Updated: January 4, 2022
4 Proven Upwork Cover Letters To Save You Time And Win More Jobs
This article is about writing effective Upwork cover letters / proposals , so you can spend less time looking for clients and more time doing paid work.
Readers have gotten results like this:
“Not a week later I have now secured not one but TWO long term contracts due to these templates getting me through the door and my work being up to par! Many many thanks!”
- 4 Proven Upwork Cover Letter Templates
- How To Avoid Upwork Scams And Find The Best Jobs
- What Ivan Did To Beat 50+ Freelancers On Upwork
- 8 Keys To A Killer Upwork Profile
- How To Compete With Cheap Freelancers On Upwork
- How Justin Went From $9 to $50/Hour On Upwork In 12 Months
- How Susan Earned $1,375 Her First Month On Upwork
- 81 Best Paying Freelance Jobs On Upwork
Upwork is the largest freelance marketplace online, with thousands of jobs posted every day.
Getting started as a freelancer on Upwork can be tough, because you’re often competing with dozens of other freelancers for a single job, and many of them are well established on the platform, with lots of great ratings and reviews.
So, how can you compete?
Well, it helps to submit A LOT of proposals.
In the words of Wayne Gretzky…
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
And it follows that the more shots you do take, the more likely you are to score.
But you should also ensure that you’re submitting QUALITY proposals, proposals that will help you stand out from the crowd and give you a solid chance of winning the job.
So, QUALITY and QUANTITY.
That’s what you should be aiming for.
And that’s where the following list of Upwork sample cover letters can help. They will enable you to apply for more jobs without resorting to obvious copy-and-paste tactics.
Each sample below is derived from a real cover letter that won a real job on Upwork.
I’ve included screenshots of the original job postings and cover letters so you can see exactly what the job was and how it was won.
Below each sample you’ll find a corresponding template you can use to quickly craft your own proposal for ANY job on Upwork.
There are 4 templates in total:
The Short And Sweet
The screencast standout, the honest newbie, the quick lister.
Note that each sample you’re about to see was submitted by a member of our private Freedom Business Builder community. Two of them were responses to job invites, and two were cold pitches.
Before we dive in...
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Alright, here are the cover letter templates…
This first proposal sample comes from Justin, a freelance web designer and digital marketer.
The Job Description
The cover letter.
Justin was hired for the job at $50/hour.
I typically use the same model for Upwork proposals: I ask about 3-4 relevant questions about the job in the first paragraph, and I qualify myself in the second paragraph.
So the template is as follows:
Hello [Client Name] , [If applicable: Thanks for the job invite.] It’s a pleasure to meet you. [Ask 3-4 short but relevant questions about the job here. This shows that you’ve read the description and know your stuff, and also invites the client to begin a conversation with you.] [Qualify yourself briefly here. 1-2 lines that communicate why you’d be a good fit for this job.] Best regards, [Your Name]
- Justin addressed the client by name at the beginning of his cover letter, even though the client never mentioned their name in the job description. Often you can find the client’s name mentioned in the reviews section of their profile. Going to the effort of finding their name and including it in your proposal will help you stand out from the crowd.
- Keep in mind that Justin was invited to this job, which gave him a much better chance of being hired. I asked Justin about this and he believes the key to getting hired is his strong profile and track record on Upwork.
- Justin taught himself web design in a two-month period, then started on Upwork at $9/hour. A little more than a year later he’d also taught himself digital marketing and was earning $45-55/hour consistently. Read more about his journey to Upwork success here .
This next proposal sample comes from Natalia, a freelance copywriter.
See Natalia’s screencast here:
Natalia explained to me via email:
This was my very first proposal screencast. It saves time to make a screencast to review a client’s website rather than writing endlessly to explain what you mean. This proposal was an answer to an invite to apply, but he invited a few people so I wanted to stand out.
The client was impressed:
Natalia ended up getting paid $350 for this job, but that wasn’t the end of it:
I’m still working for this client, and he is constantly thinking up new jobs I can do for the campaign because he is always happy with my work.
First, a warning:
- You should be selective including screencasts as part of you cover letter. They are are not always appropriate. Use them if you find yourself trying to explain something to a client in writing that would be more easily explained on screen.
The template is as follows:
Hello [Client’s Name] , [If applicable: Thank you for your invitation.] [Share a link to your screencast and briefly explain what it contains. You want to give the client a compelling reason to click the link and watch. Tell them what benefit they will get from it and note that it will only take up a few minutes of their time.] [1 paragraph explaining why the job appeals to you. Bonus points if you can share why the goals of the client resonate with you personally.] [1 paragraph sharing an example of your work, ideally closely related to the job you’re applying for.] If you want to collaborate with me let’s discuss it in more detail over the chat. Kind regards, [Your Name]
- Pro Tip Use the free version of Loom to create and share screencasts effortlessly.
This next proposal sample comes from Gray, a freelance graphic designer.
Gray was hired to do the job at a 10% discount, but that was only the beginning. As he explained to me via email:
This also led to ongoing work and was for the guys who I am pricing up that $8,000 job for. Its looking like it is going to be a bit more than that btw. Its for a complete game, and Im currently going through the spec with them bit by bit.
I came at it with an honest approach and said basically ‘look, I have a lot of experience, but none on upwork, help me out and Ill do it for a 10% discount. Win win.’
Hello [Client’s Name], I’d really like to work with you on this one if possible! I do have a couple of questions, but first I’d like to make you an offer and some background so you can check my work out. [Short paragraph explaining your work experience relevant to the job.] However, I am new to Upwork and looking to get a few clients that I can build upon. If you take a look at my work and feel that I could help you, I’ll do it for a 10% discount. You’ll get all the expected stuff like a great professional service and a fast turn around, at a bit less, and I get a bit more exposure. [If applicable, include a link to your portfolio website here, or invite the client to check out the work samples you’ve attached to your proposal.] [Ask 1-2 short but relevant questions about the job here. This shows that you’ve read the description and know your stuff, and also invites the client to begin a conversation with you.] If the above offer sounds like something you would be interested in, I’d love to hear from you. Regards, [Your Name]
Note that the template above doesn’t contain the word TOKYO, which was included at the top of Gray’s cover letter. Gray added that as a response to the client’s request at the bottom of the job description. Many clients use this trick to quickly determine if you’ve actually read the job description.
