I have spent about 20 hours submitting 25 proposals for jobs I am well qualified for. My profile is setup well. Not one hire. Not even one interview. I am considering cancelling my Upwork account. This has been a major waste of my time.
Michael, you've been very busy. On average, you sent 8 proposals a day. I've very seldom sent more than 2 or 3 a day, and not on consecutive days either. Perhaps you could have been more selective in choosing jobs to apply for. If you were working 8 hours days, you sent a proposal per hour. I don't have any figures to back this up, but I would think most clients would take at least several hours to choose a number of candidates to interview, then spend some time interviewing them, and if those didn't work out, they would look at additional candidates. So, by sending proposals at such a high rate, you risk having too many proposals being accepted at once, and possibly not being able to work on all the projects concurrently. In your case, that didn't happen, but it's still an argument for taking your time.
I am sure you are submitting proposals only for jobs that are relevant to your skills. But are you vetting the clients before submitting the proposals? Looking at the client profile is especially important in your case since you don't have any Upwork experience backing up your proposals.
1. Check the hire rate. Anything below 50% - you might want to avoid.
2. Check if the average hourly rate they have paid is significantly lower or higher than your rate.
3. Check the feedback the client has received and also the feedback they have given.
4. The number of proposals and activity on the job - if by the time you are ready to submit the proposal, the client has already started interviewing out of the 50 odd proposals they've received, or sent out several invites, you might want to reconsider sending the proposal at all.
And also what John said. 8 proposals a day, every day sounds steep.