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Do clients actually take the time to go through 10+ cover letters?

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Ace Contributor
Shummas H Member Since: Jul 2, 2016
1 of 6

Often at times, before I could submit a customized proposal (based on the client's specific requrements) for a job that has been posted just recently (which takes me no more than 5 minutes), I see that 10-15 applications have already made their way in.

 

In oversaturated categories such as copywriting/writing, I believe that the majority of these cover letters happen to be copy/pasted templates. In this scenario, my customized proposal would probably sit somewhere at the 10th - 15th spot on the list. How likely is it that a prospective client will surf that far in the list, and end up noticing my personalized proposal? 

On the other hand, at times when I manage to land my customized proposal among the first five applications, the probability of me winning the job is somewhere around 60% to 70%.

 

However, a big number of job posts get filled up with 15+ proposals within five minutes of a posting which probably renders my personalized proposal unseen.

In this scenario, am I better off copy/pasting a template like the vast majority does (so that the proposal could at least land among the first 5 or 10)? Or shall I continue with my practice of tweaking the proposal based on the client's requirements (something that takes a good 5 minutes)?

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 6

I have hired over 80 freelancers.

 

I VERY rarely read cover letters.

 

I prefer to look at portfolios.

 

To be nice, I usually try to block the request for cover letters from appearing in the job proposal form.

 

But I don't speak for every client, just myself. I'm sure that cover letters are very important to many clients.

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Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
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3 of 6

You're never better off copying and pasting--in addition to it being an ineffective way to pitch, doing too much of it can get you suspended from the platform.

Some clients read all proposals. Some read only the first few. Some spot-read based on how compelling the first couple of lines they see in the preview are. There's no way to guess. It's best just to limit your proposals to gigs you find worth the investment in creating a good proposal.

View solution in original post

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 6

Clients do not see proposals in the order they came in, they see them ordered by some "best fit" algorithm by default.

 

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 6

As a client, I don't like reading cover letters.


But as a freelancer, I ALWAYS write custom cover letters.

 

I am interviewed and hired more frequently than other freelancers competing for the same jobs - in large part due to my cover letters.

 

For MY particular job niche, I think cover letters are far more important than portfolios. (My portfolio doesn't really have much to look at in terms of the actual type of work that i do.)

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Community Guru
Melanie H Member Since: Nov 2, 2017
6 of 6

@shummas H wrote:

Often at times, before I could submit a customized proposal (based on the client's specific requrements) for a job that has been posted just recently (which takes me no more than 5 minutes), I see that 10-15 applications have already made their way in.

 

In oversaturated categories such as copywriting/writing, I believe that the majority of these cover letters happen to be copy/pasted templates. In this scenario, my customized proposal would probably sit somewhere at the 10th - 15th spot on the list. How likely is it that a prospective client will surf that far in the list, and end up noticing my personalized proposal? 

On the other hand, at times when I manage to land my customized proposal among the first five applications, the probability of me winning the job is somewhere around 60% to 70%.

 

However, a big number of job posts get filled up with 15+ proposals within five minutes of a posting which probably renders my personalized proposal unseen.

In this scenario, am I better off copy/pasting a template like the vast majority does (so that the proposal could at least land among the first 5 or 10)? Or shall I continue with my practice of tweaking the proposal based on the client's requirements (something that takes a good 5 minutes)?


 

Ten submissions isn't a lot of submissions. Even in the bad old days when jobs were listed in the local paper and answered phone call by excruciating phone call, employers could expect way more than 10 calls on anything approaching a decent job. And I'm talking in the suburbs, not some bustling city.

 

So today, that's times...well, whatever. Monster and Indeed and so on get dozens upon dozens of submissions for even unappealing jobs, AFAIK. And that's self-limiting due to geography, so for remote/freelance projects, wow, it must surely add up.

 

Each client is going to do this differently. Some clients are super-organized. Others skim. Some are micro-managers and read every word; others grab whatever pops up in the moment and forget the next day to check and then later they just toss out the whole lot except the first two they did read. A few rebels pluck out and read those that were pre-sorted just "because." There's no one set scenario.

 

IMO, take the time to write up your proposal. Don't use a template. If a project/job isn't worth ten minutes of your time then it's not worth it, period. Move along to one that really does grab you and take the time with that one.

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