So… make sure you actually read the job description!
This next proposal sample comes from Susan, a freelance editor and proofreader.
Susan explained to me via email:
I bid $125, and it was accepted immediately. This job took me 90 minutes to complete and 30 minutes to double check. As this was a legal document, I was careful to edit in a way that did not change the meaning of any of the sentences. This Swiss lawyer had English that was near perfect. I delivered the files within 2 hours and the client added a $40 bonus to my payment and left me 5-star feedback. $165 for 2 hours is a pretty good rate.
Hi [Client’s Name], I would be happy to work on your [document/job/whatever] immediately. [Numbered list covering the most important requirements mentioned in the job description, and how you plan to meet them. This shows that you fully understand what’s needed and have a plan for making it happen.] [1-2 paragraphs detailing your background/expertise, as relevant to the job at hand.] What you’ll receive: [Short list that paints a clear picture of what you will deliver (and by when) should the client hire you to do the job.] Send me a quick message and we can figure out if we are a good fit to work together! [Your Name]
- Not included in the template: the “Code 833” at the top of Susan’s proposal. This was a response to the client’s request hidden within the job description. Many clients use this trick to quickly determine if you’ve read it thoroughly.
- Want to know how Susan earned €1,226 in just her second full month working online? Check out an interview with her here .
What To Do Now
- Pick your favorite template above, jump on over to Upwork, find some jobs you like, and use that template to quickly craft and submit effective proposals. (Make sure each proposal counts by learning how to avoid scams and find the best jobs on Upwork .)
- Report back and share in the comments below what kind of response you receive.
- If you’re not getting any response at all, screenshot one of the jobs you’ve applied for, and your cover letter, upload both screenshots to imgur , and post the links in the comments below. We’ll take a look and suggest some changes to help you get more responses and win more jobs.
- Join 29,527 subscribers and sign up for our weekly newsletter below. You’ll receive an email every Friday packed with tips and insights to build your online business.
- If you’re looking to improve your skills so you can win more jobs on Upwork, check out this list of FREE top-rated courses on Udemy (updated daily).
Get more Upwork success tips
This article is part of an 8-part series:
We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn’t look right, please leave a comment below or contact us via this page .
- Article Title 4 Proven Upwork Cover Letters To Save You Time And Win More Jobs
- Author Niall Doherty
- Contributions from the FBB Community
- Website Name eBiz Facts
- URL https://ebizfacts.com/upwork-cover-letter/
- Last Updated January 4, 2022
About The Author
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39 thoughts on “4 Proven Upwork Cover Letters To Save You Time And Win More Jobs”
Confirm that this approach to proposal writing works well. I get about 50% of the answers. Thanks Niall!
Hey, Thank you so much! I read your blog post the previous night and sent a proposal according to your first 1. The short and sweet. I applied it and tomorrow morning I saw a reply from that client. Thank you so much. It is crazy. I am going to subscribe you to get more and more beneficial posts.
Hi Nail, I read this writeup and some other posts (the profile remodeling and scam flags) and I have to say, I was really pumped and I put them to work. A few days later, I got my first gig. I finished in record time and got an excellent review. It’s just that after that, I’ve got nothing else. After a lot of proposals using the techniques above, I get a few responses but nothing serious. Any advice? Thanks for the tips and the first job, tho’ and thanks in advance for any tips. David
It could be a number of things, hard to know just from what you’ve written. But ultimately pitching for jobs on Upwork is a numbers game. You have to keep pitching as much as you can and perhaps even lower your rate to get the first few jobs and reviews. Once you have more reviews it becomes easier to get jobs.
Thanks a lot Niall Doherty,
Your Cover letters really helped me to win more jobs on Upwork.
Thank you again!
Thanks for the helpful tips. I’ve already had some successful contracts on upWork, and do use some of the ideas (such as addressing by name.) I’d like to increase my percentage of contracts won, and hope to do so by following some of your other tips. I’ll report back next week, after I’ve tried a few. Cheers!
Thanks for an excellent resource. For once, Google’s #1 search result truly deserved to be #1
Hi Sir Niall, Good day! I just sent my proposal today and hopefully, I’ll get a response soon. Here’s the link to my cover letter and the job posted. https://imgur.com/a/YOwNZdJ Thank you, Joshie
i won my first client in just 5 minutes thanks a lot
I cannot thank you enough for sharing this information! I used a mix of a The Honest Newbie & The Quick Lister for my very first proposal on UpWork. I got a contract back later that day!
Glad to hear that, Sam. Well done!
Hi Niall, I have been trying to freelance on Upwork for the last few months, but am getting little interest from potential clients. I am an architectural designer with 13 years experience, but have no college degree. I write cover letters offering to help with the problem the clients listed about design or construction, list the services I can give them, attach samples of my previous work, and tell that I am ready to start if they are interested. So far nobody is. It is discouraging to keep submitting offers for work that are ignored, when I try to be friendly, professional, and interested. What am I doing wrong do you think?
It’s hard to know what the issue is based only on what you’ve shared here. But first thing I’d say is that if you’ve submitted less than 20 proposals, you should keep trying. You can keep tweaking and experimenting with your proposals, but ultimately Upwork is a numbers game. Even the best freelancers on there probably win no more than 30% of the jobs they pitch for. And starting out it’s probably more like 5-10%.
Secondly, it might be worth lowering your rate for a while, if you haven’t already. Do that in combination with the Honest Newbie template above and see how you get on.
Thank you Nial.
I combined your two templates No.4 + No. 3 in order to write my proposal yesterday. And I got the first job out of 5 proposals.
I really appreciated it!!!.
Great job, Olivia!
Woow! Niall, this is an amazing content and excellent guides to upwork. Thank you and keep it up.
Thanks, Nicholas 🙂
Thanks a lot for your suggestion. Great work! I will definitely try in this process.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS! I was able to get my first job within my first round of sending out only 6 proposals because of these templates! As a student this was such a great feeling.
