When starting out as a freelancer, freelance cover letters can be a source of anxiety. For those who are already comfortable with traditional cover letters and resumes, it’s a bit easier though. That being said, the freelance cover letter is a bit different from standard cover letters. After all, you’re not applying for a full-time job. You’re most likely vying for a place on a specific project.
It’s a simple fact: the cover letter that gets you the interview is a good cover letter. That’s not to say that any cover letter that doesn’t get you a foot into the door is bad. Rather, your cover letter needs to have the right structure, stress relevant information and fit the specific needs of the client. How to write a killer freelance cover letter? The must-have elements of a good cover letter are presented below.
Freelance cover letter: make a good first impression
The freelance cover letter looks a lot like a standard application letter. The main difference being that the first one is a lot more specific and “precise” than the second one. For a standard cover letter, you are encouraged to show versatility and to present a profile that will serve the company on the long run. Whereas the freelance cover letter doesn’t necessarily have those aims.
In fact, freelance projects durations can range from a few days,, to a few weeks or even years. However, clients don’t typically recruit the most versatile projects they can find when there is a highly specialized talent pool to choose from.
The freelance cover letter is often the first contact; the freelancer’s chance to make a good first impression with their future client. Typically, freelancers try to fit the job description to a T and try to present themselves as the missing link for a specific project.
For example, on a fashion project, the independent worker will try to convince that they are fans of Dior or Louis Vuitton. For video game relate projects, they will list every single accomplishment they ever had in that area. There is nothing wrong with that per se, but it’s not the best way to apply on freelance projects.
Go beyond the standard application letter : do the research!
One perk freelancers have when writing application letters, is that we already know the type of project to which we will contribute. Going through the job description often provides useful and relevant information in that regard. All things considered, this research method should also be applied to standard cover letters. If you’re not doing it already, you should definitely start.
What is the client’s website? What are the stated goals on their about page? What are relevant and recent news regarding the brand? What is the scope of the project and obstacles they may face? This information, when they’re available, will allow you to craft the kind of cover letter that highlights the skills that will benefit the client.
And when the information is not readily available, ask for it in your cover letter. This is another one of the main advantages you have over common application letters. Your freelance cover letter should tell the client precisely how you can help his project. And if not, it should at least allow you to ask useful questions in order to get the data.
The “must-have” elements of a good cover letter
If there is one piece of advice I can give, is to avoid standard templates you can copy and paste on all applications. If possible, always rite your freelance cover letters from scratch and craft it around the specifics of each job.
Here are the main elements that should always appear in your application letters:
Your name and surname obviously. Sometimes your country or residence or origin if it’s relevant to the job. Any other personal information that can make your profile shine can be added to this section. For instance, you can let the client know that you have young children at home, if they are looking for a content writer for their childcare website.
The client already knows whether you are a writer, a graphic designer or a developer. What they don’t know yet, is that you’ve worked on such and such large scale projects, that you have real-world experience regarding the tasks they want to give you. Don’t forget to add samples of your work: articles, links to websites and any other relevant documents you can attach to your cover letter.
If you don’t have prior experience, you should try to impress with certifications and diplomas. Of course, only send the ones that pertain to the project you are applying to.
As stated earlier, the freelance cover letter is your first impression. Be curious and inquisitive! It’s the perfect moment to ask details about the project: the obstacles they are facing, their work processes, etc. These are questions you are likely to ask during the interview, but it doesn’t hurt to show that you understand the scope and outlines of such projects.
If you notice some elements in the project description that could be further optimized, you can already make suggestions inside your cover letter. Let’s say the job is to edit travel videos about South-East Asia for French expats… Why not suggest to make short videos to share on Twitter and Tik Tok too? Even the most obvious ideas can become relevant suggestions. Don’t hesitate!
Not everyone agrees on this point. However, I think that your rates should be clearly presented within your freelance cover letter. That way, nor you, nor your client loses time. And when possible (which is always), your rates should be clearly and precisely itemized.
Freelance Cover Letter Template
The following cover letter was used for an old application. This letter didn’t get me the job, but it contains all the key elements of a good freelance cover letter.
My name is
I’m a native French speaker from
I’ve read the job description and I would like to apply.
have a many years of experience as a content writer under my belt and I have an advanced understanding of SEO. I am specialized in organic SEO and I understand how optimized content can contribute to an effective long term SEO strategy.
I’ve written content regarding SEO best practices, natural indexing, the importance of social media strategies, PPC campaigns, etc. I’m confident that I would be able to deliver the kind of insightful content that will educate your readers on the importance and reach of such services. You will find such articles on
I also have experience when it comes to rewriting (and rejuvenating) existing content.
For such tasks, I can guarantee that the final content will fit any criteria imposed by platforms such as SurferSEO or even ClearScope.io (if you require it). I’m also comfortable working with WordPress and using plugins such as YoastSEO or RankMath. I actually use such tools on my own website :
I noticed that there is no information regarding the length of the texts. I’m assuming that these will be around 1000 words. I also understand that you will want to retain all rights to the content.
On that basis, I will charge $140 per article (which amounts to 3 hours or research and writing + 1 hour set aside for final revisions after feedback).
Taking into account the relatively short deadline and the fact that some of the texts are already partially written (and will therefore take less time), my total estimate for the cost of this project is $2500 should you choose to work with me.
I can guarantee delivery before the specified deadline (5 weeks at most).
I can guarantee the authenticity of the content and its perfect integration with your global SEO strategy. The content will reach your audiences and effectively impact search engine rankings.
I’m available to answer any clarification questions you may have.
The illustrations on this page were provided by PixelTrue.