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What NOT to put in your cover letter.

Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
1 of 2

+ Another rant on how connects are tuned right now.

I've been trying to find someone to do a very short task of adding CSS to a Mailchimp form, with one field (email).. nothing else. In terms of programming, it definitely fits in the novice category.


When posting these types of contracts in the past, I'd see several experienced programmers apply because they know they can knock it out in 10 mins. I personally do this kind of work all the time. It's a great way to earn a lot in a short period of time.

So.. the trouble with limiting freelancers to only an average of one application per day is, the more experienced freelancers don't want to waste a connect for a $20 one-time task that would take them 30-60 minutes. They want the bigger contracts because they need to make a few $xxxx/m. Makes sense. So clients are left with freelancers struggling to find work. ANY work.


The reason why I'm posting this, is to show how the way connects are now 'tuned' right may change the course of oDesk. To me, everything points to 'connects' affecting the overall quality in a very positive way. I mean to say that oDesk doesn't work very well for smaller budget postings right now. It doesn't work for the freelancer and it doesn't work for the client.


It not only cuts down on spam, but it gets rid of the lower end of the market. Difficulty comes with the realization that oDesk IS the lower end of the freelancing world. It's very well establish as being that.


So... is this the most noticeable operational change to date that 'tunes' oDesk towards a higher end market than it is today?  The more connects we get, the more sense it makes to use oDesk for small jobs, and the more sense it makes for freelancers to apply for less appealing or temporary work. A rather crude and incomplete way of dialing in the market, but I feel it does demonstrate a 'blow back' affect of connections. Intended or not.


Here are some examples showcasing the quality of an average application I get now, to give you an example of what NOT to put in your application. Remember you only get 30 now! Why not at least spend a couple minutes on each to write a custom cover letter, even if just a brief one? Read this with a little humor, as much as it is real.

Dear sir

I am interested in applying for the position of web designer at your company and would like you to consider me for the role.


PLEASE don't waste your first sentence on redundant information. I know you are applying, and I know you want me to consider you. You wouldn't have applied otherwise, right?


Here's the thing - As a client, it's a waste of time and comes across as immature to be honest. Immature in the way that it's reads like a resume we'd be taught to write in high school.


As a freelancer, THIS first sentence is the first and only thing a client will see when you are in a list of everyone else. This first sentence is your BEST marketing tool to get you an interview if you're nothing more to the client than 'just another freelancer in a long list'. Use it! Catch the client's attention.


Hi, Thanks for viewing my Profile.  I’m expert in Data Entry & Internet Research. I provide services with 100% accuracy on or before time.

... Oh, did I mention he places a video of himself doing CAPTCHA work right beside this text?


Here's a hint people: Don't post video's of yourself doing work that can get you banned from using this website!


I am full time freelancer and I'm very interested in your job post"Mailchimp custom form CSS" .I have strong communication skills and have flexible working hours.


As above... BUT ... next time you choose a fake profile image - try using a picture that ISN'T of a famous actor that 90% of North American's recognize! ~ Sorry Mario Lopez... looks like you're a programmer now.

With this overly apparent chase of the execs to cut the fat, systematize, then monetize the 'new' oDesk... it makes me wonder if they will try to do it so quickly that they create a class division where less risky job postings start at the slightly-low to mid level, and a demonic spiraling gap down to a new oDesk ghetto market where scams and scamsters run amok.

/ps I really dig the new forum WYSIWYG Smiley Happy




Active Member
Ula W Member Since: Nov 26, 2014
2 of 2

As a freelancer, I completely agree with your senitment.  But, for those small projects have you considered reaching out to freelancers rather than waiting for them to come to you?  If you invite them to apply, they do not have to use their connects.  It may also weed out those who you wouldn't consider anyways and those waiting for that big job may be more inclined to help with the smaller projects knowing they don't have to "pay" to apply.


How many Connects do I need to apply for a job?

If you’re invited to apply or are being rehired, you won’t need to use any Connects. All other applications require anywhere from 1 to 5 Connects, depending on factors such as the size and type of job. Initially, most jobs require about 2 Connects.


P.s.- Thank you for the useful cover letter tips!