Make Money Online | Work Pajama

  • X (Twitter)

How to Write a Winning Upwork Cover Letter (+Sample)

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:

Canned cover letter I used in the early days

(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:

The graph shows I was hired more often than my interview rate.

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:

An Upwork job post with additional questions

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.

A sample Upwork job post looking for a writer

Here’s one of the answers I got:

An Upwork proposal with one-liner answers

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:

A canned cover without any personalization

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.

A job post with 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.

An Upwork job post without the client’s name

But on the client’s recent history, you will find two mentions of his name there.

Finding the client’s name on his recent history

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:

Gave a hint to my client that I've read their about me page

This has led to an active partnership. (I can also confirm that working with his particular client’s team is fun and exciting!)

Show Interest

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:

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.

A job post with a low rate

How did I know this? Looking at the client’s recent history, he paid someone a measly $25 for an educational blog.

Recent job history of a low rate project

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.

How the client responded to my samples in the cover letter

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.

Here’s mine:

A collection of my own Upwork 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.

A cover letter I used to land a premium deal with a client.

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.

' src=

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.

Related Posts

Best Freelance Translation Websites in 2023 (Compared)

Best Freelance Translation Websites in 2024 (Compared)

Legitimate Work From Home Jobs for Disabled People: The Guide

Legitimate Work From Home Jobs for Disabled People: The Guide


' src=

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.

' src=

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!

' src=

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

' src=

Thanks Alan. Let me go back and re-strategize

' src=

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!

' src=

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!

' src=

thanks so much for this awesome reply of you Alan. We’ve same issue with Hilary. I think your reply here will surely help. Better learn a better skill!

Good to know. Thanks for dropping by!

' src=

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!

' src=

Wow, great tips on writing an effective Upwork cover letter! I completely agree with you on the importance of mentioning your experience.

Including samples of related work or outcomes is also a fantastic idea. It provides concrete evidence of your skills and expertise, and it gives the client a glimpse of what they can expect from you. If you don’t have relevant samples, creating one specifically for the client is a brilliant approach to showcase your abilities.

I also appreciate the emphasis on including a clear call to action (CTA) in the cover letter. It’s true that clients are more likely to respond when you tell them exactly what to do. Your examples of effective CTAs are spot on, and it’s important to make them clear, specific, and easy to commit to.

Overall, these tips are insightful and practical. Thank you for sharing your expertise and experience in writing Upwork cover letters. I will definitely implement them in my future proposals and strive for better results. Keep up the great work!

' src=

Your style is so unique compared to other people I have read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this site.

Thanks Eileen!

' src=

That’s quite an interesting read. Of late I figured out that it is very difficult to get new jobs in Upwork, though clients are viewing my proposal. So I feel the best way is to rewrite the proposals. Thanks a lot for your input.

' src=

Hi Alan, this was very very helpful and am looking forward to learn more from you. I would hope that a Q&A platform will be provided in place for people like us who would wanna feed from your brilliant experience. Thanks!

Thanks, Alin!

' src=

Just discovered your content through Google search. Awesome and unique content. Just about to start freelancing on Upwork and I can tell it is of a great help to me. I believe I’ve just find a good teacher here.☺️

Thank you Allan and God bless you.

Hey Patrick!

Appreciate the compliment. I wish you a good fortune on your journey.

' src=

Thank you Alan! hope it works. Good luck for everyone.

' src=

Hey Alan! Best inspiration tip, Thanks alot.

' src=

Excellent information. This article offers practical tips and a clear structure for crafting effective Upwork cover letters. It’s a valuable resource for freelancers looking to stand out and secure projects on the platform.

' src=

Thank you for this fantastic guide on writing a winning Upwork cover letter! The tips and sample you’ve shared are incredibly helpful for both beginners and experienced freelancers like myself.

The sample cover letter is a valuable resource. It not only demonstrates the principles you’ve outlined but also serves as an excellent template for crafting our own personalized letters.

Write A Comment Cancel Reply

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Type above and press Enter to search. Press Esc to cancel.

Last Updated on September 6, 2023 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.

Related Posts

  • Upwork Fees: How To Reduce Upwork Fees By 10%?
  • Upwork Hourly Rates: The Best Rate For A Beginner [2023]

Is Upwork Worth It In 2023? [My Personal Experience!]

best cover letter for upwork

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! 

best cover letter for upwork

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:

best cover letter for upwork

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. 

best cover letter for 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![2023]

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 ! 

best cover letter for upwork

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.

best cover letter for upwork

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? 

Here’s how! 

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. 

best cover letter for upwork

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

best cover letter for upwork

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]

Similar Posts

17 Get Paid To Read News Options PAYING WELL In 2024!

17 Get Paid To Read News Options PAYING WELL In 2024!

Do you want to get paid to read news? I could not believe that this was possible when I first heard about it! I know that it sounds a bit too good to be true but it is actually a legitimate side hustle for people who enjoy reading the news and have the time to…

Passive Income For Doctors: 13 Brilliant Alternative Income Sources

Passive Income For Doctors: 13 Brilliant Alternative Income Sources

Interested in learning about passive income for doctors? People might say “But you’re already a doctor! I’m sure you’re earning heaps!” To that we say, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to grow your wealth.  Now the thing to keep in mind when it comes to passive income is that, to kickstart, you will need to…

How to Make Money Woodworking (and Most Profitable Woodworking Projects)

How to Make Money Woodworking (and Most Profitable Woodworking Projects)

How to Make Money Woodworking (and Most Profitable Woodworking Projects)  Do you have a lot of wood lying around? Are you crafty or have you always just wanted to learn how to make money woodworking but you didn’t know where or how to start?  Well, then today is your lucky day because I am going…

Is Upwork Worth It In 2023? [My Personal Experience!]

Is Upwork Worth It? Is Upwork Good?  Are these questions running through your mind as you are starting out your freelancing journey just like they did when I started mine?  I remember when I just started out as a freelance writer and was bombarded with loads of information on Upwork, because it seemed to be…

Get Paid To Move To Africa In 2024: 11 Opportunities & Tips!

Get Paid To Move To Africa In 2024: 11 Opportunities & Tips!

Interested to learn how you can get paid to move to Africa?  People often head to Africa for thrilling experiences, like embarking on a wildlife safari or climbing Kilimanjaro. But there is so much more to Africa than that. If you’re considering relocating, this huge continent has much to offer.  You can choose from bustling…

Get Paid To Read Books Aloud: 43 Sites Hiring In 2024!

