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Community Member

Why don't freelancers bother applying for old job posts?

I've noticed that there are often job postings that have been up for a month or more with low proposal numbers, and yet freelancers don't seem interested in applying. Just wondering why that is? If the job is still open and there are only a few proposals, wouldn't that be a good opportunity to put your name in the hat?

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Because 99% that job is abandoned. Clients never closing jobs.

Community Member

Considering the cost of connects to apply to projects, many freelancers are probably looking for reasons not to submit proposals on available projects. 


Have a look at the "Last viewed by client" information for those projects. It's likely not a very recent date for many of them, which likely means the client isn't still interested in hiring a freelancer. So why should a freelancer risk wasting connects to send a proposal for such projects?

Some fair points. However, if you're sending a proposal to an old job post with only a few candidates, the client still gets a notification that you've applied. So even if they're not currently hiring or have already hired, that doesn't mean they won't consider you in the future for other jobs. My point is that even if there's little chance of getting a job from them right now, subbmitting a proposal for furture possibilities is a form of marketing - they might be interested in contacting you in the future, especially if they viewed your proposal and continue to keep the job open. 

The probability of landing a client is better if you're one of only a handful of candidates than competing with 50 for a new job.

All true, Michael M., but worth gambling ever-more-expensive connects and the time needed to craft "winning" proposals?


Not for me. I still see a regular, though smaller than it used to be, flow of new jobs posted. I believe my time is better spent focusing on making proposals for them. 


Do you know whether clients can leave projects open for more proposals even if they have already found and engaged with the only freelancer(s) they are looking for? I don't remember ever seeing this addressed in Upwork's documentation or by an Upwork moderator on this board.

It seems that they can. For example, one job I applied for had 15-20 proposals before the client removed about 10 of them but kept the job open with 5 proposals remaining. She even contacted me to say she would be in touch in the future. 

Whether she will follow through or not I don't know, but I do see clients interacting with their posts from time to time and then do eventually hire more freelancers. Personally, I think it's worth the cost of submitting late proposals provided you're not burning large amounts of time to do so.

Community Member

I apply to older job postings and sometimes get hired. But, I have a specific skill set and sometimes the client just hasn't seen a proposal from someone who has the skills they're looking for. If it's a job that a lot of people can do, chances are the client would have hired someone--or, at least, is already communicating with someone--if they were planning to.

Yes, that's kind of my point. If you have a refined skill set it's worth chasing old posts because they might be having trouble finding the right person (or it's an on going problem for them) and that's why the post is still open.

Community Member

If on the job details you can see that the client interacted with the post some hours/a day ago, then the client hasn't found yet a good match to his needs, so you can apply with a chance of success. Othewise, not, just an abandoned job.

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