How to Write a Cover Letter in oDesk – Tips and Tricks

A complete tutorial by an oDesk Client cum Contractor on How to write a cover letter in oDesk, with every part of the cover letter clearly explained with examples

Role of Cover Letter :

As a 5 Star client cum contractor in oDesk, i have noticed the role a Cover Letter plays in deciding the ideal contractor for a job. As a client, though i give importance to skills of a Contractor and hence check him directly on Interview, in few situations, i have awarded them jobs directly, just being impressed by their cover letter in oDesk.

Some major roles played by the Cover letter in oDesk Hiring process are :

  •  Cover Letters leave the first impression in any job and for any client. 
  •  Cover Letter is the only way to show the way you communicate.
  • How much you understood a project and your strategy.
  • A bad cover letter can get you out of the hiring process in a second.
  • A worst cover letter can get you listed as spam by client.

So let’s see the ideal way to write a cover letter for any job.

oDesk Cover Letter – Step by Step Tips and Tricks

1. Read The Job Description :

First and foremost step in writing a cover letter is, you should “Read the Description”. Before you can tell them what you can give for them, you must know what they need. Read their complete requirements, cover letter requirements and all other details they ask. If you are not reading the description, then you are SPAMMING them for sure.

2. Writing a Cover Letter :

Now that we have read what the client requires, lets get into work. All that we have to do is to put together only what the client needs. Below is a picture to illustrate the parts of a normal cover letter

oDesk Cover Letter

Now let us, how to fill up each part here :

a) Code Words / Effective Impression

These are the words that will appear in client’s account even before he opens a Freelancer’s cover letter. Let me show it in an image from my account.

oDesk cover letter profile 2013

This is why some clients say “Write XXXXXX before the application or your application will not be considered”.

  • Write the words / code words as the client requested.
  • Example : “I am the best web designer”
  • Write something that will make an immediate impression or lure them into inviting you for an interview.
  • Example : For a normal project that would take 6 days i will write “I can finish this in 3 days maximum”
  • Though the client may find it inappropriate, he would like to see, how you can do that and will invite you for Interview.
  • Links to your previous works, your portfolio (Links work better than explanations)

b) Designation

So this is the part, where you are going to address the client. Though you can just use “Hi Sir” or “Hi Hiring Manager” let me show you a trick in doing this part best.

    • Always when you see a job, go through the end of the job and see previous work feedback of the client.
    • For sure, one of the previous contractors would have mentioned the name of the Client in the feedback.

odesk cover letter addressing a client

  • So use the client’s name and it will be very effective in creating an impression.

c) Short Introduction of yourself

Simple introduction of who you are, what you do, your agency details and how many projects you have done in this particular field of career. Don’t keep on telling them that you are hard working, blah blah in this section. Just tell them shortly, that you are in the same field.

d) Project Plans, Strategy

Though others say that you should describe about YOU in this section, i say don’t. Come On! Clients don’t want to read whether you are hard working person, how many hours you can work, the promise and all (If they need it, they will ask) So in this section, explain how you are planning to work on the project.

  • Explain in steps, how you have divided the project based on the time frame, the step by step process through which you are gonna work, put together and hand over the final finished project.
  • Explain how many times you are going to report to the client through oDesk, and what will you include in the report.
  • Small explanation of the fees you charged. Break up charge of the total project so that the client is assure that they are not wasting their money on someone.
  • Small Recap of previous projects you have done similar to this.
Complete Tutorial on How to get your first job on oDesk? New

e) About You :

Now here comes the final part, where you are going to talk about yourself, why you are the perfect match for this job, what’s so special about you and all the things. Though 70% of the clients will leave the cover letter page by now, clients offering long term jobs, large scale project offering clients and clients giving confidential details will have a look at your profile too.

  • In this section, instead of explaining everything about you, just tell the client the qualities, which that particular project needs.
  • For example, Data Entry and Writing projects needs the typing speed. And every client would need to have a look at it.
  • Say them how many hours you will be online, how to reach you (Gmail, Skype – Though its against oDesk terms, they don’t follow this seriously) , when to reach you (Time in local time and IST)
  • Links to your previous works, your portfolio (Links work better than explanations). Everyone will be tempted to click on a link when they see one. It works really.

f) Final Impression

Well, give them a better impression when they leave your cover letter in oDesk.

  • The problem here is that I cannot reveal examples because i cannot think of anything other than I use.
  • These lines should give an impression, a temptation to hire you.

g) Final Thank you

Just say Thank You 🙂 And that’s more than enough really 🙂

So that’s it. Send the cover letter in oDesk after proof reading through it. Remember to read it thorough because grammar mistakes, Clients hate the most when going through the cover letter in oDesk.

Still haven’t got your first job, Read our tutorial on How to get your first job on oDesk?

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