Get Paid To Read Books Aloud: 43 Sites Hiring In 2024!

Would you like a complete guide on how to get paid to read books aloud? If you’re a book-lover wanting to cash in on your hobby or someone who feels like they have a great voice but are shy to show their face, then this is the perfect job for you! One day, while listening…

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Freelancing Hacks

Tips & Tricks For Making More Money Online

how to write an upwork cover letter

How To Write An Upwork Cover Letter: 5 Tips + Free Template

Roshan Perera avatar

One of the reasons most freelancers struggle to land clients on Upwork is failing to write a convincing cover letter.

The cover letter is the main component of your job proposal and if you don’t write it well, you won’t be able to get the client’s attention.

Each client who posts a job on Upwork gets dozens and sometimes hundreds of proposals from freelancers. And the only way to grab their attention is to write a cover letter that addresses their needs and requirements.

So if you’re new to Upwork and trying to land a client, keep reading. This guide will help you write better, more focused, and well-optimized Upwork cover letters to get more responses from your clients.

What Is An Upwork Cover Letter?

what is a cover letter

The cover letter is an essential part of a resume or CV. Normally, when you’re applying for a job, you include a cover letter with your CV to let your potential employer know why you’re applying for the job, what kind of goals you have, and why they should hire you for the position.

Upwork cover letters use the same concept. Whenever you’re applying for a job on Upwork, you now have to fill out a section called Cover Letter.

upwork cover letter

Here, you can write a detailed yet concise message to clients explaining how you can help the client and why you’re the best person for the job.

As you can imagine, this is a crucial part of a job proposal that will determine whether you will get the job or not.

Before You Apply For Jobs..

before you apply for jobs

Before you apply for jobs and start writing cover letters, make sure you complete the following steps. Because without these steps, clients will never hire you, even if you write the perfect cover letter.

1. Improve Your Communication Skills

Improving your communication skills is the first thing you should do before applying for jobs.

Learn to write better messages to clients and learn the proper etiquette for writing emails. You can follow this guide to learn more about it.

Also, I highly recommend that you take an online course on copywriting and business communication. Think of it as an investment in yourself.

And it will go a long way to help you write great proposals, cover letters, and communicate with clients like a professional.

If you’re interested, start with these Skillshare classes:

  • Business Communication Skills: Write & Speak More Professionally
  • Copywriting: Essential Skills For Writing Engaging Marketing Copy
  • Professional English Emails: Write Clearly and Effectively

2. Optimize Your Upwork Profile

The next thing you need to do is optimize your Upwork profile.

When you apply for a job and send a proposal to a client, one of the first things they do is check your profile.

Now imagine doing all the work to find the perfect job and write a great cover letter while you have a terrible profile. It will only send those potential clients away. Don’t make that same mistake.

I wrote a complete guide on creating an effective Upwork profile. Give it a read and optimize your profile accordingly.

3. Gather Some Samples

Now, you can say all you want about your skills and abilities in your proposal but the client will never believe you if you don’t have hard evidence to back your claims.

So make sure you have some samples of your work to show the clients.

If you’re a writer, you can include links to your previously published articles.

If you’re a graphic designer, you can include a link to your portfolio.

If you don’t have any links to show, attach sample documents and files in the proposal.

4. Ask For The Right Price

When using Upwork to find jobs, asking for the ideal price is very important. Because it’s always going to be a bidding war between freelancers.

But the key to finding the right price is not to ask too low that clients think you’re desperate. Or ask too much that turns clients away.

To figure out the sweet spot between the two, you can check the Upwork services section.

upwork services section

Browse the category related to your work to see what other freelancers are charging for similar jobs.

Then come up with a price that fits your client’s budget and the regular rates at the same time.

5. Only Apply For The Right Jobs

There are some freelancers out there who apply to every job that comes up in their feed while copy-pasting the same cover letters and proposals.

This is a huge mistake that will get you nowhere.

Learn to pick the right jobs that fit your set of skills. Find jobs that have detailed descriptions that give you more information about the job. So that you can research the client and their industry to write better cover letters.

What To Include In Your Cover Letter

what to include in cover letter

Once you complete all the initial steps to optimize your profile and writing skills, here are the most important points you need to cover in your cover letter.

  • Address the client by their first name (eg: Hi John,)
  • Mention that you’ve read the entire project description
  • Do some research to understand what the client is asking for
  • Provide solutions to the client’s pain points
  • Mention why you’re the perfect person for the job with facts (eg: I have 5 years of experience in social media marketing and I worked for client X)
  • Show examples of your previous work, portfolio, or client case studies
  • In the end, mention that you have a strategy in mind for the client’s project and ask them to DM you for details
  • Remember to keep it short, detailed, and concise

You’ll see how all these points come together in the example and the cover letter template below.

How To Write Cover Letter for UpWork

how to write cover letter

It’s best to write the cover letter on different software like Google Docs or MS Word and then copy it over to Upwork. You wouldn’t want to accidentally hit send while you’re writing the cover letter.

As I mentioned before, learning to write well is very important. Taking a copywriting class will not go to waste.

Take all the key points I mentioned in the previous section. Write in friendly and simple words to describe your proposal for the client.

Here’s a quick Upwork cover letter example to show you how it’s done:

Hi John, I read your entire job description and I think I’m the perfect person for the job. Here’s why: -I noticed that you’re looking to build an online store website. I think WordPress is the best platform to build your website and I have over 5 years of experience building WordPress sites -I’ve built WordPress websites for many clients including CocaCola and Pepsi -Here are just a few of the links to websites that I’ve recently built for other clients (include links here. Or attach your sample documents) -I have a really great concept idea for building your website that will make your brand look even better than your competitor (Do research to find the competitors and mention the name here). Send me a DM or respond to this proposal so we can discuss more details I’m really excited about this project and to work with you to build something amazing. Looking forward to your DM. -Your name

See how simple and concise that looks. And we covered all the key points in that 150-word cover letter. You can easily edit this message to include skills and experience related to your industry.

There are also great tools you can use for writing your cover letter online . They offer more professional-looking layouts that you can easily customize, which are ideal for applying for not just freelancing jobs but for any type of job application.

Free Upwork Cover Letter Template

upwork cover letter template

I made a more beautifully formatted Upwork cover letter template that you can use when applying for jobs. You can download it below.

