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Policies for submitting job proposals

Elance policies are intended to ensure that proposals submitted by freelancers are complete and accurate.  Ultimately, proposals should provide sufficient information for the client to evaluate the quality of the submission and select the best freelancer for their need. See below for details regarding Elance policies for submitting job proposals.

What information cannot be included in job proposals?

Freelancer proposals should be complete, accurate, and reflect the freelancer's belief that they can do the jobs with high quality, on time, and at the proposed budget.  Elance policies prohibit freelancers from submitting proposals that:

  • Offer services below the stated Elance minimums.
  • Offer or submit free work such as samples or mockups. 
  • Offer services explicitly for good feedback.
  • Offer generic or boilerplate services.
  • Use unprofessional language and/or harass another Elance member.
  • Offer to receive payment outside of the Elance Billing & Payment System.  Freelancers also agree to notify Elance if prospective clients offer to pay outside of the Elance system.
  • Serve as a placeholder in lieu of an actual proposal.  Note that the freelancer has the option of asking for additional clarifying information in the original proposal with a clearly stated intent to update the proposal upon receipt.
  • Include any freelancer contact information (ex:  Email, Skype, Phone, Website URL, Gtalk).  We also do not allow including links to an external work sample if the freelancers contact information is clearly available from that site (ex:  However, external URLs are allowed and encouraged if the destination does not include the freelancer's contact information.
  • Include attachments (PDF, Word, etc.) which include contact information.
  • Include any work sample to which the profile owner does not have legal rights or ownership.
  • Include any examples or supplementary files that contain prohibited content (ex:  malicious content, adult materials).

In the event that a client receives a proposal that violates any of these policies, Elance expects them to report the violation to Elance Customer Support.

NOTE:  Elance does not discourage clients and freelancers from sharing external contact information after the bid is submitted.  For instance, if a freelancers submits a bid and the client wishes to engage conversations on Skype, the client and freelancer may elect to share contact information through the PMB and engage off the platform.  However, communications off the platform will not be considered in the event of a job dispute, and therefore reduces the protections for both clients and freelancers.

What if the client asks for information that isn't allowed in proposals?

If a client requests information or content that isn't allowed in proposals, please report the job description by using the "Report Violation" link at the bottom left of the detailed job description. Please do not include the requested information in your proposal if it violates Elance policy.

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