Tired of getting declination of jobs because of poorly written cover letters?
Most of us who are looking for potential jobs in a marketplace need to regularly write cover letters to sell ourselves in such a way that make us stand out among the rest, especially for online work platforms or freelance marketplace. Badly or poorly written cover letters give impression to the client that the candidate is a cut / copy paste person, and so that way a client can lose a potential candidate!
The tradition of writing cover letters for making contracts date back to the days when people started using the medium of written communication to express the formal message, meaning the cover letters need to be considered as a medium of communication, not something that could be automated!
After having some experience in writing cover letters while working as a freelance software developer, and getting hired and rejected, I have noticed 6 crucial things that need to be kept in mind when writing a cover letter. Even though I can’t guarantee that the following tips will land you a job, I can say for sure that if you precisely follow these tips, then there is a good chance that the client would enjoy reading your cover letter.
6 Tips For Writing A Killer Cover Letter
1) Be specific
Always highlight your strong points and be specific as to why the client should choose you instead of others of the same set of skills as yours applying for the same job. Do not use general sentences, such as, “I’m excellent in HTML/CSS“, etc., but rather use specific sentences, such as, “I feel like I’m very good in HTML/CSS because I have designed ___ site from scratch“, etc.
2) Do not copy from previous cover letters
You can use the previous letter as the basis for your new cover letter, but never copy / paste the exact words from them! The clients would clearly find out that you have simply copy-pasted the cover letter and won’t take your application seriously as it gives the impression that you didn’t pay enough attention to the job requirements, thus making you look unprofessional.
3) Never beg for the job
Never ever beg for the job; when you are begging for a job, then it sends a negative impression of yours to the client that you don’t have enough skills to do the job and rather you are trying so hard to land the job.
Usage of the word “please“, particularly in the sentences like “Please hire me“, “Please do me a favor“, etc. are highly discouraged! You need to understand that everyone who is applying for a job gets a strong case, so you aren’t the exception! Use sentences like, “You may need to try me before rejecting my application” or “You can test my skills before rejecting me for mere lack of experience“, etc.
4) Be personal
You can be personal without begging for the job; that is, you can make a case that you are the only person who is perfect for the job. For instance, suppose a client has posted a job wanting a writer with software development knowledge, then you can tell why you are the only person who is perfect for the job, because you have both writing and software development skills at the same time. You can also mention your personal qualities, like how you are known for working under deadlines, etc.
5) Use proper English
Always use proper English with correct structure, and without any grammatical mistakes, especially for the jobs on content / blog writing. For the non-native writers, I would highly recommend Michael Swan’s Practical English Usage. Any grammatical error in a cover letter can be a break dealer, so it can be a worth investment!
6) Do not oversell yourself
Avoid the use of words like “expert“, “perfect“, etc. when describing your skills to the clients. Most clients prefer honest individuals who self-assess themselves honestly. Prefer the use of “very good” or “quite experienced” instead.
Know any other tips for writing a killer cover letter that has helped you in landing a job? Tell me in the comments section below!