Make sure to edit and customize this template according to your needs.

download button

5 Tips For Writing Professional Cover Letters

Follow these quick tips to make your cover letter look more professional.

1. Keep it Concise and Clear

Write a concise and well-structured letter. Keep it to a single page and use a professional tone. Use short paragraphs or bullet points to convey information effectively. Avoid excessive jargon and focus on presenting your qualifications in a clear and compelling manner.

2. Highlight Your Relevant Skills

Clearly communicate how your skills and experiences align with the job requirements. Use specific examples to demonstrate your qualifications and achievements. Showcase how your unique abilities can contribute to the success of the company.

3. Research the Company

Take the time to research the company’s values, culture, and recent projects or initiatives. Incorporate this knowledge into your cover letter to demonstrate your genuine interest and alignment with the company’s mission.

4. Address Potential Concerns

If you have any potential concerns or gaps in your experience, address them proactively in your cover letter. Explain how you plan to overcome those challenges or how your transferable skills make you a strong candidate despite any gaps.

5. Proofread and Edit

Ensure your cover letter is error-free by thoroughly proofreading and editing it. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes, and ensure proper formatting. Read it aloud or ask someone else to review it for clarity and coherence. A polished and error-free cover letter demonstrates your attention to detail and professionalism.

Images via

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cover Letter Ninjas

An Upwork Cover Letter Example For Freelancers

' src=

So, you’ve decided to join Upwork or a similar freelance marketplace. That’s a great idea! The gig economy is booming and the compensation reflects that. Freelancers providing skilled services tend to earn 70% more per hour than their cubicle-dwelling counterparts.

But, you have to be mindful of competition too. As many as 57 million workers in the US alone freelance part-time and full-time. And Upwork has some 12 million registered users. Thus, to get your piece of the pie, you really need to make Upwork ‘work’ for you.

That starts with having a well-optimized personal profile and learning to write great bidding letters for projects. This post offers some tips for that. Plus, we’ve included a quick Upwork cover letter sample you can use as a reference. Keep in mind that this post will mostly reference Upwork, but could really apply to any freelancing platform.

Start With Optimizing Your Profile

You can bet that anyone interested in your proposal is going to check out the information in your profile before they even consider you for the job. So be sure that your profile includes the following:

  • A rockstar profile title that summarizes what you do.
  • Crisp and professional profile picture
  • Detailed profile overview that explains your professional background and highlights your skills.

You can also spice it up with testimonials/quotes from your past clients and portfolio pieces. Lastly, add extra credibility by completing several competency tests.

Mary F.

Be Specific in Your Proposals

In most cases, you will be applying to do a very short-term, very specific task. In your cover letter (project proposal) don’t go around the bush too much and succinctly state what makes you a good fit for that job. Include your resume only if the job posting specifically instructs you to do so.

Here’s a quick example to illustrate the point further: imagine you’re a freelance graphic designer . If you apply for a gig to design a set of landing pages, don’t waste time discussing any other skills or experience (e.g. your amazing illustration talents). Instead, write only about your experience with landing page design and perhaps conversion optimization.

Speak in Terms of The Clients Needs

Keep in mind that many of the jobs posted on Upwork are time-critical. The person who needs the work done likely has little time to train someone, or even provide a bunch of clarification. That’s why a person who can say something like: “Look, I understand what you want. Here is how I will do it. It will be done quickly. I’m ready to start immediately.’ is going to earn a second look.

To help build even more confidence in your abilities, consider including a testimonial or reference from another client. If you can show that you’ve completed similar work in the past, that will work in your favor too!

Focus on Skills, Not Personality

Normally, your cover letter is the perfect vehicle to show your enthusiasm for the company mission, and that you will fit in with the company culture. Here, none of that matters. So keep the focus on your skills and experience, not personality traits.

Answer Their Questions

Sometimes, a potential client will post a pretty detailed list of questions they want to be answered, and information that they want you to provide. On one hand, that makes it much easier for you to write the cover letter. You simply answer the questions they provide. On the other hand, if you miss anything, it could get your entire proposal eliminated from consideration. So pay attention!

Cover Letter Sample For Upwork in .docx Format

Here is a sample cover letter that you can submit in response to a short-term project on Upwork.

Upwork cover letter example for Word

Download example (Word version)

Upwork Cover Letter Example – Text Format

Hi Michael,

Just checked your project details “Design a new onboarding process for a banking app” and I believe that I may be a great fit.

As a UX designer with 3 years of experience, I have previously designed account creation and account opening system flows for a lending app (received a 5-star review from the client). You can check the project details in my portfolio, along with several other designs for e-commerce, healthcare and media companies.

You mentioned that you also need someone experienced with interactive prototyping and InVision. I’m a long-term user of this app. Also familiar with Balsamiq and Adobe XD software. 

I have included information about my rates, and I am confident that I can deliver the first design mockups within 2 weeks as per your deadline. Please contact me so that we can get started.

Kevin Ninja

P.S. I took a moment to explore your website. It’s very well-designed. If you’re interested in making further changes, I believe I can make some small tweaks to your landing pages to boost conversion rates.

Final Tip: Sell a Bit Further

Treat your cover letter as a marketing document. Work mostly to sell your clients on the skills they need right now, but don’t forget to sell yourself a bit as well. Slip in a postscript or ‘aside’ to let them know other ways in which you can help!

Discover Even More Releveant Cover Letter Examples!

  • Web developer cover letter example
  • QA cover letter example
  • Virtual assistant cover letter example
  • Email cover letter example

Other Cover Letter Samples

A lovely nanny cover letter example, cover letter for a medical scribe: tips and example, sample cover letter with no experience in the field, cover letter for sales executive: example + tips.

A huge collection of cover letters created by a ninja team of writers and career advisors. Learn how to write, style and file cover letters that employers actually enjoy reading.

© Copyright 2023 Cover Letter Ninjas

  • Privacy Policy
  • Cookie Policy
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Disclosure Policy

Your Green Grass Project

The Best Upwork Cover Letter Sample

I’ve given you guys a real Upwork cover letter sample to use when you’re writing your own proposals on Upwork.

The Upwork proposal is the first impression a potential client gets from you, so it is well worth your time to learn how to write the best Upwork cover letters!

I’ve been working on Upwork for over three years and have been able to make a steady $3000/month using the freelancing platform.

This guide is a culmination of all my secret tips and hacks that I’ve learnt over the years, so that you too can start winning jobs on Upwork and make money online!

