7 Surprising Reasons You Arent Getting Quotes

I remember a job interview I went to once that really frustrated me. I found the job posting online, applied for the job by sending a cover letter, my resume and my portfolio, received a call back and drove across the city for the interview.

The interview went really well and I had a great feeling about my prospects. And then, one of the final questions was asked of me completely killed the interview.

“What would you rate your proficiency with 3D Studio Max?” I had to be honest and tell the guy that I had no proficiency in it and gave him the spiel that I was “certainly willing to learn”. In either case, I knew I was instantly less of a match compared to graphic designers that knew how to work with 3D. The frustrating part? Nowhere in the job posting was 3D Studio Max among the list of software knowledge needed.

Both the employer and I wasted our time even having me come in due to a technicality within their job posting. I can imagine many other applicants had the same experience.

Job postings on Guru.com can fall victim to this same dilemma. Seemingly small oversights in your job posting can cause you to waste time and to even lose out on quotes from gurus who may be a perfect fit. Here’s a list of seven ways you can lose out on your job posting without even knowing it.

1. Your Job Title is Unclear

For example, if you post a job titled “Designer”, you’re losing the opportunity to quickly narrow down your audience. There are many kinds of designers on our marketplace. Being a bit more specific with your job title will pique the interest of people who resonate with the task at hand. A little bit of specificity helps gurus quickly narrow down their job searching and gives you more accurate quotes.

2. Your Job Title is Too Specific

There are certain details that can be confusing to include in a title and can limit the amount of quotes you receive. Make sure you keep the minute details relegated to your job description so your job posting. Industry jargon can be helpful, but a developer can probably help you regardless of your field. Remember; the more specific your job posting, the narrower the matches will be. You want to find a happy medium between both.

3. Your Job’s Description Doesn’t Accurately Explain What You Need

Your job description is where you should be very specific with what you need to have done. Without divulging any sensitive information, you should break down the exact requirements. It especially helps if you create an outline of the work that needs to be completed. This will allow freelancers to roughly estimate the time requirements and provide you with an accurate estimated cost. Leaving out details could impact a guru’s quote and cost you time while you find someone else.

4. You’re Not Cultivating a Team of Solid Gurus

Any time you hire someone, they’ll be added to your “My Gurus” list. It’s extremely valuable to establish relationships and rapport with gurus you’ve had good experiences with. Rather than look for the cheapest guru on our platform, it might actually save you money and time (and time is money!) down the road if you pick someone that you feel connected to. If you have a list of gurus already, you can choose “No Thanks, I want to rehire a guru.” When posting a job to immediately hire someone you’ve already worked with. Not only does this allow you to hire someone you already know, it skips the process of them needing to submit a quote.

5. You Defer to “Any Category” Because You Don’t Want to Pick a Category

An integral step of posting a job is choosing which category your job posting should reside in. While we have a catch-all category titled “Any Category”, it can sometimes broaden your search by too much. Finding the right category will give your job the most accurate exposure, help gurus find your job posting and help our system match your job automatically to the right gurus. “Any Category” is great for those really unique jobs that can’t really find a home anywhere else. But chances are, your job can be appropriately placed in a specific category.

6. You’re Using Too Many Key Words, Not Enough Key Words or You’re Misspelling Them

The “essential keywords” portion of posting a job is part of what we use to rank and recommend gurus who have submitted a quote to your job. We compare the keywords you’ve provided with keywords that gurus have provided within their profiles. The more key words you add, the wider net you’re casting for recommendations. Just like your title, make sure you find that happy middle ground between specificity and generality. Most importantly, make sure you’re spelling keywords correctly or you might miss out on important matches.

7. You’ve Set a Vague Budget

This is always a touchy subject but it’s worth talking about. Freelance work is hard and extremely competitive. Furthermore, gurus have a finite amount of bids they can spend. When it comes down to it, being honest and transparent about your budget will eliminate a lot of mismatches based on budgetary disagreements. The more time you take to consider your budget and, most importantly, the more upfront you are, the easier it will be to hire the right person.

Bonus tip:

If you’re new to the platform or you’re very serious about hiring someone quickly, I’d recommend featuring your job. Featuring a job costs $29.95 and it makes your job posting stand out from the others. It also tells prospective gurus that you’ve already made a serious investment toward hiring for your job. A serious investment will net you serious inquiries.

Don’t fall victim to any of these common problems. The overreaching theme is to avoid extremes in either direction. Be specific enough to properly set expectations but be open and honest enough to ensure you get enough competition from prospective gurus. The more time you spend on this, the easier it will be to hire a solid guru that you get along with and has skills that meet or exceed what you need.

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  1. Tara

    This article is extremely accurate. In the years I’ve been on and off Guru, these points have been significant obsticles. If someone posting a project isn’t clear themselves about what is needed, this usually leads to a negatve outcome, with the poster (often in my experience) not even selecting anyone at all to work on thier project.

