How To Write a Compelling COVER LETTER That Attracts Immediate Attention
Wondering how the client or employer sees your cover letter or proposal? Interested to know what are the elements we are looking for that trigger the interest and land you an interview? Want to learn how to write a compelling cover letter that attracts immediate attention? Dive in. This extensive tutorial will teach you how to write:
- Cover Letters for the upcoming job interviews
- Cover Letters (bids/proposals) for landing profitable freelancing contracts
- Business proposals sent to prospects
Understand that underlying principles of cover letters are always the same, regardless of their purpose. It’s vital for your future growth that you learn how to address the prospect in a way that attract an immediate attention and puts you on the top of list.
COVER LETTER Through The Eyes of The Client/Employer
The following content is, in fact, part of the lesson from the academy’s advanced FREELANCING COURSE. It’s the principal model used in any kind of the cover letter or proposal. If you ever wanted to know what your targeted prospect is looking for in your cover letter – this is it.
To explain the entire process of choosing the freelancer, through the eyes of the client who posted the job in search for the optimal service provider (freelancer), or the employer searching for the workforce, we’ll reflect to one of our latest contests – the job post we published on several major (i.e. Upwork) and relatively new (i.e. goLance) freelancing platforms.
Remember: JOB POST of any kind, has exactly the same nature and requests, be it a freelancing gig or a search for the traditional workforce.
In short, we were looking for a rather complex SaaS solution, where functionalities and design simply must “sell” the powerful message behind the concept. In other words, we were taking the very first steps in branding an entirely new and innovative solution for many across the Globe. As you can imagine, it’s not a child’s play.
Here’s the job post text we placed on Upwork:
We are in a process of collecting proposals with included quotes (turnaround time and fees) for our next project. Thus; ignore the “$5000” in proposed budget. It means nothing at all. We had to enter something. It’s you who need to propose the fee after all, right?
In short, we need a complete web solution, built on parallax base, that, to some extent, mimics the standard equity crowdfunding platforms.
Generally speaking, the web will share much of resemblance to, for example, Crowdfunder.com platform, only, instead of classic crowdsourcing model, in the first round of funding, investors will use a developed voting system (one vote per registered user which identity is verified through payment process to prevent duplicated accounts – and each registered user will have a clear sight on a total amount of funds (sum of all individual campaigns). Each “vote” will carry a certain, predefined monetary value. Each individual campaign will have a special section at the base of the elevator pitch with the number of collected votes, visible to registered users only!
One other thing you need to consider is that the entire process of raising capital will occur in two rounds where the first round is limited to predefined maximum value of vote, while the second round is unlimited, meaning that the investor has the liberty to invest any amount of money – in the winning campaign.
Yes, it will be a sort of the contest so you have to develop a system which will pop out the campaign with the biggest number of votes after a specified period of time. This is when second round starts, ending, again, in a specific time period.
As much as we need the entire set of marketing tools, incorporated in a simple to use UI, each individual campaigner will need it also. You must enable built-in features like youtube/vimeo videos uploads, contact form, file download and everything else found on every other standard crowdfunding platform.
Think in future and open door for upgrades and quick changes!!
Final details will be explained to the selected contractor. Be advised that the information in this communication are subject to criminal prosecution if leaked or misused in any way.
Also, please understand that we are in a certain hurry, which is, I guess, the new normal these days, and a rapid response will be much appreciated.
ADDITIONAL NOTES (IMPORTANT!):
*The entire deal will go over the Upwork platform. No direct engagement and/or payments/communication will occur.
*Make sure to provide with the sample work that can clearly demonstrate your ability to develop a solution of this scope
*If you start your proposal with “Dear Sir/Madam” or “Dear hiring manager,” your proposal will be automatically rejected
*If you fail to prove your expertize, your proposal will be rejected
*Don’t even bother responding to this project if you intend to just copy/paste some generic crap. Keep in mind that you’re dealing with the team of former professional freelancers. We know how to recognize something like that.
*Given the above, MAKE SURE to think this through and respond with clear understanding of the problem and vision of the solution.
*If there’s something you need a further clarifications with, just ask in your proposal and we’ll discuss it over the platform’s messaging system
You will be asked to answer the following questions when submitting a proposal:
- Why do you think you’re a good fit for this job?
- How much time will it take you to develop the final work
- If the ball and the bat cost $1.10 and we know that the bat cost $1 more than the ball, how much is the ball?
- Do you have any experience with equity crowdfunding?
