I work from home as a Lead CSR and I love my job. I love sharing stories hoping it will help or motivate other people.
When you finally find the project you want on Upwork but you see that there are 50+ proposals, you may think that you will need a lot of luck to get shortlisted. Yes, you need some luck, but I have some tips that I think might work for you as well.
Read the Whole Job Post
It is important to read it through, because:
- There might be a hidden keyword that you need to mention in your proposal letter.
- There might be a hidden question that needs an answer, or a task that needs to be done, in order for the client to consider your application.
- You need to find out if you are a good fit for the job. You need to be honest about whether you can meet their expectations. You don't want a disappointed client, since they may leave a bad mark on your Upwork profile.
Check Feedback, If the Client's Name Is Mentioned
If they mention the client's name, use it to address him or her on your letter. If the letter is addressed to the right person, there's more chance that he or she will look into it. You may see two or more names in there (see sample photo), so it's up to you if you would like to include a name or would like to assume which one is making the short list.
Also, if you check feedback, you can see if the client has issues you want to avoid. You may also see how much they pay other freelancers that have the same task (so you can enter the right bid).
Writing Your Proposal Letter
I don't have any template. I just want to type my proposal every time I apply, to make it personal. Clients will know if it's a template letter or a personalised one. They usually ignore a proposal letter from a template.
When writing your proposal letter, use "Hi," not "Dear," and don't use "sir" or "ma'am." Let's not be too formal when writing a proposal letter on Upwork.
Make it short. Who wants to read a long letter from someone they don't know? Go straight to the point and highlight skills that are relevant to the client's job post.
Attach File(s) to Your Upwork Proposal
- Attach a portfolio that is relevant to the job post. For example, if they are looking for someone with ZenDesk experience, attach an article that you've created via ZenDesk if you have one.
- Attach your resume. We want to keep the proposal letter short, although creative and strong. If you don't want the client to miss any of your skills, then invite him or her to check on your attached resume.
- Attach an audio sample, especially if you are applying to do phone support, cold calling, telemarketing, or anything that involves speaking. This will help the client decide. Let them hear your voice to make sure you don't have a thick accent, you are understandable, and you have an upbeat tone. You may try Vocaroo.com to make a sample.
I'm not saying to attach all these three. Any of these would work and will make your proposal letter stronger than others.
Here's a Must-Read Article: 7 Upwork Proposal Mistakes
- 7 Upwork Proposal Mistakes With REAL Proposal Examples
You won't see fluff about spelling errors here. A 6-figure Upworker reveals the top proposal killers: "Upside-down" proposals, too much EXPERIENCE, and more.
Getting shortlisted is important; it's the way you get a chance to prove you can do the project. If you are great at interviews but can't create an effective proposal or cover letter, then you'll have a hard time getting a contract on UpWork. You need to stand out from all those proposals. Once you get to the list, then go prepare for the interview.
Just remember, believe in your skills. As long as you are honest, you'll get the success you want.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2017 Arleen Roja
Arleen Roja (author) from Philippines on July 14, 2017:
Great to know that Claire! Glad it could help! Thanks and I wish you all the best!
clairebranigin on July 14, 2017:
Thanks for the tips, Arleen! I plan to start searching for jobs on UpWork once I have a bit more online writing experience, and this article definitely gave me some ideas for how to set myself apart from other freelance writers once I begin.