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Recently I have created a personal website to help me in my effort to find more clients. The website already appears to attract clients (I have been contacted once through the contact form), but something odd is happening with it on Upwork. Since I started including a link to it in my cover letters, I'm getting fewer responses. That's not subjective - after about two weeks I have checked my stats on Upwork, and the stats for being viewed and interviewed have dropped severely. I don't think I have changed anything in my approach except the addition of an online resume, so I think it may be the cause.

Here's a typical cover letter:

Hello,

I can help you with your app. I have over 4 years of programming experience. Most of it is web development experience, with PHP, MySQL and JavaScript.

In my work, I always put the business interests at heart. The work I produce is of high quality, I take special care to minimize the number of bugs and polish the product to perfection. And I'm always trying to be responsive and cooperative and to write code that the others will find easy to maintain.

You can find my expanded resume at (link redacted)

If you are interested, let's have an interview, e.g. on Skype. I'd be happy to work with you.

The only thing that is different from my usual cover letters is the addition of a line with the link. So, could it be that the link to an online resume discourages the client? Why could it be so?

(Judging by an answer in the Upwork community, including a link in such a way is permitted.)

  • You can check your stats for how many people have viewed your profile? – user45623 Feb 18 '16 at 1:48
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You aren't allowed to include links to external sites that include a way to contact you in your profile; Elance also wouldn't let you include such links in your cover letter/proposal, but I can't find a clear answer on whether Upwork allows them. Thoughts:

  1. You may be scaring off clients who think you are violating the rules by including contact information or a link to your external portfolio

  2. It may be that your portfolio is not very strong and is scaring clients away

  3. The sample cover letter you have included in your question is sort of bland; if that's what you're sending potential clients, you might be losing them before they look at your profile or portfolio. Try to come up with a more compelling intro for yourself, and of course tailor it to the job posting whenever possible.

After looking at my stats, my profile views have dropped dramatically in the last few weeks, so it may also be a market trend (perhaps a flood of freelancers displaced from Elance has saturated the market) and nothing to do with you specifically.

  • You mentioned the freelancers displaced from Elance. I was under the impression Elance continues to operate normally as of now. Is it not so? – Septagram Feb 18 '16 at 2:13
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    @Septagram No, new users cannot register for Elance and most clients cannot post new jobs on Elance. They are closing down due to their merger with ODesk (now Upwork) – user45623 Feb 25 '16 at 8:12

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