Say you’ve been applying for countless writing jobs that seem like a great match for you. You’ve spent time working on your portfolio samples and put everything you have into crafting (what you believe is) the perfect freelance writer 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: neither of these reasons are why the hiring manager 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 have 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 online writing world.
Not to worry though – I’m here to help you turn this around. Read on for my top tips when it comes to writing a freelance writer cover letter that wins projects.
Address the Recruiter
How to nail your freelance writer cover letter 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 the extra bonus points, you need to commit to researching who the heck 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 writing 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 useful.
(Shoutout to all the helpful recruiters out there!)
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 page and they get a cover letter from you telling them how you’re well-versed on Instagram, then your application is 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. True story.
Match Your Skills to the Job Description
Once you’ve checked out the job description thoroughly, pick out key requirements and explain how your particular skills, experience and/or character traits are the perfect match.
You don’t need to go overboard – I mean, no one likes a bragger – but you kind of need to make yourself sound like the obvious choice for the job.
And how do I do that, you ask?
Well, you use exact key phrases from the job description in your cover letter. Simple.
Show, Don’t Tell
One of the best ways to win more jobs through your freelance writer cover letter is to use it as an opportunity to show, not tell.
Why? Well, you’re a freelance writer, aren’t you? And a cover letter is a piece of writing, is it not?
Therefore, do you know what this means, guys? Absolutely no spelling or grammar mistakes allowed.
If you’re struggling to make your application word-perfect, you can use free writing tools like Grammarly or the Hemingway App to proofread your application to a high degree of accuracy.
Oh, and it goes without saying that your tone should always be professional. But also try to write in your own unique voice so that you can stand out in addition to demonstrating your skillset.
Do Your Research
Another way you can secure those gigs through your freelance writer cover letter? Show that you’ve done your research.
If your application features relevant industry news or how the company can rival their main competitor X, then 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 getting a follow-up chat. Result.
Give Them What They Want
Sure, it might seem obvious, but you need a freelance writer cover letter that delivers the goods.
I mean, if the company asks you to include three blog post topic ideas in your application, then they want to see three blog post topics ideas in your application. Duh.
They’re not just asking 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 potential client asks for it, you should always include a link to your portfolio or professional freelance writer website in your application.
Why? Well, seeing your writing skills in action will convince them of your competency for the job. And this also gives you another opportunity to impress the hiring manager. Wink-wink.
Not got a portfolio together 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 blogging 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 for a freelance writer cover letter as it prompts the company to get back to you.
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.
Ace That Freelance Writer Cover Letter
Even though there are a bunch of freelance writers 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 and make sure that your writing is of the highest quality.
Then it won’t be long before you can kiss goodbye to an empty schedule and hello to a fast-growing, flourishing freelance writing business.
Need more help with your freelance writer cover letter? I’m here for you, buddy! Comment below or pop me an email.
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