All Things oDesk
September 23, 2008 by Orie Zaklad

There are thousands of ways you can ruin a cover letter. Buyers often have to weed through a list of 30 or 50 or 100 candidates. Every little detail that’s off irritates the person who reads your cover letter. It’s your first — and perhaps only — chance to impress a potential buyer. Mess up and you’ll be immediately crossed off the list. Providers who understand this harsh reality can use it in their favor. Want to write more refined and effective cover letters? Follow these tips to help your letter stand out from the crowd (in a good way)!

  • Keep it short. If your cover letter is as long as this essay, cut it by at least a third. All the buyer wants to see is a polite greeting, a sentence or two summarizing your profile’s relevant highlights, and perhaps another sentence or two about things that don’t show up on the profile — you recently completed two projects similar to the job at hand, for instance. Then a polite closing.
  • Follow directions. If you’re asked to answer specific questions or include a key word in your reply — do it! Beware of typos: Write in word processor, heed the spelling & grammar checks, and read your letter out loud. Try asking a friend to review it before you send it in — even native speakers will benefit from the feedback.
  • Never use a canned cover letter. Buyers can tell. The right few hundred words will prove you read the entire job post, including the requested skills, links, and oDesk work history.
  • Watch your tone. Even if the buyer writes in a casual voice, you should sound serious, yet relaxed. This is a letter from one professional to another. Don’t be funny, wordy or overly flattering. Be helpful and confident, not arrogant, and especially not needy.
  • Easy on the jargon. Use technical terms correctly and cut the marketing-speak. The buyer won’t be impressed by your plans to “actualize” your “proven potential” to “deliver maximal results” to “drive customer satisfaction.” Contrary to some job-hunting guides, you cannot hypnotize the buyer with “energizing” buzz words.
  • Link to examples. List and link to or attach work samples to demonstrate your aptitude for the job. If your profile portfolio doesn’t already include the relevant items, don’t forget to add them afterwards!

You’ve worked hard to polish your profile. But the buyer will never bother to look at it unless your cover letter serves as a concise, effective teaser. If Hollywood can boil a two-hour movie down to a 90-second preview, you can get your cover letter under 300 words and manage to leave your audience wanting more.

Orie Zaklad

Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at The Marc Lavry Heritage Foundation

Orie Zaklad is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at The Marc Lavry Heritage Foundation. He formerly served as Senior Marketing Manager at oDesk.

  • bhanu shrestha

    hello Odeskers :)
    !!! same problem here !!!
    i am too new here in odesk . i not getting a job yet.
    and this is discouraging me future . so please somebody help me by giving me instructions also you can my teacher , i will be very glad and thankful to you.

  • Mehboob khan

    can i have some most expirirence cover letters

  • Mehboob khan

    can i have some most expirirence cover letters

  • champika

    Hi, I am a new user. I like to work as a data entry operator and graphic designer. But I want helps when preparing covering letter. Anybody who can help me I like it.

    • Carl Lester Susarno Taborada

      why u need to post your face?

  • Nazmul Rana

    sir, am nazmul new user i want to work data entry/web research how to make cover letter if u help me then very well for me.

  • Md Yeasin Arafat

    Hi,
    I am Yeasin Arafat. I want to work in ODsek as Graphic Designer.But i have some confusion about this processing.Can anybody help me about that process? It will be more help full for me.
    my email add is
    yeasin396@hotmail.com

  • m a shahid

    Hi,
    This is practically very helpful and guiding towards crafting useful catching cover lettemers. But one needs to read it more than once. Let me harvest benefit out of it.

  • Santosh Inani

    Hi,
    this is very helpful article for fresher. i am new for oDesk so kindly give me some tips how to get testing job on it and share with me sample cover letter with me

  • En-En Belandrez

    Good day!

    I am new in Odesk & i need job from here. I want to get data entry job. Please help me in making cover letter.

    It will be appreciate if you can provide of sample cover letter.

    Thank you.!

  • Arif

    Dear Sir,
    I am a new freelancer so i don’t know how write cover letter & how make portfolio. I requested you give me suggest about cover letter & portfolio. Thanks

    arif.khan835@gmail.com

  • http://www.mtalal.met Muhammad Talal

    Great article, loving it.

  • Khandaker Redwanul Haque Aishorjo

    Your sample cover letters are very useful and given me lots of ideas to know about how to write and what to write for the right person. I got an great idea of how to write the proper cover letter for the hiring managers.

  • tipu harun

    Dear Sir,
    I am new in Odesk & i need job from here. I applied a lot of job but didn’t select for the job in order to a perfect cover letter. Would you please suggest me for how can i write the best cover letter and get the job.
    I want to get data entry job..

