Applying for a freelance writing job can be a bit different from looking for work in the brick and mortar world. Some clients will take the time to assemble a short list and conduct interviews, but many of them rely on the information in your cover letter, resume and/or writing samples to make a decision about whether they would like to work with you.
You may only get one opportunity to sell yourself to a prospective client, so take extra care when composing your cover letter. Take the time to tell the reader about your experience as it relates to the ad you are responding to or what specific tasks you hope to undertake if you are making a pitch.
If you just tell the client that you have written about widgets, he or she has no idea what that means. Have you written five articles or 100 articles on the topic? Be specific about your level of experience; it gives the client more information on which to base a decision.
In a situation where your writing experience is limited, focus on what you can bring to the table. Are you reliable? Can you meet deadlines on time? Do you take direction well? Share these positive traits with the client. On the other hand, if your friends have nicknamed you “D.Q.” because of your Drama Queen antics, you may want to keep that detail to yourself.
Give your cover letter, resume and samples a once-over before you send them along and ask yourself if they contain enough information so that the client could make a decision about whether to hire you based on their content. If not, then you need to add some more information to present yourself more effectively.