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Covering Letter

Community Guru
Ramon B Member Since: Jan 11, 2015
11 of 24

He must have struggled a bit studying in England with those test scores!

Community Guru
Robert James R Member Since: Apr 17, 2015
12 of 24

I told myself "it must be his school or grammar but let's see what they say and not get judged by UpWork society" 


Oh well.

Ace Contributor
André B Member Since: Aug 20, 2009
13 of 24

Hi Indunil Sanjeewa,


I was attempting to share a post that I previously wrote about this, however it seems that the forum doesn't offer a way to link to a specific post, just to the entire thread. So I have copied the content of my post below.


You may still find it useful to review the entire thread, as it contains other pointers:


Here are my recommendations:


When applying, don't use generic cover letters. You should tailor each application to the client, and ensure that you address any requirements that they list.


For example, instead of saying:


"I am a web developer and I can build websites from scratch."


You could say:


"I am a seasoned web developer, with Wordpress exprerience. I noticed in your job description that you plan to use Wordpress as your website platform. I worked on 4 Wordpress sites in the past 8 months."


Be very specific, and show that you have read the job posting and speak about how you will meet specific requirements listed by the client.


It is also good to ask questions in your job application. This will help to engage the client, and also show off your expertise. For example, if a client posts a job to develop an ecommerce site in Wordpress, you might ask something like this:


"I noticed in your job description that you are building an ecommerce site in Wordpress to sell T-shirts. I have previously built ecommerce sites in Wordpress, and have the experience needed to do this. I also have experience with the Big Commerce platform. Have you considered using a platform that is designed specifically for ecommerce? Let's have a Skype call to to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both."


I think if you consistently send out quality job applications, you will definitely land more jobs. Good luck!

Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect
Community Guru
Oreofe J Member Since: May 8, 2015
14 of 24

Dear Indunil,

You might want to consider the following while writing a cover letter:


1. Review the job/project carefully.

2. Introduce yourself in one sentence or two.

3. Communicate to the client why you think you are a best fit for the job

4. Indicate your past experience or projects you have done relevant to the job/project you are applying for.

5. Finally if there are any materials or proof of concept or samples that might back up your bid , you can attach same to the cover letter


I hope this helps.


Wishing you all the best on this platform.


Community Leader
Sharon L Member Since: Jun 14, 2015
15 of 24

Actually, I think there is a thread in the client forum, which asks clients what makes them really hire people. It was started by Mohammed O. It is still on the first page. You should take a look at it:


As well as all the other helpful advice on the thread, I have recently started writing cover letters which emphasise what I can do for the client specifically (going back to Mohammed O's thread). For example, giving them suggestions which improve their product, and how to market it.


Other sources of information, which I have identified but have not taken action on yet, are the Google searches "freelance work proposal" and "business tender". (It requires a little imagination to use the "business tender" search, as examples given are for larger businesses, I think.) Both provide examples of ways you can sell yourself successfully. Another one is "bid writing", which I have looked at, but not really found anything useful. Maybe I need to dig a little deeper.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
16 of 24

There's a great post from Sara AKA Coqui Prose (I think that's her name?) on proposals. I tried to use her template style but it did not work for me, but I took some of her advice and it improved my response rate. Even if I don't win, I know if they are talking to me that I'm in the top 2 or 3 choices.


Also, there is another elancer guy Danny (something) who made $100k in 2014 on Elance. He's a great writer though, so I think he just has the stuff. Sometimes you got it and sometimes you don't. He does. But, he talks about proposals and bids too and I think his advice is great.


Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
17 of 24

Hmmm... I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in templates.


Every cover letter I send starts from scratch, written specifically for the client.


There has been a lot of great advice mentioned by previous posters in this thread.


I think the best advice has to do with focusing on the client and the client's project.

I don't think any kind of template system lends itself to the best cover letters.


What you see below has a lot to do with my approach to cover letters.



Ace Contributor
Martin L Member Since: Mar 26, 2015
18 of 24

^ Wow!


