, who my competitors might be, all the basics-- but if that isn't reflected in what a client sees, it can be detrimental. Especially since, as multiple people mentioned, oftentimes clients don't take the time necessary to go through each part of your page. It's tough having to fight with the "screen life" of your work, in a way. I'll be adding to and changing around my profile going forward to try to improve things.


Like I said in my initial posts, it can be frustrating to put in effort that I know is worked elsewhere and not have it work here. Yes, I know different sites have different rules-- I'm not ignorant to that. So all we can really do is put our best foot forward.

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
13 of 14

Caroline M wrote:

Hi Upwork community,


I'm new to the app and honestly am feeling a bit discouraged by the proposal system. All but one of my proposals (of which I've sent about 20) are either in limbo or have been archived for unknown reasons (no one ever seems to leave a comment in the "Reason" column). I've applied to jobs in several different fields that I have experience in, usually either editing/proofreading or illustration work. I apply to jobs that have been posted within the hour, and hours later, they're already closed, sometimes without even giving me a notification that my proposal was archived.


Additionally, I've had two clients (one who accepted my proposal and one who didn't) both tell me that they have either never or only rarely received notifications of my offer or my messages. The client who didn't choose me actually messaged to let me know that, had he seen my proposal when it was sent, he would have considered me for the position. This lack of communication-- through no fault of my own, or even his-- cost me a potential job. 


TL;DR It seems to me that Upwork has issues when it comes to its communication options between clients and freelancers, stymying valuable opportunities. I feel like it's costing me work. Any idea as to fixes for this, or if it's an issue others experience with their proposals?


Thanks so much,



  • Does your missed opportunity indicate whether they didn't receive an on-platform notification (via a little dot next to their message bell) or an email notification? Clients don't receive notification of every proposal by design. They receive a notification when the first proposal comes in and are expected to continue checking the platform to see new proposals. 
  • Are you 100% certain that the prospect wasn't just telling you that they would have hired you in order to get you to offer free work or some other benefit to them? Upwork doesn't screen clients and cannot vouch for their sincerity.

  • We all get that you are a skilled and experienced freelancer using off-platform methods to work successfully with many clients. What we are collectively trying to say is that this experience means very little when attempting to land a gig on Upwork. The freelance platform ecosystem is nothing like the owner-operator business ecosystem. In fact, many of the behaviors that you would assume are fundamental to the model are wholly missing. Nice people are trying to help you. Many of them have also made the transition from the traditional freelance world to this brave new order. What we are all saying is, "Why yes, it would be nice if...and it probably should be... but it isn't."  We make money by learning how to swim in these waters not longing for smoother seas. 

Regarding your profile.
Upwork search doesn't work like traditional web browser search, but keywords still can be helpful. So, you might consider including a short summary of each type of work that you do which includes different words or phases laypeople might use to describe those tasks. (Synonyms) 

Prospects see only the first line or two of your proposal when they decide whether to click through, make the first sentence count. Do the same with your profile summary. 

I would present your profile pieces separately. Many prospects are going to scroll down, see two (similar) images and move on. They are unlikely to invest the time to click through to find out if there is anything else. 

Your proposal is your sales funnel, if you don't earn the click in the first line nothing else matters. Your profile is your landing page. It has to engage the prospect and close the deal. 
Good luck! 

Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
14 of 14

Tonya P wrote:

I would present your profile pieces separately. Many prospects are going to scroll down, see two (similar) images and move on. They are unlikely to invest the time to click through to find out if there is anything else. 

Excellent post, but especially this comment. The differences between the various portfolio templates aren't clearly explained, and I think that this particular arrangement is extremely detrimental to freelancers who choose it. I wonder how often clients see profiles like this and think, "This freelancer only has one or two portfolio pieces, they must be inexperienced" then immediately discard them from consideration without clicking to open the links.