Say you’ve been applying for countless freelance jobs that seem like a great match for you. You’ve spent time working on your portfolio samples. And you’ve also put everything you have into crafting (what you believe is) the perfect cover letter.
But what if it’s several weeks down the line and you still haven’t been offered a single gig? Not one? Nada?
In this case, you’re probably starting to wonder if the recruiters are getting your applications, or did you pop in the wrong email address (because that sounds like something you’d do)? Sob.
Spoiler alert: none of these reasons are why the company hasn’t got back to you.
As someone who’s been freelance writing for over two years now, I’ve had just as many opportunities to outsource tasks and be the client as I’ve had to complete tasks and be the freelancer.
And let me tell you: if your application gets ignored, it’s usually for a reason.
It’s most likely down to the fact that it just wasn’t strong enough. It didn’t wow. And it didn’t stand out amongst the sea of freelancers currently out there in the digital world.
Not to worry though – I’m here to help you turn this around. Read on for my top tips when it comes to how to write a cover letter that wins freelance jobs.
Address the Recruiter
How to write a cover letter that wins freelance jobs 101: don’t just rely on “Dear Sir/Madam” as a decent opener.
What are we, in secondary school? Cringe.
Nah, pal – if you want some bonus points, you need to commit to researching exactly who you need to talk to.
Usually, a quick search on LinkedIn will tell you who the hiring manager is for the company you’re approaching, whether it’s through a freelance job board or a cold pitch.
Or sometimes, the recruiters do the hard work for you and pop their name on the job description, which is always super handy. (Shout out to you guys!)
Read the Job Description Carefully
Next, read the job description several times until you’re crystal-clear on what exactly the client is looking for (and whether you’re a good match!).
Needless to say, if the client is hiring someone to manage their Pinterest account and they get a cover letter from you telling them how you’re well-versed with Instagram, your application might be going straight out of the window.
Like with any job description, take the time to check over the company’s requirements carefully. After all, you’re vetting them just as much as they’ll be vetting you.
And then tailor your application to each specific job.
Even though it’s tempting to send off a generic cover letter, these never get very far in any type of industry.
Match Yourself with the Job Requirements
Once you’ve checked out the job description thoroughly, explain how your particular skills, experience and/or character traits align perfectly with the requirements.
You don’t need to go overboard – I mean, no one likes a bragger. That said, you kind of need to make yourself sound like the natural choice for the job.
And how do you do that? Well, if the job description says that the company wants someone computer-proficient, you tell them that you’re computer-proficient (and how).
You can also repeat exact key phrases from the job description in your cover letter to show that you know what they’re looking for, i.e. you in a nutshell.
Show, Don’t Tell
One of the best tips I could give you to write a cover letter that wins freelance jobs? Use it as an opportunity to show, not tell.
Why? Well, you’re a professional freelancer with a unique voice, perspective and skillset, aren’t you?
Therefore, don’t be afraid to express your most admirable qualities through the power of the written word.
- Instead of saying: “I’m professional but friendly” in your cover letter, show it with a professional yet friendly tone
- Don’t say: “I’m great at sourcing information,” research the company and hit them with a couple of fast facts at the beginning of your cover letter
- Instead of saying: “I’m an effective communicator,” show it with a clear cover letter that is direct and gets to the point
And needless to say, there should be absolutely zero spelling or grammar mistakes. (Unless you want to put yourself into the “amateur” category.)
Pro tip: make your application word-perfect, you can use free writing and proofreading tools like Grammarly or the Hemingway App.
Do Your Research
Another way you can secure those gigs through your freelance writer cover letter? Show that you’ve done your research.
If you mention the latest company news in your application, or even suggest how they can rival their main competitor X, you’re naturally going to impress the hiring manager.
And if you impress the hiring manager then you’ve pretty much achieved your goal of securing a follow-up discussion. Result.
Give Them What They Want
Sure, it might seem obvious, but you need to create a freelance cover letter that delivers the goods.
I mean, if the company asks you to include three blog post topic ideas in your application, they want to see three blog post topics ideas in your application. Duh.
They wouldn’t just ask for the sake of asking.
Again, this is why it’s so important to read the job description carefully. (Do I sound like a broken record yet?)
And if you fail to include the basic information that a potential client wants, you might as well kiss goodbye to your application. Forever.
Link to Your Portfolio
Regardless of whether the company asks for it, always include a link to your portfolio or professional freelance website in your application.
Why? Well, seeing your skills in action will convince them of your competency for the job. It also gives you another opportunity to impress the hiring manager. Wink-wink.
Pro tip: If you’re a freelance writer and you haven’t built your portfolio yet, don’t panic. Simply include a link to your personal blog or published writing samples instead.
End with a Call-To-Action
Lastly, for the love of all that is holy, don’t finish up your freelance job application with: “Thanks for your time. Kind regards, X.”
I mean, how dull is that? Yawn.
A Call-To-Action is the perfect sign-off if you want to write a cover letter that wins freelance jobs. Why? Well, because it prompts the company to get back to you.
If you’re a freelance writer, this could be something along the lines of: “Are you ready to revamp your blog and take your content to the next level? Let’s talk!”
Essentially, a powerful ending will ensure that you leave a lasting impression in the mind of the hiring manager. And if they can’t stop thinking about you, they’ll have to contact you.
Nail Your USPs to Write a Cover Letter That Wins Freelance Jobs
Even though there are a bunch of freelancers around the globe currently doing the same thing as you, it is possible to elevate yourself from the competition to win more gigs.
In addition to providing the hiring manager with exactly what they want (or didn’t even know that they wanted), you also have to talk about your USPs.
Then it won’t be long before your empty schedule turns into a fast-growing, flourishing freelance business.
Need more help in terms of how to write a cover letter that wins freelance jobs? I’m here for you, buddy! Comment below or pop me an email.