As well as writing this free guide, I’ve also created the Best FREE Upwork Cover Letter template for you to download and use for your own Upwork proposals.

This is the same killer template that I used to write Upwork cover letters for Virtual Assistant jobs that I WON charging $25/hour! 


This sample template will help you WOW potential clients and become a successful virtual assistant on Upwork.  

Top 5 Virtual Assistant Training Courses

how to write the best upwork cover letters

How To Write The Best Upwork Cover Letter

First impressions count.

When you are applying for Upwork jobs as a freelancer, make sure you check and see how many other proposals the client has already received for the job you want to apply for.

Often, clients receive 20-50 different proposals from freelancers all eager to win the job. 


If you want to be successful on Upwork, then you NEED to learn how to write a good proposal. It is vital.  

Your Upwork proposal is the first impression clients get of you, it is worth your time to write personalised cover letters for each job you apply for.

How to write the best upwork cover lette

Tip 1 – Do Your Research

Read the job posting two or three times, looking for any clues into the client’s background. 

If they sign off with their name, make sure you directly address them by their name in your greeting.

They might not have left their name at the end, but have a look and see if the company name is mentioned and see if you can Google their name that way.

If the company name has been mentioned, then do your research and see what you can find out about the company. 

Treat the research before writing a proposal just like how you would before a real life job interview, before going to a job interview you would want to find out as much as you can about your potential employee.

Upwork is no different.  

Top Ten Freelance Writing Courses Online

Tip 2 – open with a compliment.

My proposals start with a friendly ‘Hi…name’ because ‘Dear…’ seems slightly too formal for Upwork.

Take a look at the two sample cover letters I’ve included in this post and notice how after greeting the potential by their name, what’s the second thing I do.

I complimented them, either on their business if I was able to find that out from my research OR on the job posting. 

You can compliment them on how interesting the job description is, and why it caught your eye. 

Everyone likes to be flattered and a potential Upwork client is no different! 

Be careful not to go over the top though, people can tell when your Upwork proposal has a fake feel to it. Be yourself and be genuine, that will shine through in your cover letter. 

Tip 3 – Your Upwork Experience

A good Upwork proposal should highlight the benefits of working with you, but you be sure not to brag! 

After opening with a compliment and a friendly greeting, you want to state why you would be a good fit for the project.

Talk about your experience in the industry, for example, how many years have you worked in it.

If you don’t have any direct experience, then don’t worry, try and use examples that relate to the job. Be inventive!

You may have worked for a well-known company in the past, mention them, a well-known company gives you credibility. I worked as a Virtual Assistant for a VP of VICE Media and I am always sure to mention this in my Upwork proposals. 

Perhaps your education is relevant to the job description, go ahead and talk about it, but only if it is relevant. 

Upwork Proposal Sample

Tip 4 – Problem Solving

The next paragraph you will want to emphasize why you’re the freelancer they NEED to hire. 

What can you do for them that is different from the other freelancers applying for the job?

Taking a look at my example Upwork proposals, you can see that I asked further questions about the client’s company and I showed a genuine interest in her particular field of women entrepreneurs. 

My experience was my best selling point here, so I focused on that in my Upwork proposal and made sure to highlight my assets of being excellent at organization and time management.

When you are writing your cover letter have a think about what can you do for the client?

How will you make their life easier?

What I Wish I Knew Before I Started Freelancing

Tip 5 – call to action.

Once you’ve written about your relevant experience and skills, explain why you would be able to make your client’s life easier and solve their problem, the cover letter is finished.

The only step left is to close with a call to action, suggest a Skype call. Keep it casual, just a simple ‘If you have time, it would be great to jump on a quick five-minute call to chat further.’

This isn’t as scary as it sounds and chatting with a client on Skype is a great way to find out if you would be a good fit working together which is vital if you want to receive good testimonials. 

The final step in writing the best Upwork cover letters is to finish with a simple ‘Looking forward to hearing from you.’

Nothing fancy but always friendly and professional.

Tip 6 – Knowing What To Charge

Once you’ve learned how to write the best Upwork cover letter, it’s time to think about what to charge a client.

Don’t go by the proposed budget the client has set, do some research and see what you can find out.

Have a look at their previous job history, what kind of hourly rate do they charge?

Know your worth! Remember you need to make money too and Upwork takes a hefty 24% commission for the first $500 earned with a client, so be sure to factor this into your rate. 

When I apply for jobs, if I can see that a client has a strong job history and pays fair rates, then I am not afraid to double their proposed budget. 

For example, recently a client proposed $200 for a SEO project, I calculated that the work was worth $455 so that’s what I submitted in my proposal. . . and I won it!

That was more than two times the original proposed budget, but it wouldn’t be worth my time doing it for less.

If a client doesn’t want to pay a fair wage then pass, there are fair clients out there on Upwork, it is worth the wait to find them.

Know your worth and add tax!

Tip 7 – Double Check

After writing the best Upwork cover letter ever, the final thing to do is double-check it all.

Look for small spelling mistakes.

Does it read well?

Are all your facts able to be backed up if asked for proof?

Then click submit and let’s win jobs!

The Best Upwork Cover Letter Template PDF

We were all beginners once, so I want to make your life a bit easier and have created this FREE Upwork Proposal Template that I used to use when writing my Upwork cover letters.


Use the template as a basic structure but be sure to customize it appropriately for each job proposal you submit for. 

If you have any further questions about how to write the best Upwork cover letter or how to be successful on Upwork, feel free to write below in the comments or shoot me a quick email!

Further Upwork Resources

Why You’re Not Winning Jobs On Upwork

How To Be Successful On Upwork


Related Posts

fitness tips for women wanting to get in shape

Why fitness is the key to motivation and success

i don't know what to do with my life

I Don’t Know What To Do With My Life

5 thoughts on “the best upwork cover letter sample”.

' src=

So useful, thank you!

' src=

What a great step by step guide for putting your best foot forward. Thank you for sharing this info!

' src=

This was an awesome post! Very informative!

' src=

Nice and concise post that will be helpful to many people!

' src=

Great template! I have contemplated doing work on this platform, but have never jumped in. Thanks for the suggestions.

Comments are closed.

Subscribe To The Newsletter

Stay up to date on what’s happening here at Your Green Grass Proejct

So, you want to create winning cover letters on Upwork? Read this

' src=

Are you dreaming of landing freelance clients remotely and get the control to quit your job?

The first step is writing a cover letter on Upwork that wins a client over to your side. In this guide, you and I will dive deeper into what good and bad proposals look like and the specific steps to master writing them.

