When I was thinking about how to approach this post, I started thinking about tips for how to package yourself so that a prospective client will want to hire you. I thought the better of it,and this is why I came to that conclusion:
The client may not say so, but he or she is in full WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) mode when hiring a freelance writer. If the client wasn’t looking to have a problem solved or to get some benefit from your writing work, they wouldn’t be looking to hire a writer.
Don’t try to analyze what the client wants to hear and use that as a way to frame the way you respond to the ad. Instead, focus on the what the client needs and what skills and abilities you bring to the table to help them meet those needs.
Don’t try to be anyone other than yourself when you are communicating with a potential client. There are plenty of places where you can get advice about how to prepare your resume and write a cover letter, and I know I’ve talked about these topics here.
Yes, you should take the time to prepare these important documents, but your resume and your cover letter should be unique – just as you are. Use them as an opportunity to let the client get to know something about you.
While it may be tempting to follow someone else’s example of what worked for them when trying to find freelance writing jobs, resist the urge. Let the prospective client hear your voice through the materials you submit when you apply for a job. It’s the only one you need.