Before we discuss Upwork cover letter mistakes, let’s discuss the present condition of job application competition in Upwork. Now-a-days, getting a job with Upwork as a freelancer is very difficult because too many freelancers are now applying for a single job. The clients also become overwhelmed when they see an abundance of candidates for just one job. The smart clients will of course take the best and most qualified freelancer for his or her project. So, how does the client examine their potential freelancers? Now the point of having a quality cover letter comes to light.
When the client receives an application, they carefully read the cover letter, review your feedback, work history, job success rate, experience and skills. After properly examining your profile and cover letter, the client will then make a decision to send you a message to be interviewed.
When you receive an interview message from your client, you should always response as early as possible because the client may need to start his or her project immediately. You must always present yourself professionally and aim to satisfy the client. They should be convinces that you have the appropriate skills that they are looking for. Of course, you should never apply for a job that does not meet your skills. Let’s discuss the 17 Upwork proposal mistakes:
Mistake 01: Copy and Pasting your Cover Letter for your Upwork Job Application
Most of the freelances now have a sense of urgency to receive a job offer, which is why the competition is so fierce. As a result, they write their cover letters in Microsoft Office Docs and just copy-paste as needed. Most freelancers don’t make different types of cover letters for different types of jobs. They think that the old cover letter will work everywhere. I strongly suggest that you do not just copy-paste your cover letters when applying for jobs. Here are the top ten rules to abide by when applying for a job.
- Read the job description carefully.
- Understand the required skills.
- Examine the skills that you have as well as the skills that you are lacking.
- Make a decision only when you believe you are a good fit for the job.
- Pick up the topic sentences from the job description.
- Explain the topic lines carefully in your cover letter.
- You can copy some common sentences to save time.
- Always use new and updated sentences.
- Do not use same beginning over and over.
- Do not use same ending over and over.
Mistake 02: Rushing to Apply
With the competition level being so high, freelancers think that if they apply faster, they will get a job offer faster. This is almost never the case. When a freelancer does hurry, he or she is more likely to make mistake in his or her cover letter. I suggest that you do not rush and instead go over each detail to ensure that your application is submitted properly. First, read through the client’s job description and then apply gradually follow the above 10 rules.
Mistake 03: Always offering cheap rate for hourly jobs
One common problem in most of the freelancers is that they think offering cheap rates can increase their chance of being offered the job. However, this is far from true. When you are applying, you should check the client’s average hourly rate. Suppose one client’s average hourly rate is $4.00/hr, based off of this information you should apply for somewhere in the ballpark of $3.00/hr or $5.00/hr regarding the job requirements. If you apply with a rate of $10.00/hr, the client will most likely not entertain your cover letter. One common problem is that freelancers do not check for the average hourly rate so they continue applying for $3.00/hr. I suggest that you check each client’s average hourly rate first and then apply. Another issue is that when a new client to Upwork post’s a job description, you will not be able to see an average hourly rate. In this case, you should apply according to your regular job rate and make adjustments as you see fit with consideration to the job requirements.
Mistake 04: Applying over the Budget for a Fixed-Price Job
When a client post’s a fixed-price job, they should always provide a budget. Sometimes new clients are not aware of the job budget. The client may put the budget at $10, give or take. The problem with this is that our freelancers start applying for jobs for less than $10. This is because they think that the client will accept the low price. You should always apply considering the project needs. For example, you might offer $100 where the client posted for $10. Never think that if you offer less, the client will be satisfied and hire you.
Mistake 05: Focusing on Experience over the Job Description
Sometimes freelancers start writing their cover letter by talking about all of their years of experience. Example: Hello, I have 10 plus years of experience that I can apply to your job, bla bla bla. One should never focus too much on his or her experience. You should try to concentrate more on the subject matter in the job description. The client will be satisfied when they see that you have related your knowledge to the facts that he mentioned in his job description. I suggest to stay away from focusing too much on job experience over the actual subject matter.
Mistake 06: New Clients, no Feedback and Payment Method Unverified
Most freelancers do not feel interest in applying for jobs where a client does not have any feedback or payment method listed. I wouldn’t let this stop you from applying. Flip the script to a client looking to hire yourself as a new freelancer. Clients still might hire you and give you the chance to show off your skills. You may even have a better skill set than another freelancer who has 2 or 3 years of experience. Sometimes one client may take 3 days to verify his payment method. You might pass up on a great job opportunity simply because you overlooked someone with less experience who is new to Upwork and hasn’t verified their payment method just yet. Don’t let opportunity pass you by.
Mistake 07: Over Confidence
Clients can see when a freelancer has 100% job success rate, 5 out of 5 star rating, proper portfolio, proper work history, proper overview and good positive comments from past clients. Relying just on your profile and high ratings is a matter of over confidence. You are applying like you are the boss and that none of your competition is worthy. You thought that your profile alone can get you the jobs that you want. One thing to remember, clients will first see your cover letter and then your profile. With that being said, try to explain your skills and experience neatly rather than showing over confidence.
