As a self-employed individual, you need to do all that you can to market yourself properly to secure freelancing contracts and earn money. Contracting is a competitive industry and therefore you need to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
How can you do this? Well with an award-winning, amazing covering letter of course!
According to a US survey, 75% of those surveyed admitted that awell-written cover letter can improve the odds of a less-qualified applicant obtaining an interview; and a whopping 91% said an applicant who has done research on the company or the position they’re applying for, will receive greater consideration than those who send a generic cover letter.
Your resume is the first insight an employer sees when deciding who to hire. In many cases, they go off this document alone to make a decision before holding an interview, so it is vital that it showcases you in the best possible light.
But unless your covering letter is up to scratch, you could fall at the first hurdle. Businesses are receiving hundreds of resumes every single job application so as a contractor, you need to make sure your cover letter is on point or it is unlikely that the employer will even take a look at your resume.
So to entice the hirer to read your resume and give you the freelancing contract, here are some top tips to writing a covering letter to a high standard and one that will not end up in the bin.
Make sure you have the right name of the person you are sending your application to, as well as the correct address. If it isn’t directed to the right department it may get lost. If you are really unsure, give them a call to double check the recipient.
There is a standard format of writing a covering letter. Typically, your address is placed in the top right corner and the person’s address you are writing to is placed directly below this on the left-hand side of the page. Put the date one line below this and start the letter with either Dear Madam/Sir or with the name of the person e.g. Dear John Smith.
However, there’s a much higher chance of success if you find out the person the cover letter is going to according to Business Week.com.
Keep the letter to one page and end it with Regards and your name. Don’t forget to leave enough space to put your signature.
Check your letter afterwards for any spelling mistakes or typos and then check it again. Sloppy grammatical blunders and misprints will only make you look unprofessional and lazy. A fresh pair of eyes can help to pick up any unseen mistakes so ask a friend to read over it too.
Keep it short and sweet
The prospective employer does not have the time or patience to read a long-winded covering letter so it needs to be concise and simple. Say why you are writing i.e. in response to the freelancing contract advertised and where you saw it advertised. Don’t give all your specialities away- entice the hirer to read on.
Don’t be afraid to mention your advantages and if the advertisement included a job description, demonstrate the key criteria within the letter. Remember that everyone else will be saying how hard-working they are so where possible try to say what is unique about you and sell yourself.
Now you know how to write an engaging covering letter, you can put all your efforts into strengthening your CV.
This article was provided by Nixon Williams, the UK’s leading accounting company. Speak to the experts today for professional advice on tax efficiency and visit nixonwilliams.com/IR35 for specialist guidance on all contractor law.