Are you searching for the right way on how to write a cover letter for a job that you think you’ll be perfect for?
But before you get too excited, remember that there are more than 1.5 million Filipino online freelancers today.
In fact, we typically receive over 70 applications for a content writer job post, 150 applications for customer service virtual assistants, and 80 applications for freelance email designers – all within 72 hours.
Needless to say, the competition is tough and it will only get tougher.
Most employers are really hands-on when it comes to hiring a VA (virtual assistant), so it’s not unusual that they scan and read the applications themselves. Want to know a secret? Most of them only spend 30 seconds to 1 minute to assess one application and arrive at the conclusion of whether you’re a good fit or not.
Making a good lasting impression is the only way to land that freelance job but how?
Whilst there are different components in your application that you should nail, learning how to write a cover letter is the real deal. Here are our tips to help you land that job interview.
Read the Job Post Thoroughly
Before you start looking up how to write a cover letter, read the job post from top to bottom, including the fine prints. In most cases, employers add special instructions to immediately screen job applicants who can follow simple directions. This will help them determine if you are sharp and with a keen eye for detail. We’ve seen employers giving out these odd instructions so do not be surprised:
- Please add the word “Green” in the body of your email.
- Change your subject line to, “I love to dance”.
- Tell us your favourite Marvel character.
Whilst some of the instructions you’d find are peculiar, following these will increase your chance of getting hired.
Now speaking of chance, landing a freelance work doesn’t follow what Filipinos like to call ‘the more entries you send, the more chances of winning’.
Don’t just randomly submit your applications without reading if you are qualified for the position. Employers can easily sniff out lazy applicants. Direct your effort to freelance gigs that match your skills.
Show Them Your Strengths Right Off the Bat
Your employees, above anything else, would like to know if your skill set matches their requirements.
So, when you start writing a cover letter, highlight these already. Be specific with your strengths and try not to use generic descriptions like, ‘I’m a team-player, trustworthy, hardworking’. These are just waaaay overused.
Guilty, aren’t you? 🙂
Instead, include the most pertinent information including years of your experience, your notable achievements in relation to the job post, and the industries you’ve worked for.
And by the way, scrap that long introduction because honestly, they don’t really care where you’ve seen the job post. Just simply get rid of the fluff!
Make it Sharp and Easy to Read
In an attempt to sound smart, we’ve seen cover letters filled with highfalutin words. Whilst employers can understand what you mean, it sometimes sounds too pretentious. Keep it sharp, simple and straightforward.
If you’re tenured, writing a cover letter with 400 words and 3 to 4 paragraphs is enough. For entry-level candidates, the best cover letter would be at 200 words. Also, feel free to use bullet points to organise your skills and achievements. This allows your employer to easily scan through your application and at the same time, it encourages you to mainly share the essentials. Win-win, yes?
Add Links to Your Website/Portfolio when Writing a Cover Letter
Another trick for applicants is to save your portfolio in the cloud where you can instantly share the links. GoogleDrive and Dropbox are good options. This is more efficient than saying, “Please find the attached portfolio”.
Or, you can create a customised freelancer website to add your past works and case studies. WordPress and Wix are some of the best platforms for this. You don’t even need to have technical skills to build a simple website.
Remember when we said, employers only spend 30 seconds per applicant? This technique is a smart way to showcase what you got in a short period of time.
Include Your Online Contact Details
Don’t forget to include your contact details and we’re not just talking about your email and mobile number. We prefer Skype, Whatsapp or Viber.
Most employers, upon seeing your cover letter, will contact you right away. Those who have already indicated their contacts have an unfair advantage as there’s no need for another email exchange asking where to reach them. Remember that employers need to hire immediately, and those who act fast win the game 🙂
Stay Away from Templates
Personalise and tailor fit your cover letter depending on the job post because it’s easy to determine if you just copied it from somewhere. It will not sit well with employers. They want originality, especially if you are applying as a copywriter. Your cover letter serves as your article test, so better give your best shot. Sure, you can look for cover letter examples but only as a guide. Never send it as it is.
As they say, first impressions matter.