If we see Preston's name on the list of applicants for a job, we now know not to bother applying. Smiley LOL

Community Leader
Scott E Member Since: Feb 24, 2015
19 of 24

I posted this on Elance a while back... got a bit 'ranty' and some stuff may not apply on Upwork, but hopefully there's some half decent advice in there that might come in handy...


My proposals aren't perfect. My award rate is probably pretty poor compared to some people, and I'm far from the ideal client, but I like to think I have a reasonable idea of what I'm doing... so I'd like to share my observations on proposals from a client perspective, which might help some people out slightly. Keep in mind that they are just my opinions, so always seek medical and legal advice before implementing any of my suggestions. Especially if pregnant or breastfeeding.


1) If it's possible for a third party to read your proposal, and have no idea what the project relates to, then you've failed. Reliability, responsive, fast and accurate working... those things are all great, but they should go hand in hand with your specific demonstrable skills and experience that you can bring to bear on this project. If somebody writes "I have ten dogs, so I'd be the perfect choice to write your dog article" then that's worth much more than a 'War and Peace proportioned' monologue on how efficient and reliable and dependable and accurate and affordable you are.


2) If sufficient information has been provided, then please submit a dollar amount with your proposal. If insufficient information has been provided, then mark it as 'will submit amount later' and ask question. Please don't just mark it as 'will submit amount later' without asking any questions. Then it just feels like some kind of $POA vibe. What do you want me to do... just send you a message saying "how much?"


3) If I want a watercolour painting of a pig floating through space, then I'm not really that interested in your ability to design business cards. Or logos. Or vector icons.


4) Copy and pasting is a big no-no when it comes to proposals. Yes, some of the proposal might be copied and pasted... if you have set rules when it comes to payment, revisions, delivery methods and formats etc etc... then it makes sense to copy and paste... but not when it comes to the main meat and two veg of your proposal. If the job is just to convert an mp4 video to a wmv video, then why would I need multiple revisions of the 'designs'? Why would I need this wmv video in a jpg, png, ai, eps and psd format? Are you really going to provide me with a wmv video file as a business card?!


5) If it's a long and detailed RFP, that needs to be long and detailed due to the complex requirements of the job... then a proposal that just says something along the lines of "I can do this" gives no reassurance to the client that you've read, much less understood, what is required. Paraphrase, show you understand, you know what is required and you're confident you have the ability and skills to complete the project. It's like someone going into a car dealership, reeling off a long list of what they want, what they need etc, and the sales guy pointing at a car and saying "Yeah, that one's good". Why is it good? How does it meet my needs? Why that one and not the one next to it?


6) Links and links and links. There's nothing worse than a proposal that contains dozens of links to different things you've worked on. I'm not going to look at 25 links in 50 different proposals, so unless you've put your best stuff first then I might not see it at all. Pick 6 of your best works, even three would do. Yes, a picture can paint a thousand words, but not if you're attaching everything you've ever worked on or sketched, even if it has nothing to do with the project. "You need a logo designed for an animal welfare charity? Great! Allow me to post 84 links to different websites that I have designed on high performance cars and hunting."


7) One of the worst things is when you do get in touch with the provider and they're repeatedly asking you questions that you've answered in the RFP. You just end up copying and pasting content from your RFP for them.


8) The project is to do x, y and z... it's not a contest to see who can copy and paste a proposal within 30 seconds of the job going live, and then having to update it later once they've actually had time to read it! That one isn't so bad on Elance, but it's horrible on another site!

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
20 of 24
Scott, I love your post.

There are lots of complaints about client behavior here. Sometimes we forget about how bad so much if the contractor behavior is.

Based on what I have seen as a client in terms of job applications, I believe there are huge numbers of fantastic, conscientious, professional contractors on Upwork. And I believe that the majority of contractors who are here shouldn't be, and that we would be better off without them.

I think that awareness of Upwork spread like a virus through some communities, but that virus did not carry with it the skills and abilities and attitudes necessary to be successful here. 99% of the people who live in MY community should not (and are not) contractors on Upwork. But it seems like some people think that owning a computer with Internet access equates to being qualified to work as a contractor here. No, simply owning a computer doesn't make you qualified to work here.