In 2012, there were more than three million job openings. If you think about how many people will have applied for those jobs, then the number of job applications is off the charts. Throw the world of freelance writing and design, and outsourced projects into the mix and this number likely doubles.
With so many freelancers and professionals applying for jobs, it’s easy for your application to get lost in the crowd. You might be the perfect candidate for the job, but if you don’t make the interviews, they’ll never get the chance to find out.
Before they even get to your resume, recruiters will look at your cover letter. Creating cover letters that stand out is vital if you want your resume to make it to the right pile.
Read on as we look at the characteristics of the best cover letters.
Create a Strong Opening
Imagine you’re hiring for a position. Then imagine how bored you’re going to get from reading the following line: I am writing to apply for the position of blah, blah, blah.
As a freelancer, you are already fighting for posititon amongst millions of other freelancers. This is why it’s impotant to make your cover letter stand out by opening strongly. They already know what job you’re applying for, so get straight in there and tell them why you’re the person they should be hiring.
Tell Them Why You Want the Job
You would be amazed at how many people never mention this in their cover letter. And also keep in mind, this isn’t just for your benefit, but also for anyone who is looking to hire as well. The easier you can make the hiring and decision process for the end user, the more likely you are to get the job.
They fill it with information about their experience and skills and why it makes them the ideal candidate. But they never actually say why it is that they want the job they’re applying for.
Tell them why you want the job and you’re in a much stronger position.
Be Specific About Experience
It’s all too easy when writing your cover letter to get bogged down in generalizations.
Saying you have “four years of experience in IT” doesn’t really say anything at all. Four years doing what, exactly? What kind of IT?
Be specific about your experience, but also make sure that the specifics that you focus on are the ones most relevant to the role. Telling them about your excellent Word skills is not much use if the job requires you to work in Google Docs.
Cover Letters That Stand Out Are Brief
We’ve already looked at the sheer number of applications that get submitted every year.
Pity the person that has to read them all. They will honestly thank you for your brevity if you keep your cover letter to just the important information, and nothing more. Make sure you use a lot of empty space rather than cramping all your text together making it harder to read.
You should also try to make it look as appealing as possible. There are plenty of cover letter for resume templates out there that you can use.
Build Your Presence and Brand on Social Media
Having a website is now standard practice for freelancers and anyone who might be looking for new work. However, it would also be a huge mistake to not take advantage of social media as well. This is especially true if you want to use social media for business.
Just some quick reasons to include your social information within your cover letter are:
- To make it easy for employers to find your social profiles online
- The benefit of seeing a strong knowledge of online branding and social media
- Some employers prefer social media contact methods over email
In short, unless you have a bad history or content on social media, there is really no reason for you to not list your social profiles amongst your general contact information on your cover letters.
Your Cover Letter is Like Your Presentation to the World
For freelancers in content writing or design, it’s extremely important to make sure you have a cover letter than stands out and grabs the attention of the user’s eye. With hundreds or thousands of potential hires submitting resumes for new work, you need to take advantage of every opportunity available.
If you aren’t a graphic design, adding some color and excitement to your cover page can be as simple as loading your Word Doc of files into PowerPoint or Google Slides, and then creating a presentation, but then also saving it as a PDF file.
Lastly, if you are taking the time to critique your resume for each different job or opportunity you are applying for, you may want to look over the job training specs listed on their site. That way, if they are listing Microsoft Word or Excel program training, and this is something you are already specialized in, then this is something you would want to highlight or point out.
You can then submit this more attractive cover sheet or resume the same way you would submit any other PDF files.
Are You Looking for More Great Business Advice?
As a freelancer, creating cover letters that stand out is only the first step on your journey to your dream job. If you’re looking for more tips and advice then you’re in the right place.
For more great content on all aspects of business and the world of freelancing, be sure to check out the latest job openings and articles posted on Freelance Writing Gigs.