You’ll need to know less than you think and practice more but don’t worry, we’ll cover everything you need. This is the best skill you can master to earn money on the side. I know that’s a bold statement and think about it: even if you could do nothing else, you can offer to help businesses write proposals or sell their services for them. 

I take a different approach than most others because I don’t feel good about coming across as salesy. To my luck, it turns out to work really well as you might have seen in the case studies here .

The trade-off is that it requires more work than the average freelancer puts in, so truth be told, this is not for everyone. If you feel lazy and freelancing isn’t that important to you, no judgment from me but this probably isn’t what you are looking for.

With that note out of the way, let’s dig in!

Update : I prepared an article on writing strong Upwork proposals over at Millo in case you are serious about landing clients.

No matter if we are looking for a freelance gig, a traditional job, running a marketing campaign, writing copy or anything else that has an element of persuasion to it, we tend to win by first understanding what the client is looking for before crafting what we’ll show them.

To make this guide on writing a winning cover letter on Upwork very real, let’s first upload a project to the website and see what happens before we dive into the nitty-gritty of how to master the Upwork proposals.

How freelance clients experience Upwork

We could have picked any type of project, so to make this easy to follow for many of us, let’s pick a project around lead generation research.

First, we need to decide on a job title and category.

cover letter upwork - setting up a project

Next, we click update and move on to writing what we think is a good and descriptive project description. I took the liberty of preparing one that you can see below – I apologize for the zoom out, I wanted to add everything there for you to see.

best cover letter in upwork

Let’s make this a one-time project and move on.

best cover letter in upwork

There are so many different skills we can attach to the project. It feels as if there are too many to choose from, so let’s just pick quantitative research and move on.

best cover letter in upwork

On the same page we also have to pick some skills. It is unclear what this is for, so let’s stick with market research and data entry. 

We also need to share what level of experience the freelancer should have. It’s difficult to judge, so let’s pick the one in the middle. It’s probably a nice balance.

best cover letter in upwork

Next, we have to select if we only want to invite a specific freelancer or make it public, and how many freelancers we need. One freelancer will do for this project. Let’s keep it open and get some bids so the freelancers can show us what they got, shall we?

best cover letter in upwork

Finally, it seems, we have to enter the budget. A fixed price seems like a good bet but I don’t know how much this is worth. Especially, since we don’t yet know how many leads are out there and we want to pay what’s fair without getting ripped off.

Let’s say $1 per lead and add $200. Perhaps we are able to change it later.

best cover letter in upwork

A quick review of our details and we are off to the races.

best cover letter in upwork

Yay! Our project is live! We are taken to this page and suggested to invite freelancers but since we don’t know any, we’ll let the freelancers come to us with proposals.

best cover letter in upwork

Fast forward two days… Let’s see if we got any proposals.

..We did! We got 20 proposals. This is what it looks like when we browse through the proposals:

best cover letter in upwork

Somehow Upwork has decided for us that 14 out of the 20 options are the “best match”. Let’s take a look. I have blurred out any personal details out of respect for each freelancers’ privacy.

cover letter upwork example - template

Let’s look at the other proposals…

cover letter upwork

Wow, this is a long proposal. Interesting. The freelancer found and included my name which is great.

This next proposal is long, so I had to bite it up into two screenshots.

best cover letter in upwork

Besides the fact that this is very long and a good chunk of it feels like rewording of the project description, this isn’t bad either. The freelancer has a few questions and has thought about the project along with specifics that we will receive as a client. Not bad at all.

best cover letter in upwork

This next one has attached an example from a similar project. For privacy of the people in the doc, I’ll not add it here but the formatting looks like what you and I are looking for.

The proposal is nice, short and not bad at all. Let’s see what else we have.

best cover letter in upwork

I’m not entirely sure how the language skills help with the project. Are you? Anyway, let’s not sit and think about how it might, with all the cover letters we have to go through. 

We are busy and this is just one task out of many that we have to do as a client running a business. It’s one of those cases where it would be great if the freelancer had explained how it could help the project.

The rest of the proposals are quite similar… except for these two:

winning cover letter upwork example

Nice! Look at this doc:

best cover letter in upwork

The freelancer showed a sample of what our project would look like. There were only one other candidate that did the same thing:

winning cover letter upwork example

The proposal itself doesn’t feel that relevant to the project but based on the sample below it feels as if the freelancer understands what we are looking for. Right?

best cover letter in upwork

There are plenty more, similar, proposals. Since you are busy and don’t have all day to look at this (just like clients don’t), let’s leave it with those highlights. 

Looking over these proposals, what do you notice?

I notice a few things:

We got a few different “categories” of proposals: 

  • The “hail mary” copy-paste proposal that isn’t really relevant
  • The ones that tried to explain how their experience was relevant
  • The ones that showed us what the project would look like when it is completed

As a client it feels easier to judge if someone is the right fit by showing us something rather than telling us about their background. 

Particularly, because it is hard to trust that we are on the same page — even if someone says they understand, I’ve worked in outsourcing and remote projects for long enough to know that just saying someone understands is no guarantee that the two parties are on the same page.

Communicating between client and freelancer, and being on the same page is the biggest challenge with outsourcing, so it is extra important that even if we feel we understand, that we also work to make the client feel that we understand because there is a high chance we are not on the same page. 

Especially, clients experienced at hiring will be concerned about this and we’ll look experienced and score some easy points by pointing out that we know this is a problem and work to mitigate it. Telling something is easy – I can tell you that I know how to build a new Facebook but why would you believe me? Saying stuff is easy.. Especially on the internet.

It is really challenging to make the solution attractive based on explaining ourselves compared to showing the sample as a few of the freelancers did. There is something to the visual aspect.

At this point in the hiring process, we haven’t even looked at pricing, the Job Success Score, testimonials, top rated-badges or anything like that. 

It didn’t even cross my mind since we first need to make sure that we are getting what we are looking for and we got that proven from two people.

Almost all of the proposals were focused on the freelancer writing it rather than the project and the client. The irony is that I wouldn’t have thought about their background much if they haven’t focused so much on highlighting it.

And guess what: just as the freelancer is thinking about themselves, we as the client is doing the same. Everyone is and it’s normal. I don’t really care about their background, just whether they can do the project well or not.

Since most of the freelancer competition thinks about themselves, if we do the opposite, we’ll stand out immediately.

