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How do I submit a proposal on a job?

You can submit proposals on open job posts directly from the Job Post page. Click the job title from Search results, your Opportunities page or from your email to visit the Job Post page. From this page, complete your proposal including costs, proposed terms and more. For more details on how to submit your proposal, see the links below.

What are the requirements for submitting a proposal?


Freelancers are required to spend Connects in order to submit proposals for open jobs. Connects act like virtual tokens for submitting proposals and the number of Connects required to submit a proposal varies depending on the nature and budget of the job. Click here to learn more about Connects and how they work.

Note: Connects are not required to submit a proposal if you are invited by a Client to bid or if you are bidding on a Repeat Job.


Freelancers can only submit proposals for jobs within the Categories they have subscribed to. For example, if you have subscribed to the Writing & Translation Category as part of your membership, you cannot place bids for IT & Programming jobs. If you want to submit proposals for jobs in more than one Category, click here to find out how to upgrade your membership for more access.

Client Requirements/Documentation

You should only submit proposals for which you are qualified for and for which you have appropriate documentation, if required. For example, some Clients request specific skills as written in the job post. Or, Clients may require their U.S.freelancers to have W9 information as part of their Elance account. Make sure you have the proper skill set and documentation as part of your Elance profile before attempting to submit a proposal.

How do I submit a proposal on a job?

To submit a proposal for a job, please log into Elance and follow the steps below:

  • Click on the job name to learn about the project including the job description, Client requirements, start date, budget, job type (Fixed or Hourly) and more. Each job post page will also include information about the Client via the Client activity icon, seen below. The green circles indicate how much the Client has spent on Elance as well as payment readiness status.  After evaluating the job, Client information and skills required you can submit a proposal.
  • In the top field to the right, describe your relevant experience and qualifications for the project. Be as specific as possible, include attachments or Portfolio samples. Note that Proposal samples may only be added if you are subscribed to one of our Premium Memberships.  Next, detail your unique approach to the job. Expand the form to make it easier for writing and viewing by clicking the pop-out icon (pop_out.png). You can enter up to 4000 characters in each field, and by clicking Use Formatting can benefit from several rich text formatting options to make your proposal stand out even more.  If you are a company you can choose to submit a company proposal, or you can submit Individual Members of your Team. Just be sure to choose the appropriate radio button.


Note: Pasting in rich text documents from Microsoft Word or other word processing programs or adding your own HTML to the form may cause errors.  If pasting from another document, use a plain text editor to create the text.  If you have additional problems with pasting a description, click Remove Formatting and then paste the text.

  • If a Fixed Price Job, you have the option to set proposed Terms & Milestones for the job.  If the Client awards the job to you, they will have the option to accept these Terms or to propose changes to the Terms.  Once awarded you will have to confirm the Terms & Milestones to finalize the job and enter Working status.


  • In the Cost & Timing section indicate your cost and the estimated delivery date. There is a calculator here that will help you determine your best proposal value for both hourly and fixed price jobs. The Elance fees are deducted from the total bid amount, so, for example if you wanted to earn $100 after the Elance fees you would have to bid $109.59.


  •  If you need clarification on the job details before completing your proposal, you may submit a bid without a price by selecting the Will Submit Amount Later box. You will be able to submit an amount later or the Client can propose Terms and award the job. You will have the option to accept, revise or decline the Terms proposed by the Client.
  • If you would like a Sponsored Placement for your proposal, check the box labeled "Place mine at the top of the list...." Your proposal will be highlighted and appear at the top of the Client's proposal list. Only 3 sponsored placements are available per job (on a first-come, first-served basis). To read more about Connects costs, click here.
  • Click Preview to proceed.
  • Review your proposal, then click Submit Proposal.

After submitting your proposal, you can view the job on your My Elance page, by filtering on the status Hiring Open. This will show all the jobs for which you have submitted proposals, where the bidding period is still open.

When submitting a proposal, do not forget to include:

  • Your estimated cost for the job (if your proposal is chosen, you will always be able to finalize the cost estimate during the Terms negotiation).

  • Your understanding of the requirements.

  • Your proposed approach to the jobs (deliverables and timeframes).

  • Your relevant experience and skills.

  • Any references you may have from customers prior to joining Elance.

  • You may also attach files to your proposal.

Freelancers have the option to submit a proposal with “Sponsored Placement.” A Sponsored proposal is highlighted and placed at one of three top spots on the Client's proposal list when reviewing proposals.

Sponsoring your proposals ensures that your proposal gets extra attention and signals to the prospective Client your keen interest in the job posted.

Only three proposals with sponsored placements are available per job posting, on a first-come, first-served basis. Submitting a proposal with sponsored placement requires additional Connects as noted here.

How do I write a great proposal?

A well-written proposal is one of the most important factors in winning jobs on Elance. Think of your proposal as you would an interview, in which you aim to show Clients why you are the best Freelancer for the job.

Read our Help Article here for specific tips and best practices that have been shared by Clients and Freelancers about what stands out most for them and helps them succeed.

How do I add Portfolio samples to my proposal? 

If you are subscribed to a Premium Membership plan (Individual, Small Company or Large Company, will be able to include Portfolio samples directly into job proposals, allowing Clients to see the best and most work you have to offer. If you are subscribed to a Premium Membership, you will see the option to Select Portfolio Samples when preparing a proposal for any open job. Clients will then see these Featured Samples on the job post page when reviewing proposals.

How do I edit or withdraw a proposal?

After you've submitted a proposal for a job, you may want to edit or withdraw your bid. To do so, follow the steps below:

From your My Elance page, click on the job name for which you'd like to edit/withdraw your proposal.

  1. In the top right corner under Status, select Update or Withdraw.

  2. If you are making edits, modify your proposal description and/or Cost & Timing and follow the steps outlined earlier for submitting your updated proposal.  If you are withdrawing your proposal, select your reason for withdrawing from the menu options provided, then submit a message to the Client explaining your decision.When you are finished, click Withdraw Proposal.

  3. A notification will be sent to the Client, advising them of changes to your proposal.

Note:  Once you withdraw a proposal from a job, you cannot re-submit a proposal.

What policies are there for submitting proposals?

All proposals must comply with Elance policies. Proposals will be removed from the site if they are found to violate policies and your Membership may be suspended or terminated.  Policies for submitting job proposals are outlined in detail here.


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