That’s great, Christine! Well done 🙂
Update, not a week later I have now secured not one but TWO long term contracts due to these templates getting me through the door and my work being up to par! Many many thanks!
You’re crushing it 🙂 Thanks for reporting back!
Hi Niall.. As i am new to upwork.com. I am so.much disturb due to not getting a perfect contract here on upwork. i quit my job as a teacher. But when i started sending proposals here it didn’t worked out. Will these templates of yours help me out in getting the desired job
You’ll do better with these templates than without them, Hussain. Give them a try!
wonderful, i have been much disturbed with this cover letter but now am ok.
Hi Niall Doherty. My name is Jay and Thank you for sharing your great experience Knowledge here. I has just start on upwork. and this will be big help for me. If i says honestly then i was completely tired because there is no activity acting on my profile. i have tried many things to get clients but i just got only one client in a month which is not good. and was looking for guidance and it’s my pleasure that i meet you here on your home(website). I have just read your most of articles and i would like to follow your steps. I am very exciting to leave a screenshot of my next success here on your site by following your words. do you like to give me any suggestions!! great regards, Jay R.
Thanks a lot! This information is so valuable. Hoping to get project soon.
This article really gave a boost to my aspirations. I believe you have just jump started my career on Upwork. Thank you.
Thanks for all the super helpful info!
This article is very helpful, thank you so much for this
Thank you very much!! Valuable info
So, Susan, in her linked interview, mentions a specific course she took with you, Niall (or perhaps it’s one you made?). She mentions that this course was what she believed helped her in her 30-day experiment with Upwork. I’ve clicked around and can find nothing but the Facebook group. What is the course she’s referring to, and are you still offering it?
Yes, I had a course (originally called “3 Months -> $1k” … later rebranded as “Freedom Business Builder”) that was available for almost 3 years but I closed it at the end of November 2018. The Facebook group for the course is still active and our Patreon supporters get access to it.
Are you looking to do similar work to Susan?
Thanks for replying, Niall! Yes I am looking to do the same line of work. I’ve landed a few jobs and would love some tips about how to really take off on Upwork.
Congrats on landing a few jobs already 🙂
The best resource I’ve come across for succeeding on Upwork is https://freelancetowin.com/ . Go through the free info on that site and you’ll be ahead of the pack.
Will do, thanks!
Really Good. I strongly recommend this article
Thanks really find this article useful,will try follow the tempelates with my own works,appreciate.
Thank you so much for this, i find very helpful. I will definitely make use of these templates especially the 1st and 4th ones. Thanks once again
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11 Upwork Cover Letter Samples and Examples from a $600k Freelancer
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Look, I realize there are a lot of blog posts featuring sample Upwork cover letters out there on the interwebs.
But how many of those bloggers can really put their money where their mouth is?
Well today reader, you’re in luck.
Because you’ve just stumbled upon a blog post with example Upwork cover letters written by someone who has earned over $600,000 on the Upwork platform.
Read Also: Can you make good money on Upwork? How I earned $600,000 in 5 years
And in this article, I am not only going to offer a variety of sample cover letters but also a few tips and tricks on how to write your own.
Industries and roles included in this article are as follows:
- Graphic Designer
- Web Developer and Designer
- WordPress Developer
- Video Editor
- Social Media Marketer
- Content Writer
- Data Entry Pro
- Admin Support (Virtual Assistant)
Don’t see your niche on the list? No worries, that’s why I’ve included a general “generic” example at the end that – hopefully – you can customize to fit your particular skill set.
You can also learn more about how to construct your own cover letter in my other article: “Upwork proposals: 11 tips from a $600k freelancer” .
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What does “cover letter” mean on Upwork?
An Upwork proposal is comprised of three parts:
- Cover letter
The terms section is where you will indicate an hourly rate or bid for the project. The attachments section is normally used for related work samples. And the Upwork cover letter is where you, the freelancer, will write a personal letter to the potential client letting them know why you are the right person for the job.
What should an Upwork cover letter say?
Every Upwork cover letter you send should include:
- A confident understanding of the requirements
- Details about the job description*
- A genuine interest in the work
- Your professional qualifications
- A unique selling point
- A link to an off-site portfolio or your Upwork profile**
- A call to action
* I’ve also played the role of client on the Upwork platform. And I can tell you, from personal experience, that most freelancers are just sending generic proposals and not actually reading the job post. This is why, referencing specific details about the job and customizing your prorposals and cover letters will likely make you an instant stand out. ** Linking to any external website that contains an non-Upwork method of contact in your cover letter is against Upwork’s terms of service. That includes contact forms. So if you go this route, either create a landing page without an alternate method of contact or simply link to your own Upwork profile. This may sound like a redundant step to some, but I can assure you, as a client, I find the client side interface to be confusing. I often have a hard time navigating to the applicant’s Upwork profile, and love it when freelancers save me the trouble by just including a direct link.
Also, consider installing Grammarly . It’s completely free and catches all sorts of typos and grammar mistakes. It’s been a game changer for my proposals and my blogs.
For details on how to accomplish the above tasks, check out my other article: “Upwork proposals: 11 tips from a $600k freelancer” .
Upwork cover letters samples and examples
Before we get to the samples, I want to offer a few general clarifications and disclaimers.
For context, graphic design is my primary niche on Upwork. But I am also a skilled WordPress designer , content writer and SEO expert .
All of the other examples I am providing are either industries in which I have some experience on either the freelance or client side. So I feel confident enough to tell you what I believe would attract a prospective client. (But I am also eager to hear your thoughts on these samples in the comments below.)
Also, take note that I am using brackets as placeholders in the following examples. So be sure to fill in the blanks on your own.
Speaking of which, even though you could easily copy and paste these examples and use them (mostly) as is, I encourage you to treat them more like an outline .
It’s likely that this article is going to get a lot of traffic. We don’t want every freelancer on Upwork to start using the same proposal. So I encourage you to customize these heavily to make them unique .
