Shortlisting on Upwork, What Does Shortlist Mean on Upwork?

Shortlisting on Upwork means selecting a few candidates from many applicants. After shortlisting, these candidates are further interviewed for the final selection. 

So, this article will explain in detail about shortlisting means on Upwork, how freelancers can increase their chances of being shortlisted, the factors affecting the shortlisting process, and the benefits of being shortlisted on Upwork.

So, to better understand shortlisting on Upwork, read this article until the end. After reading this article, you will understand different tactics through which you can shortlist your client. After shortlisting, it depends on how you will convince your client of the final selection.

How do Clients See Proposals on Upwork?

When freelancers submit bids for jobs on Upwork, their proposals land in the Proposal Review tab of the active job post.

Following is the information that is showing related to freelancers.

The above preview will also contain the first line of the Freelancer’s cover letter.

The following factors affect the order by showing in the Client Inbox.

  • Whether or not the proposal was boosted
  • At what time the proposal was received
  • Whether or not the Upwork algorithm deems a specific freelancer to be the Best Match

Many people ask whether the boosted proposal becomes successful in finding the client or if the boosted proposal has no effect.

Until now, Upwork hasn’t released any data related to the effect of boosted proposals. However, I observed that many clients were inspired by something other than boosted proposals. They only select the freelancers on merit instead of their use of Connects.

What is meant to Shortlist?

Why does a client need to shortlist proposals?

Clients receive a few proposals for high-niche and complex jobs more often; there is no need to shortlist those jobs.

But mostly, freelancers send dozens of proposals in a single job post in popular fields like Graphic designing, Web development, content writing, etc. For this, clients need to shortlist the candidates.

Shortlisting on Upwork means Narrowing down the long list of potential freelancers who are best fit for the target project.

There are two ways to shortlist candidates on Upwork

  • On the proposal review tab, you can click on thumb up icon
  • By Clicking on the shortlist button while reviewing an individual proposal

After shortlisting, the candidates go to the special “Shortlisted” tab under the proposal review.

Tips for Freelancers Shortlisting on Upwork

Here we will discuss some factors that clients look at while shortlisting the Freelancer:

  • The client would like to see your complete profile and relevant work experience.
  • Your profile must be 100% complete with a well-written profile overview. Remember to put a professional profile picture and relevant work experience.
  • Prepare your proposal according to the client’s needs. Elaborate on your expertise and previous work examples of how you can help clients.
  • The client is looking for a professional who delivers high-quality content. Attach a customized cover letter with your proposal to let the client know you are the best fit for the job.
  • Ensure your cover letter elaborates on the right skills and expertise related to the job.
  • Build a strong portfolio and work sample that explains your skills and experience. Ensure that your portfolio showcases your best task and is relevant to the project you are applying for.

Tips for Clients Shortlisting on Upwork

  • Review each candidate’s profile and work samples to assess their skills.
  • Look for candidates who have worked on similar projects and have the necessary skills to complete your project successfully.
  • Look for candidates with excellent communication skills who can clearly understand your project requirements.
  • Please read the feedback left by previous clients to get an idea of the Freelancer’s work ethic, communication skills, and the quality of their work.
  • Make sure the Freelancer has the availability to take on your project. Check their work history to see if they have a history of delivering projects on time.
  • Search for candidates who have submitted a detailed and relevant proposal. A good proposal should demonstrate the Freelancer’s understanding of your project requirements.
  • Select candidates who have a complete and up-to-date Upwork profile. A complete profile shows that the Freelancer is serious about your work.
  • Consider conducting interviews with shortlisted candidates to assess their skills experience and communication skills. This will help you not fit your project.

Benefits of Shortlisting Freelancers on Upwork

1. Time-Saving

Upwork provides clients with a large pool of talented freelancers. Shortlisting candidates allows clients to save time and focus on the most promising candidates who meet job requirements.

2. Improved Quality of Work

By shortlisting the potential Freelancer, clients can ensure they work with highly skilled and experienced freelancers.

3. Increased Productivity

Freelancers can help clients complete tasks faster and more efficiently, allowing them to focus on growing their business.

4. Cost Effective

The client can select the rates of his own choice. Clients can compare rates and select a freelancer who offers the best value for their budget.

5. Maintaining the best understanding

clients of work with freelancers who understand their requirements and can communicate effectively. 

Do You want to learn more details about Upwork? Then you must go through the below link to better understand Upwork.

How you can make money on Upwork?


In conclusion, shortlisting on Upwork facilitates both freelancers and clients by finding the best match for the project. For freelancers, the shortlist feature streamlines the hiring process. It allows clients to narrow down the pool of candidates to the most qualified ones. It saves time by choosing the right Freelancer who best fits the job. On the other hand, it creates a higher chance of hiring freelancers by increasing their visibility.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Review the proposal and select the Freelancer best fit for your project.

You can get a job on Upwork by following the below steps.

  • Be active
  • Improve your proposal
  • Focus on the client
  • Look professional
  • Apply only for that job which you consider the best suit you
  • Provide excellent results
  • Communicate effectively

What are the factors that contribute to shortlisting? Here are some key points that can contribute to shortlisting.

The thing that Upwork clients are looking for is high-quality talent and professionals who know how to perform the job.