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January 25, 2020

7 Mistakes Every Freelancer Should Avoid When Emailing Cover Letters

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Have you ever answered a job ad through email by sending your cover letter and resume over? Well, if you have been looking for freelance jobs for quite some time now, I'm going to go ahead and guess that you have done this quite a few times now, too. Here are several mistakes that I have seen in cover letters that are now deemed as notorious, along with what you should do instead in order to get noticed right away - in a good way.

1. Attaching your cover letter with your email

You might think this is a harmless thing to do, but the majority of hiring managers out there actually won't bother opening the cover letter, let alone read it. Instead, they will dive straight into your resume. So, if you want to make sure that they actually read your cover letter, copy it into your email's body instead. By doing this, there are higher chances of it getting read since it will be smack in the middle of their faces.

2. Mentioning your entire life story in your email

When it comes to details, try not to go overboard. Keep things short. After all, hiring managers won't want to waste time reading a lot of long emails. So, keep it short and concise instead.

3. Sharing irrelevant information to the position

Okay, let me just say this: if I am looking to hire a freelance resume writer, I won't be interested in anybody's technical writing experiences. I won't even care how great their skills are in journalism or article writing. Those kinds of writing are completely irrelevant to what I am looking for. I want a freelance writer with certifications and extensive expertise in writing resumes - that's it. So, if somebody keeps rambling on about all of their writing experience, I will lose interest right away. All I want to hear about is their relevant experiences - the experiences that relate to my needs. How much experience do they have in writing resumes? The end.

So, if you are going to give a brief overview on your experiences to the hiring manager, make sure you only share relevant and appropriate information for the freelance position that you want to fill. This will ensure that their interest is stays piqued.

4. Excluding requested information

Depending on what kind of freelance position you want to fill, the employer might ask for work samples, a portfolio, salary requirements, or your hours of availability. No matter what they might have asked for, though, make sure that you don't forget to add them to your cover letter. If you don't, you probably won't even be considered for the position since you failed to follow instructions. Plus, acknowledging the employer's requests will save the both of you time and make you look more professional. Trust me: a lot of applicants won't address the employer's requested stipulations, so if you want to get in good, follow his requests.

5. Not adding a cover letter

I have received applications in the past that didn't even come with information, to begin with. Several of them just said, "Attached is my resume." Well, without a brief introduction, you're just selling yourself short, buddy - most of all if specific requirements were outlined beforehand. Take some time off to add something like "I see that you need a freelancer who can work on weekends and at nights. I am available to work at these hours and would enjoy doing so." Or, "Here are some of my work samples for you to consider along with my actual resume. Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions."

6. Not mentioning why you should get the job

Some of the greatest cover letters I have received were by freelancers who put real effort into them—people who carefully reviewed the requirements of the jobs. Not only did they scrutinize the job requirements, but they detailed them in their cover letter, as well. They mentioned their experience in meeting those requirements in an eye-catching, applicable and relevant manner. Cover letters like that will definitely make employers read the attached resume.

7. Using lifeless closing statements

Try to spice up your closing statement a little. I have read a daring closing before, as follows, "Call right away." This statement was indeed bold, but I applauded it and called the freelancer right away. The closing statement was feisty, attention-grabbing and confident. Plus, the cover letter addressed all of the freelancing potential any employer could hope for.

Basically, you need to realize that hiring managers don't want to hire someone boring or irrelevant. They don't want to hire anybody who doesn't make the most of their time and space, either. So, make sure you always catch their attention by writing targeted and relevant things for the freelance position you are eyeing. Yes, this might take you more time than usual, but you will get the interview and the end - and that is definitely worth it, isn't it?

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April 22, 2011 - 4:33 pm
Nice post!
Tim Ross
April 21, 2011 - 4:33 pm
Interesting article, but if you ask me it really comes down to common sense and thinking from the recipient's viewpoint. Also, a habit I started a few years ago that has worked well for me is to never send important emails such as client prospect follow-ups or proposals without sitting on the first draft for awhile before sending it on. Once I've given it some time (few minutes to an hour or so), I can reread it with new perspective to see how it sounds and whether it works from the client's view. Again, it really comes down to common sense. Just think about what you're doing before you do it!
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