Finally, notice that almost all of these proposals have a few things in common. Obviously, they each include the seven previously mentioned key selling points. But they are also written in a personal, semi-casual style. I have intentionally left out phrases like “dear sir or madam”, “dear hiring manager” and “best regards”.
I’ve also intentionally left out mentions of higher education like diplomas and college degrees.
In my experience, clients care less about formalities and higher education and more about results.
Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at some sample cover letters for a variety of niches.
1. Upwork cover letter sample for graphic designers
Hi [Name]! I am a perfect fit for this project. I would love to help you out with your [new style guide, logo, banners and related graphics]. And I can start [right away]. As you can see from the attached portfolio examples, I even have experience [in this specific industry]. I regularly work with [nationally recognized clientele including the Client Name, Client Name and Client Name]. I am an [expert] graphic designer with [20 years] of professional experience in the field and am [Expert Vetted] here on Upwork – a designation reserved for the [top 1%] of professionals on this platform. Also, I am extremely proficient with [Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator] and will be happy to [turn over source files at the end of the project]. I pride myself on offering [rapid turnarounds] and [quaity products] to my clients. And I would like to do the same for you. I am attaching a few portfolio pieces to this proposal. You can view additional work samples on my Upwork profile at [link to your profile]. Shoot me a quick message here on Upwork today and we can chat a bit more about yourself and the project. [Your Name]
2. Upwork cover letter sample for webmaster/web developer
Hi [Name]! Your project sounds right up my alley. I can easily create a [new website] for you and your company that [is in line with your brand guide and optimized for SEO]. And, I can start [right away]. As you can see from the attached portfolio examples, I even have experience [working with clients in similar industries to your own]. And I am highly proficient with [WordPress and Shopify]. On my last project, I was even able to [grow my client’s SEO traffic by 30%], and would love to do the same for you. I am an [expert] web developer and designer with [20 years] of professional experience in the field and am [Expert Vetted] here on Upwork – a designation reserved for the [top 1%] of professionals on this platform. I am attaching a few portfolio pieces to this proposal. You can view additional work samples on my Upwork profile at [link to your profile]. Shoot me a quick message here on Upwork today and we can chat a bit more about yourself and the project. Excited to work with you! [Your Name]
3. Upwork cover letter sample for WordPress developers and designers
Hi [Name]! This project sounds like the perfect fit for me. I’d love to create a [new website] for you and your company. And, I can start [right away]. I have an intimate understanding of the WordPress platform. And I comprehend the importance of [responsive design, SEO optimized content and usability]. On my last project, I was even able to [grow my client’s SEO traffic by 30%], and would love to do the same for you. As you can see from the attached portfolio examples, I even have experience [working with clients in similar industries to your own]. I am an [expert] web developer and designer with [10 years] of professional experience in the field and am [Expert Vetted] here on Upwork – a designation reserved for the [top 1%] of professionals on this platform. I am attaching a few portfolio pieces to this proposal. You can view additional work samples on my Upwork profile at [link to your profile]. Shoot me a quick message here on Upwork today and we can chat a bit more about yourself and the project. Excited to work with you! [Your Name]
4. Upwork cover letter sample for a video editor
Hi [Name]! I was drawn to this job description – this project sounds like an ideal fit for me. I’d love to help you create [a few banger videos] for your [YouTube channel]. And, I can start [right away]. I have an intimate understanding of not only but also the [YouTube platform]. And I fully comprehend the importance of [channel growth, CTRs and duration time]. In fact, my recent video for [Client Name] just passed the [1M views mark on YouTube and brought in more than 10,000 new subscribers]. I would love to produce similar results for you. I have over [10 years] of professional experience in this field and am [Expert Vetted] here on Upwork – a designation reserved for the [top 1%] of professionals on this platform. I am attaching a few of my work examples to this proposal. You can view additional work samples on my Upwork profile at [link to your profile]. Shoot me a quick message here on Upwork today and we can chat a bit more about yourself and the project. Excited to work with you! [Your Name]
5. Upwork cover letter sample for a social media marketer
Hi [Name]! This project sounds like an ideal fit for me. I’d love to help you [grow your Instagram following by implementing creative strategies and creating engaging posts]. And, I can start [right away]. My strategies have helped my clients [improve their engagement rates by an average of 50% over a 3 month period] and [more than double their follower counts]. I would love to produce similar results for you. A few of the accounts that I manage can be viewed here: [@handlename, @handlename @handlename]. I have over [10 years] of professional experience in [the SMM field] and am [Expert Vetted] here on Upwork – a designation reserved for the [top 1%] of professionals on this platform. I am attaching a few screenshots of accounts that I currently manage, as well as screenshots of their analytics to this proposal. You can learn more about me and my services on my Upwork profile at [link to your profile]. Shoot me a quick message here on Upwork today and we can chat a bit more about yourself and the project. Excited to work with you! [Your Name]
6. Upwork cover letter sample for a content writer
Hi [Name]! I am a perfect fit for this project. I’d love to [write SEO-optimized content and articles] for [your blog]. And, I can start [right away]. I even have experience in your niche. I love writing content about [the travel industry] and [I visit Disney World often]. Plus, unlike most other content writers, I am [highly skilled in search engine optimization (SEO)] and [know how to make articles rank on Google]. I also have experience with [SEMRush and AHrefs – two of the industries leading SEO platforms] and familiarity with [AP style]. I have over [5 years] of professional experience [as a content writer and blogger] and am [Expert Vetted] here on Upwork – a designation reserved for the [top 1%] of professionals on this platform. Be sure to check out some of my related work examples in the attachments below. You can learn more about me and my services on my Upwork profile at [link to your profile]. Shoot me a quick message here on Upwork today and we can chat a bit more about yourself and the project. Excited to work with you! [Your Name]
7. Upwork cover letter sample for an SEO professional
