How to Write a Great Cover Letter for oDesk

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Making money on oDesk becomes easier once you start writing great cover letters in your proposals to your prospective buyers. This is your first (and probably only) impression that they get of you. So, it’s essential your cover letter be outstanding. I am both a provider and buyer on oDesk. I am a provider for my transcription business. I also hire via oDesk to perform tasks such as creating logos and website design for said business. So, I know a thing or two about writing good coDesk cover letters.

But, before you write a cover letter for oDesk, it’s important to read through the job description and understand what the buyer is requesting. Don’t just skim over it. A buyer can tell in your proposal whether or not you actually read their job listing. If you have a recycled cover letter for oDesk, get rid of it immediately. Each proposal you draft should be unique to the job.

Understand and address key points in what the buyer wants in your cover letter. For example, if they say they need a writer who understands SEO, you should address your understanding of SEO and the tools you use. You are basically addressing each point the buyer makes in their listing in your proposal by repeating it back in similar words and explaining your qualifications for each point.

This lets the buyer know that you’ve read and understand what they need. It also makes them feel comfortable in that you know what you’re doing. Don’t just assume that because you’ve applied for a job, the buyer will know you’re qualified. Tell them you are and why you are.

Make sure you have proper grammar and spelling. Even if you’re not applying for a job that requires good grammar and spelling, it says a lot about you and your business if you don’t communicate in a way that makes you sound educated. Don’t use “netspeak” in your proposal. Spell out every word.  Separate paragraphs for easy readability. It’s hard for some people to read a paragraph that is 10 lines long. Each idea should have a new paragraph.

Don’t start off by saying “Dear Sir” or “Dear Ma’am.” You don’t know if the person is male or female. And you don’t have to be that proper. Be yourself! If they say their name, use that instead. Hi Tom! Or Dear Tom works well. This also lets them know you’ve read their listing completely.

Include samples in your proposal. Don’t even think about applying without samples of your work. It’s important to let your buyer see the work you’ve done so they can determine if you have what they’re looking for rather than hiring blindly.

Most importantly, be brief. Honestly, buyers don’t like to read long cover letters. Often, there are 10, 15, 20 or more applicants for each job and they don’t want to take the time to read each one carefully. The buyers on oDesk will typically skim through the 20 they have at first. Once they narrow down the field, they *may* read your whole cover letter. But, it’s important to get through that first phase.

Short, sweet and to the point. Here’s an example of a great oDesk cover letter:

Hi,

If you’re looking for a great ______, I’m definitely the person you want to hire. Not only am I ____,  _______ and _____,but I can get this done for you in (specify amount of time).

I understand you’re looking for (address key point mentioned in job listing). I’ve worked with (repeat key point and explain to what capacity).

The benefits of working with me are­________________________.

I’ve included a sample of my work. Please see my portfolio for more examples.

Thank you! I look forward to hearing from you.

(Name)

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