*First published on June 11, 2010 on my old blog, The Digital Servant.
One of the things that can get you hired on oDesk is to write a great cover letter. This is your chance to tell the buyer why he or she should hire you, out of the 100 plus applicants out there. Here are some tips:
- READ the job opening! – I know this sounds ridiculous for most of you but the reality of it is, not all people read the whole job opening, they just click the apply button and send a generic cover letter. Some of the buyers put “secret codes” or specific phrases that you need to write on your cover letter. This is to let them know that you ARE reading the job opening and is serious about working for them.
- Do not send generic cover letters – Always think of it as your resume, your portfolio. Give the buyer the best first impression, which in this case, is your cover letter. You don’t necessarily need to write a long and dragging essay on why it is essential for him to hire you as a provider. Just give concise and straight to the point facts about you. You can state the skills that you possess that is required for the job, list the software/programs that you are proficient at. If you have a particular skill that you think is going to give you an edge over the other applicant, highlight it.
- Be courteous – Start your letter with a “Dear Sir/M’am” (if the buyer provided his or her name, make sure to include it). A simple “Good day or Good afternoon” can give a good impression already.
- Provide samples or portfolios – This is a great way to “sell” yourself, especially if you are applying for a writing or a graphics design job. I usually attach samples when applying for a Powerpoint presentation job. If you have an online portfolio already, provide a link for the buyer.
- Prove your worth – Include your bid for the project in your cover letter, if you think that the amount is higher that the other applicants, explain the reason behind it. Let the buyer review your profile and previous feedback. Quality over quantity, as some might say. Just make sure you are worth the price 😉
Feel free to add some tips or comments below!
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