DIY tools laying on a table

You put out a call for proposals…and so far have received little more than the frustrating sound of silence. Was it something you said—or didn’t say? Here are five ways to help troubleshoot your neglected job post, so it can be easier for freelancers to find and harder to overlook.

1. Is the title of your job post optimized for search?

Being creative when naming your project might seem like a great way to grab people’s attention, but getting too clever can actually make it almost invisible.

According to LinkedIn, 64 percent of people won’t apply for a job if they don’t understand the title. The same applies to your project title. More importantly, it might make it harder to find your post in search. Freelancers typically rely on search to discover new opportunities, so your title and description should be optimized for discovery.

How can you optimize your post? Put yourself into the mind of a freelancer and consider the following suggestions:

  • Give your job post a name that describes (briefly) what you’re looking for. For example: “Banners Needed – Looking for Modern Look, 100% CSS Based” or “Need Help Developing a PowerPoint Presentation for a Speaking Engagement”.
  • Use keywords or skills in the name and description. Referencing specific skills, such as “CSS” or “PowerPoint” is one way to catch someone’s eye. If you were the ideal freelancer for your project, what search terms would you use?
  • See how similar projects are presented. Are there industry-specific terms, phrases, or acronyms that might be helpful to include? You’ll find sample project descriptions for some of the most popular skills on Upwork in our Hiring Guides.

2. Did you include all the important details?

It’s hard to capture someone’s interest with a vague project description—especially if you’ve left out critical details. Check your job post for key information, such as:

  • A description of the project
  • Expected deliverables
  • Expertise needed
  • Level of expertise you’re looking for
  • Your timeline
  • Project Goals
  • Any specific application instructions

Job posts don’t need to be complicated—in fact, short and simple may be all that’s needed if it covers all the information a freelancer will need to put together a solid proposal. Learn more about what the best freelancers look for in a job post

3. Is the proposal process confusing or unnecessarily complicated?

When you need to choose and interview freelancers from a distance, it can be tempting to ask for a lot of information to help make your shortlist. However, the initial proposal isn’t the right time to try to do a deep dive into every freelancer’s entire history.

Asking for too many different pieces of information, for example, can make the whole process seem confusing or cumbersome. Plus, if you do get a lot of interest, reviewing a stack of in-depth information could take up a lot of your time.

Instead, keep the initial submission process as simple as possible: Turn to other sources of information, such as a freelancer’s profile, portfolio, and feedback from past clients. Once you have a shortlist of potential freelancers to work with, you can take a closer look at their skills and experience.

4. Are there careless mistakes in your job post?

Spelling and grammatical mistakes don’t make a freelancer look particularly professional, and they won’t reflect well on you, either. Before you publish your blog post, ask someone else to give it a final review. Watch out for things such as:

  • Spelling errors or typos
  • Mistakes in capitalization
  • Sentences that don’t make sense

If you published your job post and missed something, that’s OK—it happens. Just correct it as soon as you can.

5. Would you want to work with you?

Give your business’s branding a critical eye. Just how fantastic are your own client details? Alongside a job post on Upwork, freelancers may see details such as:

  • Whether you have a verified payment method
  • Feedback from freelancers you’ve previously worked with on Upwork
  • Your history on the Upwork site

Freelancers are bound to do their own research and consider not just your call for proposals but also your own history on Upwork. If that history is sparse or doesn’t reflect well on you, take steps to improve that first impression.

You can also generate interest and proactively invite freelancers to submit proposals to your project.