Mistake 08: Responding Delay in a Client’s Message or Interview
Most of the new freelancers do not even know what an interview is. Let me make this clear, after applying for a job, a client will read your cover letter and send you a message. That message is called, “the call for an interview”. Sometimes it so happens that a client calls for an interview with you, but you are unable to respond in due time. You end up responding 12 hours later. If the client needs the job done immediately, he will likely skip you can call another freelancer. Try to respond quickly when applying for a job with Upwork.
Mistake: 09: Beg to Hire
Most of the new freelancers have a bad habit of begging client’s to hire them. Just remember one thing; if you are a client and you want quality work in timely manner, you will be sure that you find a qualified freelancer for your project, not someone who begs until you give in. Don’t ever beg for the job. Try to present yourself in a professional manner to increase the likelihood of being offered the job.
Mistake 10: Not applying when you see Poor Feedback
Sometimes when you are applying for a job, you may see that the client’s feedback is 3.50 stars or less. Suddenly, you change your mind and decide not to apply for the job. If you have a strong belief in your skills, don’t let this hold you back from applying. Also, if you have poor feedback on your profile, don’t hesitate to apply for a job. Sometimes your feedback is not important if you have great skills, solid work history and a killer cover letter.
Mistake 11: Shortcut answers for additional questions in Upwork
One of the most important things to remember is that all clients see your answers to additional questions first and your cover letter last. So providing a good answer to the additional question can increase your chances to get a job offer.
Sometimes we see…..
Client’s question: Do you have suggestions to make this project run successfully?
Your answer: yes, I have.
Client’s question: Do you have any questions about the job description?
Your answer: No, I haven’t.
Typically, we try to answer like this so that we cut down on the time it takes to apply. Do not rush when applying for a job. Try to arrange your cover letter in a clear and concise way to impress your clients. You can check Additional Questions and Answers of Upwork Job Application.
Mistake 12: Applying seeing interviews
Sometimes, when you are applying for a job, you may see that there are already one or more interviews that are in process and you decide not to apply. Taking an interview with a worker means that the job is already 90% theirs. Why would you apply for a job that you have only a 10% possibility to get. Just 10% of the time, clients will hire freelancer after already conducting other interviews. Sometimes it is best to follow your instinct and not apply for a job where interviews are already taking place. You could spend more energy on another job where you have a better chance to receive the job offer.
Mistake 13: Cover Letter Formatting Mistake
Remember that a perfect cover letter should have a marvelous beginning, a descriptive body and a stunning ending. Sometimes freelancers rush and forget to maintain the structure of the cover letter. Sometimes freelancers start like this….
Sir, I have been working on these types of jobs for over 10 years now. I know everything there is to know pertaining to your job. Please hire me…..
Never do this! Instead, try to apply in a proper way by writing a good cover letter. Sometimes you may need to shortcut the formalities of your cover letter. However, 60% of clients are still supporting proper formalities in cover letters. Even the highly professional clients may not like all of the formalities in your cover letter.
Mistake 14: Mentioning the Hints
This is the most common mistake that 80% of the freelancers make. When posting a job on Upwork, a client might tell you to mention a hint in your cover letter. Let’s see an example….
I am looking for a skilled sales person for my business. My business is a new brand product business and I want to increase sales in my local areas through marketing online. I am expecting applications from experienced persons only. Please mention, “I am qualified” in your cover letter’s heading.
Just think, if you do not use the hint, “I am qualified” in your cover letter’s heading, the client will dismiss your proposal without second thought. Applying without reading through the entire job description may cost you big time.
Mistake 15: Partial Matters
Read carefully, sometimes you may cook good food, can arrange fresh vegetables, use spicy masala, and make it delicious by providing a variety of other food ingredients. However, all of your efforts may go to waste if you cannot serve it properly. So, when applying you have to look after all of your partial materials, such as; profile picture, title, overview, Upwork test’s, job experience, portfolio, time availability, phone verification and language skills. Make all of the necessary arrangements and then serve it properly in time like a hot cake.
Mistake 16: Fear of asking Questions
Most freelancers don’t know that clients actually appreciate questions from their potential workers. If you are a qualified freelancer, you must understand the job properly and for proper understanding the job, you must ask questions. Again, do not try to ask any irrelevant questions. You have to ask questions in a way that will allow the client to understand that you have interest in their job and you want to make it successful by all means.
Mistake 17: Failing to View the Requirements
Sometimes clients may set requirements for their particular job. The client may ask for the “Natives Only”, “100+ hours billed”, “night work”, “4.5% plus feedback” and/or“80% plus job success”. You can still apply for this job, but the clients can always see that you did not meet all of the required fields. It will suddenly decrease your chances by 60% to get that particular job. I advise that you do not apply where there is not a 100% match with your skills and their requirements.
Last word: Make up your mind…..
- Quality is better than quantity.
- I will not do 10 applications to win a single job.
- I will do one quality application to win a single job.
What do you think after a long journey full of mistakes? Of course, you are now more determined than ever to avoid common mistakes in your cover letter. Never think that you are the only one who is presenting their cover letter in a professional and concise way. There will always be competition. You have to have some personal qualities to separate yourself from the field that will help make your cover letter stand out. I hope this article will help you in understanding more about how to win a get a job offer through Upwork or any other freelancing market place. Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment area.