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Winning Contracts

Active Member
Roxanne R Member Since: May 2, 2018
1 of 14



Another newbie hoping for a little advice...


I've applied to almost 60 jobs in the past 90 days and have only been contacted twice. I've won both contracts--and they're both resulting in additional work--but the other 58 proposals have been a colossal waste of time.


I read somewhere that if you submit too many "failed" proposals, Upwork actually hides your submissions so clients can't see them. Am I literally throwing my time away writing proposals that clients will never see? I've tried everything: I've rewritten my profile at least 3 times, I've changed the picture (then changed it back), and I've totally changed how I write proposals. Nothing works. My stats suggest that no one's even clicking through to my profile, let alone reading it.


I've already read all of Upwork's articles on the topic, as well as a dozen articles from all over the web, and most of the forum answers, but I'm still at a loss. What is going on?


Maybe if someone has the time to review my profile? It's on its fifth iteration at this point, so let it fly--I'll take any feedback I can get.


Thank you!

Bojan S Moderator Member Since: Mar 9, 2018
2 of 14

Hi Roxanne,


Sorry to hear that. I can understand that it can be really hard not winning jobs like you expect to. It can be difficult at first, but you just have to be persistent and not give up. You can update your profile and edit your profile overview, expand it with your new skills and experiences. Take a few tests and add some portfolio items to showcase the new skills you have acquired. You may want to consider checking out these helpful blog articles to help you write winning proposals, improve your profile and tips on how to be successful on Upwork. We could advise you to submit proposals only for jobs you are sure to have the required skills set and experience for. Thank you!

~ Bojan
Active Member
Roxanne R Member Since: May 2, 2018
3 of 14

So, basically, do everything I've already done?


Since I've already addressed most of your suggestions in my initial post, I won't rehash them--but one statement stands out: "We could advise you to submit proposals only for jobs you are sure to have the required skills set and experience for."


Is that a cookie-cutter response or is that a specific suggestion for me? I've double-checked all of my proposals and not one of them is above my capabilities. (My skills and experiences are not "new," as you implied.)


If that's truly Upwork's impression, then that might be where the problem lies. Is your algorithm ranking me as someone who has no experience?

Community Leader
Kate R Member Since: Dec 5, 2016
4 of 14

Hi, I looked at your profile as if I were a potential client and the only downside I see is something out of your control right now which is a small amount of "Upwork" experience.  When I scrolled down though I saw the job you did for the pop up pet business (forgive me if thats not the right words for it) but was impressed to see how you built the FB following etc, I guess what I mean to say is perhaps make it more clear within your first paragraph that you are experienced. just a random thought, and obviously, I need a copywriter! lol, best of luck!

Active Member
Roxanne R Member Since: May 2, 2018
5 of 14

Thank you, Kate. That's good stuff! (And your last sentence made me laugh!)


I'll definitely rework my profile so my real-world experience is clearer. Thank you for taking the time to look over my profile--you have no idea how comforting it is to know someone has given it an objective look.


All the best!



Active Member
Roxanne R Member Since: May 2, 2018
6 of 14
Community Guru
Pandora H Member Since: May 11, 2010
7 of 14

Roxanne R wrote: 

I read somewhere that if you submit too many "failed" proposals, Upwork actually hides your submissions so clients can't see them.

Not true. Once, a long time ago, when Upwork had a different name, proposals were hidden in some cases. You were probably reading a very old Forum Thread.


In your particular case, the only thing you should be concerned about is submitting TOO many proposals in a given time frame, WITHOUT being hired.


1 or 2 a day is ok, but if your doing that for 15 days straight without being hired, your on a thin line of being flagged by the "robot" and being warned or flat out banned.


Suggestion: submit 1-3, take a day off, submit 1-3 more, and try to randomize it. 


Also, as others have rightly said, your proposal should address the job first, and how your experience relates to that job. You can list your skills, availibity, and so on further on down, but your selling point is that your the expert, and you should be hired because your the best at what you do.


Finally, I haven't looked at your profile, and I do not know what you do. But if you have a common skill that your offering to clients here, find a niche and stick with it. Not sure what a "niche" is? Google it. 


Example niche: tech writer whose primary focus is writing user guides and how-to's for software apps.

Example niche 2: recruiters whose primary focus is helping clients in the real estate industry hire experienced contractors who have experience in that industry.

Active Member
Roxanne R Member Since: May 2, 2018
8 of 14

Thanks, Pandora.


I don't think I have to worry too much about sending out too many proposals, since it's taken me 3 months to use fewer than one month of connects.


It's good to know that proposals aren't being hidden: that would be a pretty scummy business practice.


I appreciate your input.

Community Guru
Sergio S Member Since: Dec 19, 2017
9 of 14

Hi Roxanne,


Your overview is definitely very nice. However, there is one thing in your profile that may be causing some "noise": the tests. You have a couple that are VERY related with your activity and your score in those is "Above Average." If I were you I would hide them or retake them. Have in count there are hundreds if not thousands of writers in Upwork probably with perfect score or close to that. It's true some clients don't pay attention to Upwork tests because they are not really a reliable way to evaluate proficiency, but some others do and will compare you with other freelancers that have better score.


I also noticed you added Photoshop, Illustrator and logo design as skills because you studied graphic design. That's fine but if your target is writing I would remove those and replace them with "web content", "academic writing", "copywriting" or something like that. Upwork allow you to add only 10 skills, so be very selective here. You are wasting 3 fields with skills you have but that are not important in your category which is writing. Besides, these "skills" work as keywords in Upwork searches so those 3 are not helping you while some others would. Maximize your possibilities to get hired as a writer now that you have a couple jobs under your belt in that field. I know you can make logos but now it's highly unlikely you would be hired to do that, not only because you have more Upwork experience as a writer, but also because there are thousands of graphic designers here that have more experience. You don't even mention you are a graphic designer in your title or overview. I don't know if you do but if you are bidding in logo design jobs clients may find strange that someone with the title "Content Writer / Copywriter" sends a proposal. They may just go to the next and don't even take a look at what you wrote. I believe you are capable to do both things graphic design and writing, but here in Upwork it's better to choose just one and focus on that one only.


These are my 2 cents. I hope it helps you. Keep moving and do what Pandora mentioned. That's a good strategy. I guess you soon will get the rising talent badge and that will help you.

Active Member
Roxanne R Member Since: May 2, 2018
10 of 14



Thank you for the great advice! I sifted through my profile and you're right, it's unfocused. I started on Upwork as a VA with design skills, and at least half of my profile was still pointed in that direction. I've made the corrections now--fingers crossed!


I appreciate your time and terrific advice.


All the best!