    • Carl Lester Susarno Taborada

      you mean the writer has to write the cover letter for you? I mean thats too much! Suggestion? The writer just provides you tips. Like wtf?

  • http://www.medsit.net sakib

    saddam

  • mae

    can you provide me more sample of covering letter pls..tks

  • http://dream-world007.blogspot.com/ Dutta Sukumar

    It is very useful to write a perfect cover letter. The advice / tips which is given most essential. To get a job cover letter is a factor.. So before write a cover letter all of you are requested to follow this site first.

  • reenamarie cabison

    odesk was truly the world’s largest online workplace.

  • Ashish Rozario

    Dear Madam,
    Thank you very much for these writes. I am having 12 years working experience as administrative support work. Now I want to work to do as data entry operator with in the o desk job side.

    I have need a sample of cover letter about my data entry job related.
    Thank you for your kind cooperation.

    Sincerely yours

    Ashish
    abrozario@gmail.com

    • Carl Lester Susarno Taborada

      as if they give a hell of care even reading ur message, people are just getting dumber everyday.

  • http://www.articlesbymutasim.blogspot.com Mutasima Ali

    It is right that a killing cover letter can attract client. But if the works assigned by the client is not done well , then all efforts will go to astray..

  • shaiyak

    I don’t know how to make a very nice cover latter.

  • Thanks for a nice info. It helps me a lot, but it would be better if sample killer cover letters are shown/posted and be viewed especially by the new contractors.

    Thanks for the info. It helps me making a good cover letter, but I guess it is better that sample killer cover letters are to be posted for reference purposes especially for the beginner.

  • http://www.learn24bd.blogspot.com learn24bd

    Thanks for share such a nice blog. Please keep updating…….

  • http://www.zasadfoxclub.webnode.com Md. Asaduzzaman

    I need work

  • http://None Ahfad

    If you are looking for a good covering letter, go to Google and type “good covering letters” and you find your required one.

  • Charanjeet insa

    Dear Sir

    Thanks for your odesk service and guidance.

  • Steffan mendis

    Thanks a lot the tips are very effective..thank you..

    Best Regards.

  • Shiela Marie R. Cometa

    That’s really helpful, but could you please send me some more samples?

    • http://www.deluxeflour.com nwankwo caleb

      thanks for the write up. it was helpful

  • Gerald McCulloch

    Odesk,

    I see you really look after your people whether it be a client or a contractor. Thanks for all the help and guidelines. Contractors take out a little time with oDesk. They are looking after us.

  • Janet Mlongo jawa

    Dear Sir,your guidelines to writing a good and killer cover letter are so captivating . I would be grateful if you send me some samples which will help me to write a good cover letter for a chance to land myself a nice job of my category.

    Thank you.

    • Abdullah Khan

      Dear sir/ Madam

      Your comments is so much beautiful. I and my team are so much like it.

      Please send me the details as soon as possible.

      Thank You………

      Please Call me – +91 – 8126149106

      Regards
      Abdullah Khan

  • http://www.odesk.com EFRELINA PASCUA

    very much appreciated the steps in making a killer cover letter. as i go on my readings im taking down notes of keypoints that would really catch up employers to hire somebody. the hardest part for an employer to resist after reading cover letter such an applicant for certain position.

  • betty kwa

    Would aprreciate it very much if i will be able to receive samples of cover letter. thanks

  • Mohiuddin Mondol Rubel

    Dear sir
    Your comments is so much beautiful. I and my team are so much like it.

    Please send me the details as soon as possible.

    • Sabuj Shardar

      Vai ami odesk notun kaj suru korty cy jode apny amy actu sahajo koren tahoy khub upogar hoby

      please call me vy: 01717102816

      • Meer Hossain

        My Dear Sabuj,

        Thank you very much for your comments! but you wrote bangla?? You should keep in English because more people are read your comments.

        Thanks

  • http://Nowebsite Vijayakumar

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    Your sample cover letters are very usefull and given me lots of ideas to know about how to write and what to write for the right person. I got an great idea of how to write the proper cover letter for the hiring managers.

    Thanks for your great support.

    With Best Regards,
    Vijayakumar C

  • Linda

    Yes, I, too, will appreciate it very much if you can provide me with samples of effective cover letters. Thank you

  • Mubina

    very helpful guidance.
    Thank you

  • Mayette Alvarado

    Am thankful for this guide, I appreciate this so much. Have a nice day!

  • Gilbert Batnag

    It’s very helpful, thank you so much and more power….

  • Janely

    Thank you so much for this guide…

  • Dianne Mia Ocubillo

    Please do send me some samples too

  • NARCISO A. SIONGCO

    Yes, I, too, will appreciate it very much if you can provide me with samples of effective cover letters. Thanks.

  • gertrude

    Would appreciate if I got more samples of good cover letters