A cover letter is an essential element of your job application. And while they may seem straightforward, they can be challenging to write well—especially if you’re not accustomed to crafting marketing materials or sales copy. Cover letters are also different in some ways from other types of writing you’ve done in the past, like academic papers or social media posts. With that in mind, here are three of the most common mistakes writers make when writing cover letters and how to fix them.
The Golden Rules
1. Keep it short and sweet- Your cover letter should be no longer than one page, and it should only include information that is relevant to the job you’re applying for.
2. Start with a bang- The first sentence of your cover letter should be eye-catching and make the client want to read more.
Always follow directions
If a client includes specific instructions in their job posting, make sure to follow them to the letter. This shows that you’re detail-oriented and willing to put in the extra effort to get the job done right. Following directions also demonstrates that you can be trusted to take direction well, which is an important quality in any freelancer.
Use words that align with the client’s needs
When writing cover letters, always keep the client’s needs in mind. What are they looking for in a freelancer? How can you show them that you’re the perfect fit for the job? By aligning your cover letter with their needs, you’ll increase your chances of winning the job.
Create an example of what you’ll do for this client
Assuming you have a basic understanding of what the client is looking for, here are some tips to follow when writing your cover letter:
1. Start by introducing yourself and briefly explain why you’re the best person for the job.
2. Mention your most relevant qualifications and skills, and how they benefit the client.
3. Use specific examples to illustrate your successes in similar roles.
4. Keep it short and sweet- no one wants to read a novel!
Start simple and finish strong
Start your cover letter by introducing yourself and briefly explaining why you are writing. Then, get to the point and explain what you have to offer the client. Be specific about your skills and experience, and explain how you will be able to help the client achieve their goals. Finish strong by thanking the client for their time and inviting them to get in touch.