Write a cover letter every time — even if they didn’t ask for one

Many people think cover letters are optional.

They’re not.

The smartest freelancers know that writing a cover letter — even if it’s not asked for — brings with it a bushel of benefits.

Mutual Benefits

For your prospective client, a letter shows that you’re a serious candidate; the extra effort is evidence of a robust work ethic.

For yourself, writing a letter helps you develop the elevator pitch you’ll need for an interview. After all, you’ll need these tailored talking points at some point; why not get a head start?

Similarly, a cover letter allows you to preempt questions that your résumé might raise. Do you lack a key requisite from the job description? Is most of your experience in a different industry?

None of these issues is a deal-breaker, but each calls for an explanation — if not now, later. A cover letter provides the perfect place to clarify and calm any potential concerns.

Here’s another benefit: Many job descriptions say they’re looking for someone with “strong communication skills.” Sure, you could reference your “strong communication skills.” Or you could validate this talent by showing it off. (For a peerless example, check out this 1934 letter from writer Robert Pirosh.)

In fact, a cover letter allows you

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