- What’s the second word of the third paragraph of this project description?
Here’s one of the cover letters (proposals), a sample similar to 90% of everything we received. This one is from goLance, a fast rising freelancing platform with the staff-made optimal picks of freelancers:
As you can see, there’s not a single answer to any of the specific requests in the proposals. On the last question (…second word…), the answer was, and we quote: “we need a complete web solution.” Furthermore, the answer to the riddle was: “2.”
Now, ask yourself: would you hire this service provider to build you something like that or would you hire this person to work for you?
No, you wouldn’t.
As a client or employer, you are looking for 3 things, while reviewing cover letters (proposals):
- OPTIMAL portfolio sample(s)
- FEEDBACK (letter of recommendation), if any
- THE OVERALL LOOK & FEEL OF THE PROPOSAL/BID/COVER LETTER
Check that sample proposal one more time please. Do you see any of these 3 anywhere in that text?
OPTIMAL portfolio sample(s)
It’s basically the sample of your past work that clearly proves your expertize in a nature of the project you’re bidding on, or industry/niche you’re trying to get the job in. We’ll explain this matter in more details shortly.
What if you haven’t had a chance to build/create/work something like that so far even though you are clearly capable of doing it – like 80% of all proposals claimed?
Why haven’t you built it/work it so far?
If you know how to develop some complex solution (and you can truly know only what you’ve experienced/done), why didn’t you take some time and build it to further strengthen your portfolio?
If you are competing for a business strategist position, you simply must have the business strategy sample in your portfolio. It’s that simple and applies to every field or type of employment, even self-employment!
As you know by now, PORTFOLIO is your most valuable asset. The day cannot pass that you don’t reflect on your portfolio and make essential upgrades/changes. Yet, hardly anyone is doing that.
So, if you want to land a gig similar to one we sampled, MAKE SURE TO BUILD A BOGUS ONE IF NEEDED and PLACE IT IN YOUR PORTFOLIO. Otherwise, nobody will consider you as a viable provider. That’s especially the fact when one of the proposals clearly indicates the essential level of expertise in that field!
In our case, a European agency sent the proposal with portfolio samples that correspond with the nature of our project. Still, they don’t provide with the full service, only the back-end. But that’s easy to solve from our perspective.
What gave them an edge? How come they were picked among everybody else?
They specialized in one specific field. It just happened to be the same field we were looking for. In other words – and do memorize this:
FEEDBACK OR NOT, YOUR PORTFOLIO SEALS THE DEAL!
What about the COVER LETTER? What does it mean to the client?
Take a look at the riddle in the job post, put there to eliminate spam proposals. Now, take a look at the answer in the sample proposal, which, by the way, is more or less the same answer provided by 90% of all who sent their proposals.
The answer is wrong but that’s not the biggest issue here. 85% of all people will instinctively provide with that same wrong answer. To understand that, we suggest that you go through THE SEQUENCE Master Course and see how the way you are thinking and solving problems, has a decisive impact on the quality of your life! There’s a chance that you’re not doing something right. The Sequence master course will correct those errors and teach you the right way!
Back to our sample cover letter…
The rest of that proposal simply blows! You can’t sell water to the thirsty person with it, let alone yourself and your services.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of all cover letters is just the same – waste of time, both freelancer’s and client’s.
The problem is: you’ll be memorized as someone who can’t provide with the service because, if you’re not capable of creating a simple, meaningful proposal, how on Earth will you be capable of delivering solution?
That doesn’t necessarily have to be for a fact, but that’s how client sees it and that’s what counts only!
So you see now why it’s critical to:
A) Build and constantly upgrade your PORTFOLIO
B) Learn how to sell your services (yourself) with the simple COVER LETTER, in less than 300 words!
Therefore, make sure to go through the FREELANCING COURSE. It’s free and you’ll learn the craft of the effective cover letter.
Memorize it! Practice it. See how it applies to every type of job you’re bidding on. See where your portfolio can be tweaked and tweak it!
And keep in mind that everything explained in here applies to the traditional job interview, where you’re seeking to get the job and work for salary. The underlying principles are exactly the same! You’ll either sell yourself or not. There’s nothing in between.
Now, follow our lead where we explain how to write a compelling cover letter or business proposal – if you haven’t finished our HOW TO BECOME A PRO FREELANCER COURSE. Who knows, maybe it will open your eyes for a different kind of alternative. Something you didn’t even consider as a viable option so far.
Ready to upgrade?