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ODesk, Elance, Freelancer - How to Write a Great Cover Letter
Tips for Writing a Great Cover Letter
In this lens I want to share with you some of the best tips and practices for writing a cover letter that will help you get hired for many writing projects, so let's get straight to the point.
A great cover letter is the trigger that makes your potential clients interested in your work. In most cases a cover letter is the main reason they decide to visit your freelance profile page, and think about giving you a chance to work with them on their projects. So, the question is - how do you write a cover letter that will help you stand out from the rest and persuade your clients that you are a perfect fit for their project? Read on.
Copy-Paste Is Time Waste
The last thing that you want to do is make your potential client feel like a walking wallet that no one shows respect to, and this is exactly how a generic cover letter can make your potential client feel. Having a generic cover letter might save you some time when bidding on different job postings, but have you stopped to think what this type of cover letters tell about you? Are you a freelance writer that didn't even read the job description, but sent a cover letter just because?
Keyboard shortcuts are great, but when it comes to writing a great cover letter there are no shortcuts – you need to invest your time in writing your cover letter.
Take the time to read a job description, and make sure you understand job requirements.
Put Yourself in Your Client's Shoes
Things That Every Cover Letter Should Include
You shouldn't mistake essential elements of a cover letter with a copy-paste action. There are some elements of a cover letter that don't need to be written every time you want to apply for a new job, and these include:
- Greet your potential client in a friendly, yet professional tone. In case the client left their name in the job description, don’t include phrases such as ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ or similar.
- Include the URL of your work (unless a client specifies they don’t need links to your work).
- It is a good idea to notify your potential client about your time zone and specific days/hours when you are available for work.
- Don’t forget good manners in your cover letter. You are working from home, so even if you left your manners at home, they’ll be just at the reach of your fingertips :) You are a serious, professional writer, so don’t use jargon.
Keep Your Cover Letter Short
Make sure your cover letter is not long, but try to keep it short and simple. Take into account that clients receive hundreds of applications, and they don't have time to read long cover letters.
An Example of a Great Cover Letter
- Greet your employer in a friendly tone.
- Let them know you've read a job description, and that you understand job requirements.
- Introduce yourself to your potential clients in one or two sentences.
- Explain how you can make their project run successfully. If you have worked on similar projects in the past, be sure to mention it to your potential client.
- Include the URL to your online publications.
- Let them know your availability (days, times of the day, time zone).
- Thank them for the time they dedicated to reading your application.