The three timeframes used to determine your best Job Success Score (JSS) are all rolling windows. Changes could be due to the addition of new activity or old activity aging out. This means your score can change significantly without recent activity. For example, a contract will no longer be counted in your six-month window once it is six months and one day old.
Your Job Success Score drops when one of the following happens between updates:
- You receive poor public or private feedback from one or more clients.
- Jobs you completed in the past are no longer considered because they are outside the score's time frame.
- Jobs with no earnings or no feedback become counted in your score, either because they were closed or because several months have passed since you received a payment.
- How can I improve my score?
- How do contracts with no earnings or feedback affect my score?
- Will closing idle or inactive contracts hurt my score?
- Some clients are unreasonable. Will bad feedback from them affect me?
While we can't disclose the specifics of why your score dropped, here are some tips that you can consider to help prevent it in the future:
- Set yourself up for success by only submitting proposals and accepting offers when you are confident that you have the skills, experience and availability to deliver great work.
- Deliver great work and communicate early and frequently with your clients to make sure your work is aligned with your client's expectations.
- Close a contract right away if you and a client decide not to work together or a client is unresponsive.
- Ask clients to close the contract as soon as possible if the work on the project is done.
- Maintain your longer-term relationships with clients over one or multiple contracts.
- Ask clients to close contracts that have been open for several months, which will prompt them to leave feedback.
- You can read more tips about improving your score in the Hiring Headquarters. This blog post also has additional info about the calculations.
- No Earnings – In general, when a contract fails to lead to any earnings your JSS will be negatively impacted.
- No Feedback – Contracts with no client feedback, including ones you ended or left open and inactive, do not affect your score unless you have excessive contracts with no feedback.
Contract with past earnings, but your client has left no feedback for you
Contracts with a history of earnings but no feedback, whether closed or not, are mostly excluded from your JSS. However, if you have many contracts where no feedback has been given, it can impact your score (a little) negatively because it indicates some of your clients were dissatisfied.
Contract with no earnings AND no feedback from your client
Contracts with no earnings and no feedback, whether closed or not, can significantly lower your JSS because they indicate client dissatisfaction. If you are awarded a contract but no work materializes in the first days or weeks, we suggest talking to the client about the project and why it isn't moving forward. If the contract won't move forward, closing it as soon as possible or asking the client to do so and leave feedback will minimize the negative impact on your score. When client feedback is received, even without earnings, it will be factored into your JSS.
So it is accurately included in your JSS, if a contract has become idle, it is generally best to ask your client to close it and, ideally, leave feedback for you. However, maintaining longer-term contracts with satisfied clients that have been in place for three months or longer can improve your score. These longer-term relationships count positively toward the JSS even before they are closed because they indicate client satisfaction. On the other hand, if a client is not responsive and the work has been completed on the contract, it is better for you to close the contract.
Please keep in mind that when you, as a freelancer, close a contract it will be immediately considered in your JSS during the next update. When you leave a contract open and inactive, the impact to your score takes longer to appear (typically a few months). In both cases, the impact may be the same, but the timing is different.
Also, please note the longer you work a contract, the greater the impact it will have on your JSS. That means positive feedback on a longer-term contract can raise your score more than a short-term engagement, and negative feedback on a longer-term contract could lower your score more.
Your client's record of feedback is taken into consideration when weighing their interactions in your score. We know that not every contract will end perfectly, and your JSS won't be ruined by just one or two negative contract outcomes. However, successful freelancers do their best on each contract and to work to satisfy their clients. Improvement in your client satisfaction over time will allow you to overcome almost any negative incident.
I have done hundreds of projects. Will my history of client satisfaction be worse than someone with only a few contracts?
Your score takes into account the ratio of satisfied to dissatisfied clients. So you're fairly assessed no matter how many contracts you've performed. We can easily tell the difference between a freelancer with 10 unsatisfied clients over 100 contracts in two years, versus one with 10 unsatisfied clients over 20 contracts in two months. Satisfaction trends are important here, too. To increase your chances of attracting new clients, you want your ratio to be as good as or better now than it was last quarter or last year.