This flag helps you answer the following question:
Does this client seem professional / someone I would like to work with?
To find out, look for these two things in the job posting:
Clear requirements (as per the job title, job description, and listed questions)
Twelve reviews, all 5 stars.
Very clear title and requirements for the job. They’ve obviously thought this through and know exactly what they’re looking for, which means you can get to work right away instead of going back and forth with the client trying to figure out what needs to be accomplished.
Six reviews, all 5 stars.
Clear title and very specific requirements, not a job that was posted on a whim.
Less than a 2.5-star average on 11 reviews means this client is most likely a nightmare to work with.
Incredibly vague job title and description.
No reviews yet.
The job title and job description give little information. They don’t specify how many “amazing pieces” they’ll want you to produce or in what timeframe, nor do they specify what topics they want you to write about.
Obviously you can increase your odds by writing a great proposal, but that’s not the only factor at play. You can also get a good feel for the odds via a careful perusal of the job posting.
In particular, you should check:
Number of proposals already submitted by other freelancers
This client has an 88% hire rate and only 5 people have already submitted proposals for the job. If you can submit a quality proposal fast, the client is very likely to see it and you’ll have a solid chance of getting hired.
More than 50 people have already submitted proposals for this job, and the client only hires someone about half of the time (54% Hire Rate), so you might as well be competing with 100 other freelancers.
Also, with so many proposals already submitted, it’s unlikely the client will even see yours at this point.
The geographic location of the client can be an important thing to check for two reasons:
Language and culture barriers.
These things can make it difficult to communicate and collaborate effectively.
For example, say you’re a freelancer in the United States and you’re hired by a company in India to write blog posts. There’s likely to be a long lag in communication because you’re working while they’re sleeping and vice versa. And if their level of English isn’t great, it could be a pain to resolve even the smallest issues.
A vague job posting from Spain with multiple typos. Fairly safe to assume that communication with this client would be muy difícil, especially if you’re in a time zone far far away.
You’ve seen above which pieces of information you should pay attention to when viewing a job posting on Upwork.
Now I want to show you three “false flags.”
These are pieces of information on Upwork job postings that newbies often get excited about (for better or worse) but don’t really mean anything.
Everything listed under “Preferred Qualifications”
The client promising more work in future
Let’s go through them.
Many inexperienced freelancers on Upwork see “Expert Level” in a job posting and immediately back away.
Even if you’re new to your craft, don’t let “Expert Level” jobs intimidate you.
Many clients have no idea what level of freelancer they need. They select “Expert Level” when posting their jobs because they know they’ll scare off a lot of the bottom-feeding freelancers and won’t have to waste so much time wading through their crappy proposals.
Check the 5 flags I listed above. If they are mostly green and you believe you can do a good job for the client, go ahead and submit a proposal.
Everything Listed Under “Preferred Qualifications”
Same story here.
If a job has enough green flags and you believe you can deliver the goods, don’t let a lack of “preferred qualifications” deter you from submitting a proposal.
After all, they are preferred qualifications. Not required.
The Client Promising More Work In Future
Beware of clients who write stuff like this in their job postings:
“There will be a lot more work for the right candidate”
“Long-term collaboration potential”
“If this first job goes well, I will hire you on an on-going basis”
Usually the clients who write stuff like that are trying to justify a really low budget, or there’s something else unsavory about the job that they’re trying to distract you from.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t apply for the job. Just don’t get your hopes up that it will turn into something more.