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How to grab the attention of American and Canadian employers - suggestions and tips

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Active Member
Bruno M Member Since: Feb 9, 2018
1 of 14

Dear members of the community,

 

I am an Italian citizen and I recently landed a job as Virtual Assistant after more than 20 applications. I understood that the most important factor to grab the attention of an employer is a good cover letter. I would like do comprehend if you have some good suggestions to improve my applications in order to increase the number of contacts.

 

In Europe (especially in Britain), we tend to be very formal in Cover Letters and job applications. I suspect that this strategy doesn't work with American and Canadian citizens. I desire to figure out what are the best openings in order to attract someone.

 

You can find 4 examples of previous Cover Letters. My intention is to identify my mistakes and my imperfections. Nobody is perfect and I am here, because I want to learn. I accept suggestions, tips and critics in the limits of the common sense. Lastly, I would like to thank you for your patience, kindness and professionalism.

 

Regards,

 

Bruno Martino

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Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
2 of 14

Bruno M wrote:

Dear members of the community,

 

I am an Italian citizen and I recently landed a job as Virtual Assistant after more than 20 applications. I understood that the most important factor to grab the attention of an employer is a good cover letter. I would like do comprehend if you have some good suggestions to improve my applications in order to increase the number of contacts.

 

In Europe (especially in Britain), we tend to be very formal in Cover Letters and job applications. I suspect that this strategy doesn't work with American and Canadian citizens. I desire to figure out what are the best openings in order to attract someone.

 

You can find 4 examples of previous Cover Letters. My intention is to identify my mistakes and my imperfections. Nobody is perfect and I am here, because I want to learn. I accept suggestions, tips and critics in the limits of the common sense. Lastly, I would like to thank you for your patience, kindness and professionalism.

 

Regards,

 

Bruno Martino


As a client I would skip your proposal for the moment (too long) and take a look at your profile. Then I would think, this guy works usually for 1/3 of his hourly rate and is on Facebook and Youtube while logging time. And then I would archive your proposal without reading the proposal.

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Moderator
Joanne Marie P Moderator Member Since: Nov 26, 2017
3 of 14

Hi Bruno,

 

You might want to check out the following links for more tips on how you can improve your profile:

 

- How to Make Your Freelancer Profile More Visible & Appealing to Big Clients on Upwork

-Enhance Your Upwork Freelancer Profile for Greater Success

-How to Create a Proposal That Wins Jobs

 

Thank you!


-Joanne
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Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
4 of 14

These are not employers, they are clients. There is a difference. Longer more detailed cover letters are for employers when you are searching for a full time job with a company. For engaging with clients here, not so much. Having strong command of the language the client speaks and getting to the point of how you can help them with the job they have posted, are the primary keys. General flowery language and other items not directly related to the client's ask should be avoided. Having a strong profile with good client testimonials is how you will grow and be able to charge higher rates. The idea is to get them engaged with you. Once you do that, you have fuller conversations if needed. To start though, get to the point in a professional and direct manner. 

 

As an aside, don't start off with "Dear," in your profile. It has to be Dear [something] like a person's name. Regardless, remove that line completely as you aren't writing a letter. We also know your name as it's on top of the profile, so no need to introduce yourself again. Once again get to the point of what you can do to help perspective clients. Don't write this as if you were approaching a full-time role with a company. You are not seeking a "position". 

 

When you do land a job, make sure the computer is recording your work not your free time. As Jennifer has said, that sort of a review will kill any chance you have here. 

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
5 of 14

Bruno M wrote:

 

In Europe (especially in Britain), we tend to be very formal in Cover Letters and job applications. 

We do for job applications.

We do not in freelancing.


The proposals are all as bad as each other. Stiff, overy formal, unpleasanty flattering, too long and they don't address the client's needs.