Hi [Name]! I am a perfect fit for this project. I know how to [make web pages rank on Google, Yahoo and Bing through keyword research and content optimization]. And, I can start [right away]. In fact, three of the largest sites that I manage have grown to attract more than [50M pageviews per month] due to the strategies that I implemented. And I would love to apply these proven strategies to your site as well. I am highly proficient with [SEMRush and AHrefs – two of the industry’s leading SEM and SEO platforms] and have over [10 years] of professional experience in this industry. I am also [Expert Vetted] here on Upwork – a designation reserved for the [top 1%] of professionals on this platform. Be sure to check out the attached screenshots from my clients’ [Google Search Console Analytics so you can see the rapid growth for yourself]. You can learn more about me and my services on my Upwork profile at [link to your profile]. Shoot me a quick message here on Upwork today and we can chat a bit more about yourself and the project. Excited to work with you! [Your Name]
8. Upwork cover letter sample for data entry
Hi [Name]! I am a perfect fit for this [data entry project]! And, I can start [right away]. I [have an average typing speed of 80 WPM (words per minute)] and am highly proficient with a variety of word processing programs including [MS Office, Word, Excel and Google Docs]. I’m not only [tech savvy], but I’m also a quick learner and can [easily adapt to any proprietary systems and software your company may use]. I am also [Expert Vetted] here on Upwork – a designation reserved for the [top 1%] of professionals on this platform. Be sure to check out [some of the glowing testimonials and reviews on recently completed successful projects] on my Upwork profile at [link to your profile]. Shoot me a quick message here on Upwork today and we can chat a bit more about yourself and the project. Excited to work with you! [Your Name]
9. Upwork cover letter sample for a virtual assistant (admin support)
Hi [Name]! This position sounds like a perfect fit for me! I can even start [right away]. I would be happy to assist with your [lead generation, data mining, web research and data extraction needs]. In fact, I already perform similar services for my other clientele. I will attach [a few case studies] to this proposal. I can also [type up to 100 words per minute] and am [proficient with a number of systems and software including Excel and Microsoft Word]. I’m not only [tech savvy], but I’m also a quick learner and can [easily adapt to any proprietary software your company may use]. Plus, I’m also [Expert Vetted] here on Upwork – a designation reserved for the [top 1%] of professionals on this platform. Be sure to check out [additional information about my work history and service offerings] on my Upwork profile at [link to your profile]. Shoot me a quick message here on Upwork today and we can chat a bit more about yourself and the project. Excited to work with you! [Your Name]
10. Upwork cover letter sample for a Bookkeeper
Hi [Name]! I’d love to help you out with your company’s [taxes, bookkeeping and filings]. [I am familiar with Texas tax laws]. And I can start [right away]. I regularly work with companies of all shapes and sizes from [single member LLCs and sole proprieters who keep their books on a Google Spreadsheet] to [large corporations with multiple Quickbooks accounts]. I am also [Expert Vetted] here on Upwork – a designation reserved for the [top 1%] of professionals on this platform. Be sure to check out [additional information about my work history and service offerings] on my Upwork profile at [link to your profile]. Shoot me a quick message here on Upwork today and we can chat a bit more about yourself and your company. Excited to work with you! [Your Name]
11. A generic Upwork cover letter sample for any industry
Hi [Name]! I am a perfect fit for this project. I would love to help you out with [the deliverables you’ve mentioned in the job description]. As you can see from the attached portfolio examples, I even have experience [in this specific industry]. I am an [expert freelancer] with [10 years] of professional experience in my field and am [Expert Vetted] here on Upwork – a designation reserved for the [top 1%] of professionals on this platform. I pride myself on offering [rapid turnarounds] and [quality products] to my clients. And I would like to do the same for you. Be sure to check out the [related work samples] I’ve attached to this proposal. You can view additional samples on my Upwork profile at [link to your profile]. Shoot me a quick message here on Upwork today and we can chat a bit more about yourself and the project. [Your Name]
What are your favorite Upwork cover letter tips? What other industries should I include in this roundup of best Upwork proposal samples? Let me know in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to connect with me on social media using the links below.
PS: If you’ve found any of the above advice helpful, and you feel so inclined – buy me a coffee (leave a tip) on Kofi !
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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Very informative .Thanks to you dear
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How to Write a Winning Upwork Cover Letter (+Sample)
Crafting an Upwork cover letter that wins you the job is one of the two things that drive new Upworkers crazy (the other being how to get approved on Upwork ).
This drove me crazy too when I started out. In fact, I must have spent countless hours and sent so many proposals before I started getting replies.
I almost purchased a $300 course just to get access to their community’s Upwork proposal vault.
If you’re in a similar position, you have come to the right place.
In this article, let’s discuss how to write an effective Upwork proposal cover letter that will win you the job.
Let’s get this started!
From Zero to Hero
When I started using Upwork, it was a while until I was able to land a contract.
When I did manage to land my first contract, I thought I had cracked the code and all I had to do was submit the same cover letter again and again.
Here’s what that (cringy and embarrassing) cover letter looks like:
(Good thing it happened before Upwork started banning accounts who submit way too many proposals without getting an offer.)
Using that stinky cover letter above, I still receive a few replies. But that’s it — no new offers or whatsoever.
Two realizations hit me:
- I knew then that I didn’t crack the code.
- Canned, word for word cover letters don’t work.
After three years, here’s my marketing effectiveness:
Stick until the end and I will show you an example of an Upwork cover letter I used to land a premium deal with a client.
Now, here’s how to make your cover letters better:
Sign up for exclusive updates, tips, and strategies
Answer the Additional Questions First
Many job postings will require you to answer additional questions besides submitting a cover letter.
Here’s a good example:
As you can see, the cover letter comes first followed by the additional questions you have to answer.
Naturally, you may spend most of your energy trying to make that cover letter flawless and then, answer the additional questions with a one-line sentence only, like an afterthought.
What you may not know is that when the client reviews your proposal, he will see the additional questions first.
I discovered this when I posted a job on Upwork.
Here’s one of the answers I got:
As you can see, clients will see the answers to the questions first. The cover letter will be the last element. That’s why when you see questions in the job posts, focus your energy first on the questions.
In a way, additional questions are more important than the cover letter itself.
Address the Client by Name
Whether it’s an Upwork cover letter, a cold email, or a private message on Facebook, addressing the client by name has a great impact.
After all, names are the sweetest and most important sound in any language according to Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People book.