Another thing that I noticed in the proposals is that I didn’t feel any personal connection. I know this isn’t obvious but I would have loved to see a more personal or friendly way of writing the proposals. Most of the proposals felt very formal and in some cases even formulaic.

Even though freelancers are able to see how many proposals have been submitted, no one seemed to comment or mitigate the fact that there were a lot of competing freelancers for the same project. 

Many of the proposals would have been decent or perhaps even gotten a shot if there weren’t any other proposals… but there were. 

Since we can only hire one freelancer for the project, it’s a winner takes all scenario so if someone would make it 10% better, they would probably win.

With a lot of proposals and little time (being a busy client), it can feel overwhelming to look through many proposals and none of the freelancers seemed to consider that — and even if they did, we don’t know what they are thinking if they don’t share it with us. It doesn’t feel fair as a freelancer, I agree, but it is the world we live in and I’ve seen clients feel this way so many times.

I’m pleasantly surprised that there are more customized proposals whereas in the past, I’ve seen that most of the proposals have been lazy and irrelevant copy-paste cover letters.

Experienced clients see right through the template proposals, especially since there are many other proposals to compare with.

If we take the time to write even a basic custom proposal, we move from the worst bracket and into the middle bracket (in the three proposal brackets we talked about earlier) that might be considered for the project depending on the competition.

The challenge is that in most cases there can be only one winning freelancer, so we need to be the best. Luckily, it often isn’t that challenging.

Now, with a basic perspective of how it feels to be on the client side, let’s look at what good proposals look like and how we can create our own. 

But first, let’s look at why we keep sending the same proposals even if they don’t land us any jobs and how clients are pitched by other freelancers outside of Upwork compared to on the website so we have a basic reference point.

Why we keep sending proposals that don’t land jobs

We’ve all tried doing something that doesn’t work like sending out proposals that doesn’t land clients. After sending out a bunch of similar ones and not hearing back, why do we keep applying in the same way even though we know it probably won’t work?

Or in other words, why do we keep doing the same thing yet expect a different result?

This quote is often signed as said by Einstein but that doesn’t seem to be true: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Either way, the point is great.

For some of us it is because we feel like we are working even though we know that working and making progress is not the same thing.

We are used to focusing on the number of hours we work from our traditional job but here on Upwork/with freelancing, we win by focusing on impact.

To mitigate it, we can for example create a habit around having a “doctor’s appointment” where we go undisturbed to dive deeper into the project for a little bit.

This requires reframing since we are used to clock in and out of jobs for a long time, and so this will naturally take a while to change.

This is one of the most powerful life lessons I’ve learned from freelancing and ironically, working in a traditional job, modern bosses tend to love this since it moves their business forward. Clocking in and out is just a metric created to hopefully help drive an impact on the bottom line but it isn’t a very good fit for that.

Examples of winning cover letters on Upwork

An Upwork proposal is different from what clients normally consider a proposal. On Upwork, this is the first impression the client gets of us whereas outside of Upwork, the proposal is usually the final recap of a potential project.

This graphic can serve as a summary:

best cover letter in upwork

As you’ll see, we’ll normally have had the opportunity to establish that we are good at what we do, discuss a specific project, and perhaps even flesh out the details. On Upwork, it is the other way around.

An Upwork proposal consists of a cover letter and sometimes additional questions, although the word “cover letter” is sometimes used interchangeably with “proposal”.

So what does a good Upwork proposal look like? Let’s dig in by first look at a few example proposals that won the project they were pitching for!

Upwork cover letter examples

The job description

winning cover letter upwork example

The Upwork cover letter

best cover letter in upwork

The project was won at $35/h.

Another example. The project description:

winning cover letter upwork example

Won at $250.

winning cover letter upwork example

The cover letter:

winning cover letter upwork example

The Upwork cover letter:

winning cover letter upwork example

Why did these Upwork cover letters work?

Let’s see which insights we can extract from the cover letters. What do you notice? 

I notice that the proposals feel custom written to each of the projects — they show that the freelancer took the time to get to know the client and project before applying. There are some minor mistakes here and there. They are not perfect and that’s OK too.

The cover letters are SPECIFIC both in terms of addressing the project but also the freelancers’ background. They comment specifically on the project or business showing that they did their research.

I also notice that they often point out a specific unknown in the project that the client might not have thought about. Something that is needed in order to give accurate advice or price.

They take one of the following approaches (or both): friendly with genuine interest or focus on being the expert.

They are not trying to be the expert by writing a long essay about their experience, in fact, they tend to have only a small section about the freelancers’ expertise or background.

And finally, they end with a CTA to make the conversation and next steps easier for the client.

Other insights I’ve noticed are:

  • The human aspect is more important than we think. I’ve earned a lot by being friendly, thoughtful of the client’s time, and focused on what they wanted – not always what I thought was best
  • Showcasing our expertise and portfolio is important. Just not as always much as we like to think.

Next, let’s dive into how to apply these insights in our own Upwork cover letters.

Step by step guide to writing Upwork cover letters that win projects

A quick note before we begin. Since I’ve covered most of the frequent Upwork cover letter questions more in detail separately, I will not be diving into them here but I here are the links to each of them in case you need to dive in:

  • Why do you think you are a good fit for this particular project?
  • Do you have suggestions to make this project run successfully?
  • What part of this project most appeals to you?

Let’s put everything we’ve learned together into the three key sections in the proposal:

Step 1: The hook

Direct response copywriting is the art of writing copy that persuades people to do  certain things — usually buy a product. 

That rule is that the headline only has one purpose: to get the reader to write the first paragraph. And the first paragraph only has one purpose: to get the reader to read the second paragraph.

You get the gist. When we apply for Upwork jobs with many proposals that are already submitted, this is particularly important, since it is easy to be lost in the sea of other proposals as we saw earlier. 

The first few paragraphs have one purpose, to get the client to open the proposal in first place. That’s it!

We can do that by addressing the client by name to instantly show that we are not wasting their time. Experienced Upwork clients are used to shitty and irrelevant proposals, so this is a good way to signal right from the get go that we are not one of those.

We can use the first few lines to write something that hooks them in since they can see that in their dashboard without opening the proposal. For example a compliment about the project or how we have similar experience.

For example “Hi NAME, I’m excited to see that you are also working in the language learning industry. I’ve helped a number of similar businesses drive customers with Facebook ads.”