  2. Ben

    Good points. I feel that #7 perhaps needs some expanding though. Sometimes the budget is very clear but completely unrealistic. Over the years I’ve seen too many posting for things along the line of ‘Design and build a space shuttle’ for <$250.
    The budget set needs to consider the amount of time that goes into something and what a professional would charge for this work. If the equivalent hourly rate is very low, likely only non-professionals will apply and anyone that feels that their time is worth more will recognize that it is unlikely they will get the job if they ask for a cost that is 10x more than what the stated budget is… or build into the proposal ways to then force an extension by only providing the minimum required to satisfy the initial request but not the intent of the request.

  3. Darrel

    I agree with Ben about the expectation of employers. Sometimes I feel the potential employers do not understand the true cost of doing something. Plus, the gurus sometimes undervalue their services. If you go to a lawyer, you will expect to pay $150+ per hour; accountant, almost as much; and other professionals at high rates. Are we not all professionals? I suspect many of the gurus have master’s and Ph.D.’s and have spent a considerable time in the industry. I understand about markets, but at some point we need to have a larger discussion about value and value-added. Just a few thoughts.

  4. Anthonyk747

    Great article! I have a Bonus, Bonus Tip, though: Offer to secure a freelancer’s investment of time and cost of providing a Quote for your job, by specifically stating that you’re willing to discuss the parameters and/or pay a set amount of money in SafePay – this will provide more security and leniency towards the founding of an excellent relationship with a quality Freelancer!

    Also, @Ben and @Darrel, I agree with this, as well, but in order to alleviate this, I’ve often seen some quality Employers offer to “negotiate” the pricing or to simply state: “I’m unclear as to what level of pricing is average for this field. So, if you could be so kind as to provide some information on this to me, then that would be great. :)” This offers an additional layer of security towards Freelancers that may decide to spend their very expensive and competitive Bid on placing a Quote on your Job Posting!

    Every layer of security, kindness, openness, without compromising too much on your own desires/needs is a perfect balance towards hiring potentially great Freelancers, while, simultaneously, also spreading reputation without any feedback required!

    • Anna

      Great point, Anthony! Adding funds to SafePay up-front goes a long way in establishing trust between you and your freelancer. Your money remains secure until the work is completed to your satisfaction, and your freelancer can work confidently, knowing they will be paid for a job well done.

  5. Victoria

    I’ve been off and on Guru for about 13 years and have found great clients here that are still with me 13 years later (thank you, Guru, you’ve been an awesome resource)! I get on here about once a month to apply for jobs but the quality of job posts have deteriorated over the years…vague, fraught with misspellings and bad grammar, many posters (too many) expecting quite a lot work for very little compensation or jobs being far too detailed and rambling to the point I don’t even want to finish reading the post. Freelancers, like everyone else, are on time crunches. Keep it short and sweet so we can open up the dialogue. Details can be discussed once contact is made. And YES, best of all, please be clear on your budget! While most job posts on this site now fall under the $250 budget (which was NOT the case 13 years ago), I don’t mind doing turn and burn jobs for a lower price. But if you want a logo designed for $10, reality check! Professionally designed media that speaks volumes about your company and the impression you’re making is worth the investment. Elevate your ad budget and elevate your profits…it goes hand in hand.

  6. Puja

    Hello All,

    I am new to Guru.com and really interested in freelancing work but there are certain things I have no understanding about..like say if the employer is willing to offer $10 per job and when I apply my quote, I am asked to put the estimated cost of at least $25.. I do not understand what does that mean and how much do I quote to the employer?


  7. Colin

    Point 4 : “When posting a job to immediately hire someone you’ve already worked with.” IMO that needs to be rephrased or a comma added prior to the sentence.

    Point 5 “Any Category”. I’ve never been on the hiring side, but is it not possible to choose more than one category? If it is, I’d remove “Any Category”, and analyze the previous entries under “Any Category” and make sure they have a place (or places) on the list.

    Just my $0.02. (Of course with the exchange rate between the US and SA, that’s a significant amount of money here…:) )

  8. Colin

    One more comment…guru.com articles in general continually advise potential employers not to accept the cheapest quote. For overseas freelancers your premium service is extremely expensive, and not being able to ask questions to clarify an unclear post means I’ve passed up many potential opportunities. Just being able to ask questions would be a huge help. It’s a bit of a Catch-22 for new freelancers. I understand your income comes from the clients, but it’s the freelancers who do the work you sell. Giving the new guys a helping hand would increase your skill pool and therefore your potential market. Again, IMHO. (Otherwise great article).

  9. Felica

    Is there possible way you can post a job to only freelancer from united state because lately when i post a job it was filled with other countries while i wanted united state freelance to do the job …thank you

    • Anna Bassham

      Yes, you can. When posting a job, under “Want to limit this job to a specific location?” choose Country and then United States.


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