But does it really increase the effectiveness of your Upwork proposal?
Well, calling the client by name is just the first part of making your cover letter more personal.
It shows that you have done your research and most likely, the content of your cover letter isn’t canned.
As an example, let’s say that you’re the client and you need someone to write new articles on your website.
One of the proposals you received is this:
Would you hire him? Exactly!
The question is, where will you get the name of the client?
How to Find the Client’s Name
It’s easy enough when the job post has the client’s name.
Unfortunately, only around 1 of 10 posts has the client’s name.
If this is the case, scroll down to the client’s recent history and find reviews from past contractors that mentioned the client’s name.
For example, this job post doesn’t contain any clue about who the client is.
But on the client’s recent history, you will find two mentions of his name there.
Sometimes, you may find different names on the client’s history. Some may have addressed the client as Darren, Karen, or John.
To make matters easier, use the name mentioned in a review from a freelancer with similar services as you.
Let’s say that you’re a content writer. A past content writer left a review and addressed the client as John. In this case, use John in your cover letter.
There may also be instances when the client, together with his name, wrote the name of his company. There’s a lot of gold in here simply because you can make even more research.
One of my clients, when he posted the job, only displayed the company name. There was no clue about the recent history of his name. But since the company name was there, I was able to dig deeper.
Here’s a portion of the cover letter I sent that I’m quite sure caught his attention:
This has led to an active partnership. (I can also confirm that working with his particular client’s team is fun and exciting!)
By that, I don’t mean writing a line that says “I’m interested in your job post.”
There are usually two ways to do this:
- Make a suggestion
- Or ask a question
Let’s use this job post I found about a client looking for a content writer for his travel website:
Just because the job description was short, it doesn’t mean you have to put in the same effort and make your cover letter short.
This is often a mistake I see new freelancers do.
But how will you add value to a post as short as this?
If I were to submit a cover letter to do this job post, here’s what I would do:
- Explain to the client what an awesome about us page is and what it contains. (If you’re not aware, the about us page, in addition to telling your story, is an excellent waypoint to different pages or content on your website.)
- Include links to show him what I mean.
- Suggest how I can do the same.
- Ask him for a link to his website.
You can also show interest by mentioning something that only someone who dug deeper will be able to know. An example of this is the cover letter I showed in the earlier section where I mentioned something about the client’s team.
The Rate Matters
This part isn’t much about the cover letter itself but on what job post you submit your cover letter.
One of the things I have learned over the years is that there could be a mismatch between your rate and how much your client can afford or is willing to spend.
For example, no matter how good your cover letter is, it’s impossible for you to ask a high rate for this project.
How did I know this? Looking at the client’s recent history, he paid someone a measly $25 for an educational blog.
From the client’s recent history, you can be certain that he’s only looking for freelancers with (super) low rates.
One more thing: Avoid low-ballers .
These clients will not pay you for what you’re worth. You will only be wasting six connects which you could have used to submit a proposal to a premium project.
Further reading : There are a few job posts that have a high budget but will actually pay you peanuts — they lure freelancers by posting big budgets. This is one of the things I shared in my tips for Upworkers article . It’s perfect for those who are still starting out in Upwork.
Mention Your Experience
I have read numerous posts from “freelance gurus” that you don’t need experience to land premium contracts.
Although there’s truth to it, it’s not the whole truth.
As a client myself, I would like to make sure that the freelancer has the capability to do the tasks and that he’s willing to learn if he doesn’t have the skills yet.
However, freelancers who have previous similar experience and can prove it will most likely win the contract.
Why? Because it’s more certain that they will be able to do the job better and faster, which is a win for clients who go into hourly contracts with freelancers.
In addition to experience, include samples of related work or outcomes that you know the client will love.
For example, after including relevant samples of my work, this client has responded well to my cover letter and we ended up working together.
If you don’t have any relevant samples, just create one, and show it to the client.
Include a Call to Action
At the end of your cover letter, invite the client to do something. It’s proven that they will likely do something if you tell them exactly what to do.
It’s tempting to say “Hope to hear from you soon” or “Hoping for your kind consideration”. But it doesn’t really invite the client to do something.
Here are good examples of effective CTA (call to action):
- Hit that reply button over there to continue our conversation. (Favorite)
- How about we hop on a five-minute call to discuss your business needs?
- If you want to collaborate, let’s discuss it more over the chat.
I have been working with different combinations and so far, the first one has worked best for me. However, I don’t think there’s much difference as long as you keep your call to action, clear, specific, and easy to commit to.
Keep a Swipe File of Upwork Cover Letters
If you’re not familiar with what a swipe file is, it’s basically a folder where you keep all awesome ideas, copies, content, and ideas you have encountered.
In this case, keep a swipe file of Upwork cover letters that worked. Then, reverse engineer them and see why they work.
This is actually how I started improving my cover letter. I found and saved the winning cover letters I found online and try to understand why they worked.
I usually have three places where I store them:
- OneNote (favorite)
- Google drive
- Local drive
A piece of advice: save your cover letters that worked.
Since I have a record of what works and what doesn’t, I regularly update and optimize my cover letter to reflect what I recently learned.
That’s how I knew which call to action I thought worked best.
In addition, you may want to include links to your best work too. This makes it easier for you to swap out the samples you want to mention in the cover letter to make sure you only mention the most relevant work samples.
Example of a Winning Upwork Cover Letter
As promised, here is a cover letter I used to land a premium deal with a client.
Note that you can use the pattern I set but make sure you don’t use exact words. This cover letter was designed solely for the certain job post to this cover letter was submitted to.
In a gist, here’s how I did it:
Hey [name] , I’m sure you’ve got a lot of pitches to deal with so I’ll keep this short. I help [your target industry] [the outcome your client would like to get from your service] . In the past, I helped [a previous client you worked with] [the outcome you helped your previous client achieve – should be similar to the outcome the client would like to get] . Here are links to some of my work: – [link 1] – [link 2] – [link 3] [Ask a question or suggest something] Simply hit that “Reply” button over there so we could continue our conversation. Regards, [Your name]
Feel free to use this template.
