9 Upwork Proposal Mistakes & Job Winning Tips

Every freelancer on Upwork wants to get more and more jobs. To get more and more jobs, freelancers must apply for jobs by sending proposals on Upwork. But many freelancers, especially the new ones, need to correct their writing Upwork proposal Mistakes. 

The Client receives dozens of proposals for each job. So, the clients do not shortlist those freelancers whose proposals have mistakes because Clients on Upwork are always very sensitive when selecting freelancers for the job. I will explain all the common mistakes freelancers make while writing and sending proposals.

After this article, you will come to know what are the common Upwork proposal mistakes. And how do we prevent these mistakes in writing proposals? 

Mistakes in Writing Upwork Proposals

Following are the common mistakes in writing Upwork proposals:

1. Not Applying to the Right Job

Before writing the proposals, you should find the right job. After finding the right job, you should write the Proposal according to the nature of the job.

Sometimes, freelancers panic because of not getting any job. Then, some of these panic freelancers start applying for all other jobs, too, which are outside the skill and interest of the freelancer. Even if the freelancer gets a job unrelated to his skill, it would not be possible for that freelancer to complete the job according to the Client’s requirements. It will affect your profile if the freelancer fails to complete the job according to the Client’s requirements. Because a client can leave a negative comment on your profile, it will impact other clients, too. It’s a common mistake on Upwork while sending proposals.

So, you should apply only for the job according to your freelance skills. Most importantly, you should be sure to complete that job according to the Client’s requirements.

2. Not Reviewing the Job Requirements and Specifications

Sometimes, freelancers try to apply for the job in a hurry, and even they don’t read the requirements and specifications related to the job. So, to prevent this Upwork proposal mistake, you should carefully read the job specifications and requirements before applying. You should examine whether you are suitable for the job or not. If you are suitable for this Upwork job, you should apply. If you are not suitable for the specified job, you should not apply for that job and should find a job according to your interest.

Most clients ask some questions and want answers to those questions in the requirement and specification portion. So, you need to read the requirement and the specification portion to answer the Client’s questions in the Proposal. If you do not read the requirements and specification portion, there are many chances that you will not be shortlisted for the job.

Not Reviewing the Job Requirements and Specifications

So, it’s necessary to read the requirements and the specifications carefully before applying for the job. 

3. Copy and Paste the Cover Letter for Upwork Job

As the competition on Upwork is increasing daily, many freelancers are applying for the job. The Client selects the freelancers based on the cover letter, so you should write the cover letter carefully. Some freelancers write a general cover letter, and they use that cover letter for each job, but something else is needed. 

You should write your cover letter for each job separately based on the job requirement because the Client needs to know you and your skill level. The only basis of your selection is how you present yourself in front of the Client. So, write a cover letter carefully by knowing all the customer’s requirements. 

4. Not Keeping the Proposal Short and Attractive

When you write the Proposal, you should keep your Proposal short and attractive. Because if you write a too-long proposal and include unnecessary things, it will affect you. Because the Client will not read all the unnecessary things and may leave your Proposal after a few minutes and move to the next Proposal. So, your Proposal should not be dull and extra long. But your Proposal should be short and attractive and will explain all that the Client wants to see. 

Not Keeping the Proposal Short and Attractive

Not Sending Samples of Previous Work 

Many clients ask for samples when they review your Proposal. Especially if you are a new freelancer, the Client can surely ask you for samples of your recent work. So, you should always attach samples of your recent work with a proposal while sending. If you are new and have no recent work, then you should prepare some samples for your Client. Clients want to see your skill level from your samples, so you should write samples carefully. Sample samples will enable the Client to trust and consider you for the task. 

5. You can’t Charge more than the Client’s Budget

Most new freelancers think that they should charge lower fees for getting a job, but this strategy is only sometimes true. Because if you try to charge much less than the Client’s budget, then the Client can think that you have no such technical knowledge. When you show the Client that you are available at any cost, this can also create negative effects for the Client. So, you should first check the average hourly rate of the Client, and then you should charge based on the Client’s hourly rate. For new clients where the average hourly rate is not shown, you can charge on the basis of the market value of that service.

If the Client’s budget is 10$, you can demand between $ 8 and $ 12. But if you demand 20$, the Client will not even read your cover letter, which is also an Upwork proposal mistake. So, you should not charge too low, nor should you charge too much, but you should charge according to the customer’s requirements. 

6. New Client with no Feedback and Unverified Payment Method

Some new freelancers apply for the job on Upwork without verifying the Client. As some new freelancers need to learn how to verify the Client, some freelancers become panicked about not getting the job, and they are applying for the job continuously, irrespective of the verified payment method. 

But you should only apply for the job in which the Client has positive feedback and the Client’s payment method is verified. Before applying for the job, you should verify the payment method. 

7. Delay in Responding to the Client

The delay in responding to clients is also a major mistake on Upwork. You should be active on Upwork because sometimes clients are in a hurry, and they want to interview as soon as possible. So, you should always be prepared to respond to the Client. Because many freelancers are ready for a job, you should not lose the chance of getting a job. You should be available all the time for the Client. 

8. Excessive Confidence

Clients can also check whether a freelancer has a good record, like a 100% job success rate, a rating of 5 out of 5 stars, a good portfolio, a work history, and positive feedback from previous clients. But only your portfolio is not enough. So, overconfidence is also one of the Upwork proposal mistakes. The Client will see your cover letter first. So, you should write a cover letter in which you should explain yourself effectively and don’t use words that show overconfidence. You should write an effective proposal that will force the Client to shortlist and give a job to you. 

9. Begging for a Job 

Many freelancers try to beg their clients to give them the job. So, there are much better ways to get a job than this one. If you are a client and someone begs you for a job, then will you give him a job on the basis of begging? The answer is No. Because you need quality work, you will give the job to a qualified freelancer with enough knowledge of his field. 

So, you should not beg for the job. But you should try to improve your presentation and your proposal writing because you will be selected only based on merit instead of begging. 


In conclusion, Writing an effective Upwork Proposal is crucial to leave the first impression on clients. It increases your chance of winning a project on Upwork. Pay close attention to the project details and make sure your Proposal directly addresses the Client’s needs. To write a compelling Proposal, you must avoid all the Upwork Proposal mistakes. It will separate you from the competition, increasing your chance of getting hired.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

You need to read the Job post nicely and research the competition before writing a proposal on Upwork. While writing, you must prove why clients hire you from dozens of freelancers.

Your Upwork Proposal length should be between 100 to 150. Because clients receive dozens of proposals, he is not just reading your Proposal. So, keep it short and concise to grab the attention of clients.

No, you can’t edit submitted proposals that have already been sent. However, you can withdraw the contract and create a new one.