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How much work should I do before being hired?

Active Member
Jennifer P Member Since: Dec 12, 2019
1 of 13

As a writer, I understand that I'll have to write samples for potential clients before getting hired, but how much more work as part of the application process is reasonable? A potential client asked me to install software and comment on the installation instructions, submit a course proposal, install more software and write a procedure, and do a few other things. Is that too much to do without being paid?

Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
BEST ANSWER
2 of 13

Jennifer P wrote:

As a writer, I understand that I'll have to write samples for potential clients before getting hired, but how much more work as part of the application process is reasonable? A potential client asked me to install software and comment on the installation instructions, submit a course proposal, install more software and write a procedure, and do a few other things. Is that too much to do without being paid?


Yes, of course that's too much work! Where did you get the idea that you should do ANY amount of work before being hired? That's what your portfolio is for. 

 

If a client is asking you for free work - no matter how small - this is against Upwork's terms of service. You can politely tell them that you'll do a small, PAID test sample (that is, if you're okay with doing tests; I don't do them, personally) and if they still ask for free work, then flag the job as inappropriate using the green link at the top-right of the project description.

 

Active Member
Jennifer P Member Since: Dec 12, 2019
3 of 13

Thank you, Christine, I appreciate the help!

Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
4 of 13

Jennifer P wrote:

As a writer, I understand that I'll have to write samples for potential clients before getting hired, but how much more work as part of the application process is reasonable? A potential client asked me to install software and comment on the installation instructions, submit a course proposal, install more software and write a procedure, and do a few other things. Is that too much to do without being paid?


4.1 EXAMPLES OF PROHIBITED USES OF THE SITE
The following are examples of uses that are prohibited on the Site or when using the Site Services:
...
  • Requesting or demanding free services, including requesting Freelancers to submit work as part of the proposal process for very little or no money or posting contests in which Freelancers submit work with no or very little pay, and only the winning submission is paid the full amount;
Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
5 of 13

You seem to have a lot of jobs completed, and somehow this didn't set off red flags? Did any of your previous clients ask for free work? You seem to be well-established. You don't need to worry yourself with loser clients who try to scam out free work. 

Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
6 of 13

Amanda L wrote:

You seem to have a lot of jobs completed, and somehow this didn't set off red flags? Did any of your previous clients ask for free work? You seem to be well-established. You don't need to worry yourself with loser clients who try to scam out free work. 


The last contract started in January 2014. The last feedback is from March 2018. No JSS. Any red flags?

Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
7 of 13

That was kind of my point...

Active Member
Jennifer P Member Since: Dec 12, 2019
8 of 13

The feedback on some of those jobs must have been entered on the dates when the jobs actually ended, not on the dates when the jobs were formally closed.

 

Would the way my profile looks confuse you if you were a prospective client and cause you not to look at my proposal?

 

Upwork, would I be better off starting a new account without that background showing? 

Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
9 of 13

Jennifer P wrote:

The feedback on some of those jobs must have been entered on the dates when the jobs actually ended, not on the dates when the jobs were formally closed.

 

Would the way my profile looks confuse you if you were a prospective client and cause you not to look at my proposal?

 

Upwork, would I be better off starting a new account without that background showing? 


Starting a new account violates the ToS. Take some time to read through the ToS, especially this section: https://www.upwork.com/legal#prohibitedsite

Active Member
Jennifer P Member Since: Dec 12, 2019
10 of 13

Hi Amanda - Maybe your question will help me get a problem resolved. I never worked for Upwork per se; I worked for Odesk and Elance which merged and then became Upwork. All of those jobs are from six and seven years ago. After a year+ of freelancing, I began working for the same company for 6 years. Now I want to begin freelancing again.

 

When I began with Upwork, I saw that two jobs were still open and asked Upwork to close them, which they did. I then told them that showing that the jobs ended now would make it appear as if I had worked for them for a long time, hardly made any money, and then received no feedback. It seems like not leaving feedback is much rarer now than it was then.

 

Upwork told me not to worry about it since customers mostly hire people on the basis of their cover letters. I have not landed one job after over a month of applying to jobs on Upwork. Do you think the way my job history appears is working against me? Upwork, is there anything you can do?

 

So, to clarify - I didn't do free work for those former customers. Recently, one potential client on Upwork did ask for a short procedure, but the potential client who asked for all of the things I listed was on another freelancing site. I did not do most of that work - I requested being hired for a trial or just being hired - then I worried that I may have taken myself out of the running for a job and posted this question.

 

Thanks for bringing this up.

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