Win Premium Clients With a Personalized Cover Letter
Writing a winning cover letter is easier than you think. But it will need a lot of practice and trial and error to finally get it right.
As I said, it took me so much time and proposals before I got a reply. From there, I continued optimizing it and seeing what works for my target clients and industry.
I’m definitely positive that as you practice and write more proposal cover letters, you will get better and win jobs.
And if you get lost, try the template I provided above.
Now it’s your turn. Here’s what to do now:
- Go back to Upwork and apply what you have learned from this article.
- Use the template and check my sample for inspiration.
- Get back here and let us know how it went.
And as always, let me know your thoughts by sharing your comment down below.
Alan is the founder of Work Pajama and other sites by Content Growers. When he's not writing here, he's busy helping clients generate more qualified leads and increase sales by educating readers with strategic content and writing blogs.
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I am new and wanted to have virtual work ASAP. Thank you for this blog, will surely help me with my application. Wish me luck!
Stay safe always.
Hey Genera! Glad you find this article helpful to you. I know you can do it! I was able to do it even without experience (or skills) at that time so there’s no way you can’t do it.
Keep it up! ?
Hi sir I just want to ask in upwork sometimes it offer milestone in specific job how can i break the budget into milestone and what will a put in the description of each milestone ? Thanks God bless
Thanks Alan. Let me go back and re-strategize
Thank you so much for sharing this very informative article. I’m about to start my GVA career… your blog post truly help me a lot. I hope I could make it in this industry.
Good luck on your journey!
I am inspired by your post and I made some notes out of it. I believe it will go a long way to help. Am a newbie in upwork; am good in data entry, typing and I can handle Microsoft Office. But I do not have any past experience in any company or works done before except personal. How do I start, my first cover letter was rejected. Please help out, I will appreciate it. Thanks
My most regards, Hilary
That is tricky since the skills you have are the same skills that 99% of Upworkers have. If I were you, better learn a better skill and try again. For every job post that needs basic stuff, the client probably gets 100+ proposals, so your chance of even being seen is super low. Hope this helps!
Thank you for this Allan. This is very useful specially for people like me, just starting careen on being a Virtual Assitant.
Happy to help!
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Last Updated on August 5, 2022 by Alan Anthony Catantan
The Best Cover Letter For Upwork : Tips Plus Sample! [2023 Update]
Want to write the best cover letter for Upwork but don’t know how? Well, good news because you’re in the right place!
When I started on Upwork as a freelancer , I had no idea where to begin and how to write the best cover letter for Upwork to get the jobs and clients I wanted.
It’s completely understandable given that Upwork is such a huge marketplace for freelancers and clients!
I wished I had someone show me Upwork cover letter examples so that I could have saved all that time.
But you know what, I don’t want you to struggle as I did, so I’m here to provide help writing a cover letter so that you’ll be able to write anything from short and sweet cover letters to providing outstanding cover letter examples.
So buckle up and dive right into some tips I learn on how to write a cover letter for Upwork during my Upwork journey, as well as provide one of the best cover letter examples.
By the end of this article, you’d be a complete Upwork cover letter pro!
Affiliate Link Disclosure
Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. I hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.
- Upwork Fees: How To Reduce Upwork Fees By 10%?
- Upwork Hourly Rates: The Best Rate For A Beginner 
- Is Upwork Worth It In 2023? [My Personal Experience!]
How To Write The Best Cover Letter For Upwork ?
1. read the job description carefully.
As a beginner on Upwork, you might be very excited to get things going and to start applying to as many jobs out there. That’s fine.
But what’s not okay is if you just blindly apply with the same Upwork proposal cover letter for different jobs and do not pay attention to individual job requirements.
Imagine if you were a client weeding through dozens, if not, hundreds of proposals, trying to find the perfect candidate for your job, and the frustration you face if the applicant’s cover letter didn’t match your requirements.
That’s why many clients have started including instructions right at the end of their job descriptions to ensure that you’ve read their entire post, and also are sure of their requirements.
See if you can spot the special instruction below!
This is becoming increasingly common, so make sure you read through every word on jobs you apply to!
2. Prioritize Answering The Additional Questions
This was a mistake I made as a beginner on Upwork. I often thought the additional questions were just, well, additional questions.
So what I would do is spend all my time, energy and creative juices on the cover letter, making it the best Upwork cover letter.
When it came to the additional questions, I would often post a single-sentence response or make a reference to my cover letter.
My thinking was that the client would have read my cover letter first then the responses, right?
How wrong I was!
I literally only realized this when I started hiring people on Upwork that clients see your response first, followed by your cover letter.
This makes a lot of sense because if you have multiple applicants to weed through as a client, you’d set specific questions to zone in on your ideal candidates. Duh!
So make sure you don’t commit the same mistake I did and invest all of your energy into writing a good cover letter for Upwork that you neglect the additional questions!
3. Personalize Your Cover Letters
This is extremely important. Imagine if you’re a client looking through many proposals and every cover letter starts with a generic greeting.
But suddenly one of them addresses you by name.
Wouldn’t that make you stop and read further?
Yes, granted not all job posters post their name on the job posting, but a little digging goes a long way.
Here’s how I find out how to address the job poster if they haven’t posted their name on their job posting – I just look at past reviews they got!
Here’s one example below:
Most of the time other freelancers would have given them feedback and addressed them by name.
Sure I’ve gotten it wrong sometimes as it might be someone else in their team. (rarely though!)
But the fact is they can tell if you’ve done additional homework on them as a client and are sincere in your cover letter.
4. Ensure Your Expectations Align
Now one thing I need to remind you before you go about crafting the best cover letter for Upwork is this – ensure that what the client requires is what you are able to provide and at the budget they’ve set.
There is no point in doing a smashing cover letter on Upwork but you realize that the client is paying too low, or that they require more availability than you are able to provide.
This goes back to reading their job post clearly for the budget and availability required and also looking at their past history as a client.
Are they dependable? Have they paid decently for past projects?
Once you have established this, then you can go about putting together all the tips I’ve highlighted so far to craft the best cover letter in Upwork.