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Active Member
Bruno M Member Since: Feb 9, 2018
6 of 14

Dear members of the community,

 

First of all, I genuinely desire to thank you for your interesting and precious comments. I believe that the first 2/3 lines are crucial in order to grab the attention of a Upwork client. You said that I am too formal and I should be more informal.

 

If I write something like: "Hi Peter, your project genuinely grabbed and catched my attention. Your position concretely excites and amazes me. How are you? I am happy to meet you. I desire to help you to achieve the best results ever"

 

Do you believe that an informal opening similar to this may sound good or not? Secondly, you said that my Cover Letters are too long. How many paragraphs should I write (2/3)?

 

I have another curiosity. When I apply for a job, do you reccomend me to attach Reference Letters from previous clients or real employers?

 

I wouldn't like to appear intrusive, but I am curious to figure out If I can speak with some experienced freelancer or client. My Whatsapp number is **Edited for Community Guidelines** and my Skype ID is **Edited for Community Guidelines**. However, if you aren't comfortable with this idea, you don't need to worry about. Lastly, I hope that you can spend a very nice and entertaining Sunday.

 

Regards,

 

Bruno Martino

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Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
7 of 14

Bruno M wrote:

Dear members of the community,

 

First of all, I genuinely desire to thank you for your interesting and precious comments. I believe that the first 2/3 lines are crucial in order to grab the attention of a Upwork client. You said that I am too formal and I should be more informal.

 

If I write something like: "Hi Peter, your project genuinely grabbed and catched my attention. Your position concretely excites and amazes me. How are you? I am happy to meet you. I desire to help you to achieve the best results ever"

 

Do you believe that an informal opening similar to this may sound good or not? Secondly, you said that my Cover Letters are too long. How many paragraphs should I write (2/3)?

 

I have another curiosity. When I apply for a job, do you reccomend me to attach Reference Letters from previous clients or real employers?

 

I wouldn't like to appear intrusive, but I am curious to figure out If I can speak with some experienced freelancer or client. My Whatsapp number is **Edited for Community Guidelines** and my Skype ID is **Edited for Community Guidelines**. However, if you aren't comfortable with this idea, you don't need to worry about. Lastly, I hope that you can spend a very nice and entertaining Sunday.

 

Regards,

 

Bruno Martino


You really really want to tone it down and not appear desperate, overly deferential, overly enthusiastic - a bit more natural would be good.

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Community Guru
Prachi T Member Since: Nov 4, 2017
8 of 14

Here’s what I think.

  1. The cover letters are too long.
  2. Unnecessary adjectives (your amazing job advertisement, my huge interest, etc.)
  3. The letter comes across as too needy (I am sure that I will not disappoint you)

What you need is a cover letter that is short and simple in roughly the below format.  

  1. 1-2 lines about your experience. (You can even skip this and jump to point no. 2 if the job description is detailed).
  2. Your specific experience that will help the client for the job (Focus more on the you than the I.
  3. Related samples/portfolio items if applicable.
  4. Answers to any questions that the client has asked.

Try to always customize your cover letter instead of using a template.

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Active Member
Bruno M Member Since: Feb 9, 2018
9 of 14

Dear,

 

According to your experience, what are the best ways to open a Cover Letter. I watched some videos on Youtube and I discovered that clients can only see the first lines of an application. Moreover, I understood that you don't like the classic openers used in real job applications. Lastly, I prefer to figure out what is the suggested length of the text (2/3 paragraphs? 200/205 words?)

 

Regards,

 

Bruno Martino

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Active Member
Bruno M Member Since: Feb 9, 2018
10 of 14

Dear members of the community,

 

I have a small question for you. According to the experience of the most succesfull freelancers, do Upwork clients appreciate reference letters from old employers or other clients or prefer examples/screenshots of previous projects? What do you reccomend?

 

If for example I apply for a position as Virtual Assistant and I attach references to my application, do you suppose that it's a good or a bad idea? If the answer is negative, do you enjoy screenshots of old works?

 

Regards,

 

Bruno Martino

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