Or “Hi NAME, I got excited when I saw your project about helping language students. I’ve learned two languages on my own and the most common challenge I see with students is that they are afraid of practicing because they don’t want to look stupid.”

You will often be able to find the name of the client in previous project descriptions or in the testimonials from previous projects.

Step 2: The meat

All other things being equal, this is the most important part of the proposal: We’ll show the client why we are relevant for the project. 

We can do that in a few different ways. For example by showing what we’ve done in the past but instead of showing our entire portfolio or work history, we’ll highlight just a few examples that are relevant to the project. 

That way, the busy client can quickly understand why we are relevant instead of looking at our life story and trying to guess it themselves. This is extra work and it is hard, and that’s why the client doesn’t do it. Most freelancers don’t do it either and so if we do, it’s so much easier to win the project.

For example “ As I understand you are looking for help running Facebook ads to drive more customers. I’ve helped a number of businesses similar to yours, one was teaching German and another Spanish.

By experimenting with different images, text, and audiences, I optimized the campaign from getting customers at $9/customer to $1/customer. There are many things to test but I’ve found that just focusing on the two that make a big difference will give the most bang for your buck. It would be great to speak with you to understand what you’ve already tried and how it went.”

If you don’t feel like you have perfectly related experience, highlight a project and show how one part of it is relevant. If the customers have been the same, you might highlight the pain points and show that you understand that type of customer well.

For example, if the project is for a business selling bathroom utilities like this one:

cover letter upwork example - project description

We might say: “ I helped another client in the bathroom utility industry generate leads with online marketing. We tested out three different channels: SEO, Linked ads, and Google search ads. LinkedIn was decent yet expensive. We built a great combo between different channels that I think you’ll find attractive.

Even though the items sold were slightly different, they were in a similar industry so there is likely overlap with the buying decision between their customers and yours.

With another client that sells portable gear for events, I’ve helped build a short term funnel with ads to get client leads quickly and a long-term approach with organic search traffic.

I figure your business is likely selling to event owners and in the second example my client was doing the same yet selling different gear.”

Do you remember the two best proposals we saw for the project we put on Upwork earlier? Showing samples as they did is another great approach to the “meat”-section of the proposal if we can show exactly what the project will look like. 

This is particularly great if you feel as if you don’t have any relevant experience because we move the focus to what the project will look like. 

We can expand this by walking the client through the process as well. This is also where we mitigate hidden client questions.

Common questions that are often not shared in the project description and overlooked are: 

  • If there are changes/revisions during the project, will we, as the freelancer, disappear?
  • Will we be easy to work with or does the busy client have to learn something new e.g. software?

We can mitigate that by for example detailing how communication might look like throughout the project e.g. if they will get weekly updates or a quick response time. 

Long-time readers of the blog will not be surprised: this is where putting in the extra effort upfront pays off.

However, I have noticed that even if something isn’t perfect, clients tend to love to see that we put in the effort because it doesn’t happen often. Modern business owners switch more and more from focusing on a specific skill set when hiring and instead, towards attitude and mindset because skills are easier to teach. 

We can show that by briefly explaining our thoughts behind what we are showing them and if relevant, the thought process behind it. 

For example if a job description is showing how a client want to run Facebook ads but doesn’t mention the project, we might explain that in order to recommend the best strategy we’d need to know more about the product and industry.

We might also show an example of how it changes depending on the price of the product e.g. that when a product cost more, a longer funnel/more time is needed in order to persuade the buyer.

Step 3: the close

This section is easy and focuses on next steps. Write a paragraph or two about the portfolio pieces or testimonials you have attached – don’t just attach things and let the busy client guess what it is.

Then conclude with one question so the client knows what to do next. I like to suggest a phone call to learn more but if you aren’t sure if you can help the client yet, you might ask a simple question about their business such as which industry they are in or about the products they sell.

For example, “I’d like to keep this short to respect your time. I have attached a few testimonials from previous projects, in case you are curious. Out of interest, what are your most popular products and what price point do they sell at?”

There is no real formula and it is more art than science as long as you add the key components and answer the questions that the client is looking to get answered. They might be described directly in the job description as well as those hidden questions we discussed before.

The client wants to know how we can help them and the more specific we are in showing them that, the easier it is to understand why they should work with us.

Portfolio, Upwork profile text, Job Success Score, etc. are all ways to show that and help the client “outsource ” the decision. 

We can either help them outsource the deciding by having them think “if this freelancer worked on x project or with y client brand that I like, they can probably help me as well”, or we can go ahead and show them directly how their project will look and what it feels like to work together with us through showing the process.

For example, if there is a big timezone difference we might realize that they could be concerned about it and instead of leaving it up to chance we can address it right away — which also shows that we thought about the client and how they might feel.

We might tell them that the time zone difference is actually a benefit because they can wake up to a project update in their inbox since we can work on their project while they are asleep because of the time zone difference. 

Notice how much we dive into how the client feels. That is not random. Clients often hire freelancers based on emotions even though most of us like to think that it is a logical decision.

Remember, your proposal doesn’t need to be the best in the world, it just needs to be better than the other applicants.

How to win projects if you have no experience?

You and I have already discussed this earlier in the guide and the overarching idea is to win by showing that we put in a lot of effort. We can also make it easier by picking an idea that can be done without crazy technical knowledge like leads research.

The most common approaches to show your attitude is to:

  • Show a sample of how the project will be done
  • Help the client visualize what the project looks like when it is complete and how the collaboration (incl. communication) will work throughout the project so they know what to expect
  • Show that you’ve worked hard to understand the client by including small details that indicate you’ve done your homework instead of writing a long essay

How to write cover letters fast with templates

I don’t recommend using this section until you’ve landed plenty of clients and feel confident that when you send out a certain number of cover letters, you know you’ll land a client.

Only then does it make sense to optimize the process. Otherwise we are optimizing the wrong thing and not gaining anything.

That being said, the simplest way to go about it is to categorize the clients you’ve worked with into certain buckets depending on what type of job descriptions they use and then collect all the winning proposals for each of those job description types.

Next, mix and match each of the proposal sections for new proposals like a swipe file. For example, you might use half of the meat section from one proposal, another half from another proposal and the closing section from a third proposal.

The key here is to only use winning proposals since you know that they work. It makes sense to experiment with a few things here and there to develop new ideas as well. That works particularly well if you can reuse some proven sections of your old proposals.

' src=

Post navigation

Previous post.

