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.

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.

Provide Estimates

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!

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