A project proposal is a statement you write with one goal in mind: to convince an Employer that you are the right person for the job. When you bid on a project, you are thrust into a highly competitive process, competing against other freelancers with similar skills. Unless you make your strengths and experience shine in your proposal, you could miss out on a great opportunity.
Fortunately one of our very own Guru.com freelancers has provided us with some fantastic proposal writing tips. Jennifer Reinoehl is a freelance author who has completed 20 projects on Guru.com in the last three months. So it is fair to say that she knows a few things about writing winning proposals! Follow her tips below to ensure that your proposal gets noticed.
Where to Start?
Writing a winning project proposal begins with you successfully matching your talents, interests, and skills to a project. Step one is to read carefully through the project and make sure you fully understand it before you bid. If you use the proposal templates (which I recommend) make sure you personalize your proposal for each job.
Make a Strong Entrance
The top two lines of your project proposal are your “selling” lines. When the employer gets your proposal, these are the lines that will make him or her decide to keep reading your proposal or skip it. If the employer requires a specific response to show that you read the entire project, put it on top. Do not try to creatively embed your response in a sentence. Chances are good that, if the employer does not see it immediately, he or she will not even read the rest of your proposal.
Sell Your Specific Strengths
What is your most marketable trait? Include it underneath any required responses. This trait may vary depending on the project. For example, if you are applying for a job that is academic, your degree will be the first thing you highlight. On the other hand, if the job requires a specific skill set, you want to focus on your experience. On rare occasions, such as when the employer needs a job finished within 24-hours, you can put something such as a time estimate near the top.
What other qualities do you have that make you a good fit for the job? Outline them in one paragraph if possible.
Answer Employer Questions
Next, be sure you answer any questions the employer might have asked. Sometimes these questions can be answered throughout your text (even at the top); other times you can just set them in their own paragraph.
After you have explained why you would be the best person to complete the project, then it is time to provide time and cost estimates. Be accurate or explain why you are unable to give a specific quote. Most employers do not like placeholder bids, so ask questions before bidding.
Don’t Forget Your Manners!
Finally, thank the employer for reading your proposal Make an impression, so that even if you are not chosen for that particular project, the employer might think of you for future projects. If you are awarded the project, you will be starting off on the right foot!
More Tips on Writing a Winning Proposal:
- Only rarely should your proposal grow to be bigger than the box in which you type it. Try to keep it about that size, or in some cases less, without sacrificing quality.
- Use your templates. Yes, you need to make individualized proposals. However, templates save time, and they prevent editing mistakes that can cause you to be overlooked for the job. Regardless of whether you filled in a template or wrote from scratch, you should always write in complete sentences and reread a proposal for errors before you post it.
- Winning proposals are backed by winning profiles, and winning profiles alone can get you jobs.
- Winning proposals have work samples attached even if you have them posted on your profile. If you cannot attach a sample, point employers to your profile and put samples there.
- Finally, premium proposals are best used to draw attention to your bid on jobs that fit your profile perfectly or jobs where you are competing against many other freelancers. Of course you want every job to which you apply, but using premium proposals all the time can drain your bids.
About The Author
Jennifer Reinoehl is a jack-of-all-trades freelance author on Guru.com. Non-fiction and postmodern fiction are her favorite genres of freelance writing. When she is not writing, she can be found checking out stacks of books at the local libraries or contributing valuable advice and answers to the Guru Answers community. Jennifer holds both a degree in Biology and a degree in Theatre. In college, she performed biomedical research on a variety of topics, including the medicinal uses of insects. She has traveled across the United States, visited Canada, the Bahamas, and England, and lived in France. In her spare time, Jennifer volunteers with organizations that teach children and improve their self-confidence.