How to get approved on Upwork (even if it has been denied before)

No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Privacy Overview

  • Forums Forums Freelancers New to Upwork Clients Coffee Break Agencies Support Forum Get Profile Feedback Bulletin Board
  • Academy Academy Upwork Essentials Work with a Coach Upskill with our Partners Attend an Event AI Education Library Learn from Experts Get Certified
  • Support Support Support Forum Known Issues & Workarounds Help Center Product Release Notes
  • Freelancers
  • New to Upwork
  • Coffee Break
  • Support Forum
  • Get Profile Feedback
  • Bulletin Board
  • Upwork Essentials
  • Work with a Coach
  • Upskill with our Partners
  • Attend an Event
  • AI Education Library
  • Learn from Experts
  • Get Certified
  • Known Issues & Workarounds
  • Help Center
  • Product Release Notes
  • Subscribe to RSS Feed
  • Mark Topic as New
  • Mark Topic as Read
  • Float this Topic for Current User
  • Printer Friendly Page


  • Mark as New
  • Notify Moderator

Oct 15, 2021 10:10:06 PM  by  Eishwar c

How to write best cover letter?

Solved! Go to Solution.


Oct 15, 2021 11:18:34 PM  by  Joanne P

View solution in original post

  • All forum topics
  • Previous Topic

best cover letter in upwork

  • Upwork Dashboard
  • Trust, Safety & Security
  • Help & Support
  • Upwork Foundation
  • Terms of Service
  • Privacy Policy
  • Accessibility
  • Desktop App
  • Cookie Policy
  • Enterprise Solutions


  1. An Upwork Cover Letter Example For Freelancers

    best cover letter in upwork

  2. The best cover letter for Upwork (data-backed experiment)

    best cover letter in upwork

  3. So, you want to create winning cover letters on Upwork? Read this

    best cover letter in upwork

  4. How To Write An Effective Upwork Cover Letter In 2023

    best cover letter in upwork

  5. How to create Cover Letter for Upwork

    best cover letter in upwork

  6. The best cover letter for Upwork (data-backed experiment)

    best cover letter in upwork


  1. Upwork cover letter writing tricks #freelancing #codemanbd #abrobin

  2. Upwork Cover Letters: Write This in the First Sentence #upwork #freelancing

  3. Upwork Proposal

  4. How to Write an Upwork Cover Letter in 2023 and Find Jobs on Upwork \ Sinhala

  5. how to get projects on upwork

  6. $5 for a Cover letter on UpWork #copywriting #upwork #coverletter


  1. 17 Upwork Cover Letter Tips, With Examples

    Upwork cover letter tips: Choose the correct cover letter format and style. Create a unique cover letter for each application. Keep it brief. Address the client. Show understanding of the job description. Add some personality. Showcase your achievements. Stay away from buzzwords.

  2. 4 Proven Upwork Cover Letters (Save Time, Win More Jobs)

    These Upwork cover letters are derived from real proposals that landed real jobs on Upwork. Use them to save yourself time and win more jobs on Upwork. ... 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 ...

  3. How to Write a Winning Upwork Cover Letter (+Sample)

    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.

  4. The Best Cover Letter For Upwork : Tips Plus Sample! [2023 Update]

    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.

  5. ULTIMATE Upwork Cover Letter Guide (7 Steps from $1.8M Freelancer)

    After sending & reviewing 1000s of effective proposals on Upwork, I made a 7-step ultim... It's time to share the secrets behind high-response Upwork proposals. After sending & reviewing 1000s of ...

  6. How To Write An Upwork Cover Letter: 5 Tips + Free Template

    5 Tips For Writing Professional Cover Letters. Follow these quick tips to make your cover letter look more professional. 1. Keep it Concise and Clear. Write a concise and well-structured letter. Keep it to a single page and use a professional tone.

  7. Secrets of Writing Successful Upwork Cover Letters

    Whatever the case, submitting a cover letter for an Upwork proposal is a must. By doing so, you can express your interest in the project/job and present your candidacy. To help you craft a top-notch Upwork cover letter, we've put together essential steps and tips, together with the best Upwork cover letter samples from successful hires.

  8. The best cover letter for Upwork (data-backed experiment)

    In the search for the best cover letter for Upwork, allow me to share an example where I got a 100% response rate on my own proposals. example 1 example 2 example 3. The last few weeks I've been comparing different styles of Upwork proposals, sending them out in the wild so you and I can better understand which one performs the best.

  9. An Upwork Cover Letter Example For Freelancers

    Cover Letter Sample For Upwork in .docx Format. Here is a sample cover letter that you can submit in response to a short-term project on Upwork. Download example (Word version) ... Best, Kevin Ninja. P.S. I took a moment to explore your website. It's very well-designed. If you're interested in making further changes, I believe I can make ...

  10. The Best Upwork Cover Letter Sample

    How To Write The Best Upwork Cover Letter. First Impressions Count. Tip 1 - Do Your Research. Tip 2 - Open With A Compliment. Tip 3 - Your Upwork Experience. Tip 4 - Problem Solving. Tip 5 - Call To Action. Tip 6 - Knowing What To Charge. Tip 7 - Double Check.

  11. So, you want to create winning cover letters on Upwork? Read this

    Upwork cover letter examples. The job description. The Upwork cover letter. The project was won at $35/h. Another example. The project description: The Upwork cover letter. Won at $250. Another example. The project description: The cover letter: Earnings: Another example. The project description: The Upwork cover letter: Earnings:

  12. How to Write an Effective Cover Letter for Up...

    Here's a guide on how to write an effective cover letter for Upwork: Read the job description carefully: Before writing your cover letter, make sure to carefully read and understand the job description. This will help you tailor your letter to the specific needs of the client and show them that you have the necessary skills and experience for ...

  13. Upwork Cover Letter for total BEGINNERS [FULL TEMPLATE!]

    Upwork Beginners, I'm giving you my cover letter template. Every word of it is calculated and crafted with care. And it's ALL YOURS. Send me some hearts in t...

  14. Upwork Proposals: 8 Golden Rules for Writing Upwork Cover Letters to

    👉 After you've mastered the golden rules of Upwork proposals, visit here to find other cool freelancing resources: To win job...

  15. Solved: How to write best cover letter?

    Thanks for reaching out. I understand how a good cover letter can help you get the client's attention when applying to jobs. Here are a few resources that you might want to check out to help you write your proposals: How To Get More Jobs on Upwork in 2021. How to Create a Proposal That Wins Jobs. How to Write a Cover Letter