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Cover Letter .doc or .pdf

Hello Everyone,


I am new to oDesk and extremely excited about starting out here. I have dont my due diligence and filled out my profile and read all of the "How To's". I am ready to put in my first proposal!


My question before I do so is, what is the standard format that works best for my cover letter format? Is Word (.doc) the best or maybe a bit more professional .pdf (Slower loading?)?


Any suggestions or help is appreciated! Maybe just let me know what format works best for you. Also feel free to list any other formats that might be out there.




- Eric

Community Member

Welcome to oDesk.  There's no special format for your cover letter as you mentioned a doc or pdf.  When you apply to a post you want to write a unique cover letter straight into the cover letter box.  You want to customize it for each job post.  Clients frown upon the whole copy and paste cover letters.  You can also look at the help section for suggestions for writing a great cover letter.  I found it very helpful when I first started.  Just don't get discouraged.  Good luck!!!!

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"
Community Member


Don't use a file format for you cover letter.


When you click on the job application, there will be a text area field that lets you type in your cover letter comments.


That is where your cover letter goes.


If there is no such field, then the client doesn't want it.


If there are questions, answer the questions.


Yes, there is a way that you can attach a file. I guess some people attach resumes or additional cover letters. But I have never attached something like that. And when I hire people as a client I DEFINITELY do not want to look at attached files. And I don't look at them. As a client, I ask the questions I want as part of the standard job posting. Looking at your attached files would be a waste of my time.

Community Member



You are most welcome to oDesk. You don't need a doc or pdf for your cover letter.  You will just type and submit your proposal. You attach your sample work. I hope it will help you.






i am new to UpWork.


What should i attach.


Please suggest.



Ankush Bansal

Hi Ankush,


Most successful freelancers don't need to attach their cover letter or resume to their proposals in order to get the client's attention. They have all the necessary information about their skills, experience and qualifications on their profile and in the cover letter they describe specifically why they would be a great fit for the job.

Also, note that some clients don't require cover letter at all and select candidates mostly based on their profile.

~ Valeria

Hi Ankush Bansal,


Fist you need to make your upwork profile public and then you can write a great proposal according to job description.

-keep it short

-introduce your skills and experience

-show your past work if you have (inside upwork or outside)

-show deadline for the project.

I think its enought to understand you.





Community Member

The best format for Cover letter is to type your qualifications according to job description. If you use fix formats, its 50% chance that Client is not going to hire you.


Write clear and to the point to be get hired soon.

Asif Rehman
Community Member

How to Format a Cover Letter?


  • Set one-inch margins on all sides.
  • Left-align all contents. Don’t use justification; it’s against the standard rules of business letter formatting.
  • Use business letter format spacing: 1 or 1.15.
  • Put double spaces between paragraphs.
  • Optionally, include a digital copy of your handwritten signature in your sign-off. It will add a friendly, professional touch.
  • Save your cover letter in PDF. It’s the best electronic cover letter format because it keeps the layout intact.
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