5. Tailor Your Experiences And Skill Sets To The Job Description
If you want to write a good Upwork cover letter then you jolly well make sure that your cover letter addresses your client’s requirements.
If they want someone with health and fitness experience and you have a personal trainer certification on the side, mention it.
If they’re looking for a cryptocurrency fanatic and you love following the ups and downs of the crypto market, make sure you tell them all about it too!
Often your experiences may not be directly relevant. But dig deep and I’m sure you’ll find something.
I once saw a job posting for a wedding planner requesting SEO articles for their website .
I told them I wasn’t married (yet!) but I loved weddings and I had actively helped some of my good friends behind the scenes for their weddings.
It didn’t get me hired, but it sure got them interested enough to start a conversation with me on Upwork. Baby steps!
- How To Delete Upwork Account + Things I Wish I Knew!
6. Show Don’t Just Tell
You can have the best cover letter for Upwork, but this doesn’t matter much if you don’t have the chops to back up what you’re saying.
If you’re a freelance writer pitching to a new client, make sure you have your portfolio on hand to show the client just what you’ve been telling them – your writing style and areas of expertise.
Here are some of my writing samples !
If you don’t have the means to purchase a site to host your writing samples, there are tons of free sites out there where you can host your portfolio!
Psst, I go through this in detail in my freelance writing course .
But if you don’t have time for that and want to start immediately, Journo Portfolio is an amazing platform to get started on!
7. Make Sure You End With A Call-To-Action
If you want to end things on a high as you craft the best cover letter in Upwork, then make sure you end your cover letter with a strong CTA.
A CTA or Call-To-Action is a statement which encourages your reader or recipient to act immediately.
It’s like when you watch an advertisement on YouTube or on Instagram and they tell you to click on a link if you’re keen to find out more.
You can say “Looking forward to hearing back from you!”
But why do that when you can say, “I look forward to working with you and I’ll be happy to jump on a Zoom call today or tomorrow to discuss your requirements in detail.”
Imagine if a client needed something urgently and needed to speak to a freelancer within the next day to get this done.
Your CTA would have been a godsend to them!
Best Upwork Cover Letter Samples
Now, are you curious about how to weave together all these tips to create the best Upwork proposal cover letter?
Now before you go ahead and copy and paste this or any best cover letter examples for your next client proposal, remember that it is always important to read every posting carefully and personalize!
Made it this far in the article? Great! Here’s a real-life example of an Upwork best cover letter that I wrote that got me the job!
FAQs For Best Cover Letter For Upwork
How do i write a cover letter for upwork.
Here are some quick tips on writing the best cover letter for Upwork:
- Read The Job Description Carefully
- Prioritize Answering The Additional Questions
- Personalize Your Cover Letters
- Ensure Your Expectations Align
- Tailor Your Experiences And Skill Sets To The Job Description
- Show Don’t Just Tell
- Make Sure You End With A Call-To-Action
Is A 500 Word Cover Letter Ok?
No, a 500-word cover letter is not ok. You should target a word count of 250 to 400 words for a cover letter. Keep things short, sweet and concise as your prospective client or employer may have a lot of cover letters to look through.
Some of the best sample cover letters for employment aren’t the longest ones. They’re the ones that display the candidate’s experience best in the most succinct way.
How Do You End A Cover Letter On Upwork ?
The best way to end a cover letter on Upwork is to reiterate why you’re the best person for the job and to remember to include a call-to-action statement so that the client will be inspired to contact you right after.
Some of the best Upwork cover letter samples are those that clients can look at and go – yes, this is exactly the person we need.
By ending the letter with these elements, you can be sure your proposal will be top of mind for your future client.
How Do I Write A Good Cover Letter?
Writing a good cover letter isn’t just for Upwork, you can also apply these skills when writing a cover letter for a job:
- Read The Job Listing Carefully
- Do Your Research On The Role
- Start With A Strong Opening Statement
- Use Forward-Looking Statements Like What You Want To Do For Them Instead Of Just Saying What You’ve Done
- Be Personal
- Show Enthusiasm And Interest For The Role
- Keep Your Cover Letter Short And Succinct
- Ask For Feedback Before Sending It
- Spell-Check Your Letter
So there you have it. The steps to writing the best cover letter for Upwork to get the job and clients you want.
It’s really not that daunting or scary, right?
The steps are very straightforward and as long as you’ve read the job posting carefully, you’ll be able to craft the perfect cover letter that shows the client you are exactly what they are looking for
If you’re still unsure about your Upwork journey, don’t worry I have many other Upwork resources you can refer to!
You’ll realize that the best way to learn to get better at finding work on Upwork is really to just start applying to jobs with these tips and then finetune your approach from there.
Take that first step, start writing and applying, and as always reach out to me in the comment section down below if you need help!
- 15 Upwork Tips For Beginners [Personal Experience!]
- 9 Upwork Scams: How To Spot & Avoid Them?[2023 Update]
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How Do I Create a Cover Letter on UpWork?
Last updated on September 30, 2022 @ 11:58 am
When you’re applying for a job, you will need to include a cover letter with your resume. Your cover letter is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the hiring manager and explain why you are the best candidate for the job.
If you’re not sure how to write a cover letter, don’t worry! This guide will show you how to create a cover letter on UpWork in just a few easy steps.
First, log into your UpWork account and click on the “Find Work” tab at the top of the page. Then, click on the “Cover Letters” link in the left sidebar.
On the Cover Letters page, you’ll see a list of all the cover letters you’ve created on UpWork. To create a new cover letter, click on the “Create New Cover Letter” button.
On the next page, you’ll be able to enter all of the information for your new cover letter. Start by giving your cover letter a title and then entering the job title of the position you’re applying for.
Then, enter the name of the company you’re applying to and their website address. Finally, write your cover letter in the box provided. Be sure to proofread it carefully before hitting the “Save” button!
Once you’ve saved your new cover letter, it will appear on your Cover Letters page. From here, you can edit it or delete it at any time.
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How do i make a cover letter for upwork, what should a cover letter look like on upwork, what is the cover letter in upwork, how do i write a cover letter for an upwork proposal, what do you mean by cover letter in upwork.
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