Cover Letter Power Lines – Effective Proposal Tips To Land That First (or Next) Client

Using “power lines” on your cover letters

Cover letters are one of the first things that a client or hiring manager will see when you send a proposal. Not the requirements and not even your carefully made profile.

That is why it is essential to create an attention-grabbing cover letter so they’ll have interest in checking your profile and requirements.

But how do you create an attention-grabbing cover letter? And what is a power line?

Never about experience

cover letter tips upworkFirst, I will tell you that it’s not about experience. In fact, I’ve reminded people, again and again, to stop waving experience around on their cover letters. Unless it’s exceptional achievement. But if we’re only talking about years of working in a particular field, it won’t be your ticket to land a job.

You see, telling the hiring manager or client “I have X years experience in this.” Only means you have worked for this long. Without context, it is not as fascinating as you are led to think.

Especially when dealing with managers that are hiring freelancers and virtual assistants, they have one thing in mind, and that is, “what can you do for me.”

Cover letters are all about getting a client’s attention

As long as you can prove them that what you bring to the table is beneficial to them, your mysterious years of experience may mean nothing to them.

I say this because I have been on all sides of the spectrum, a VA mentor, VA applicant, VA hiring manager and a client.

Having sourced, hired, managed and fired freelancers for myself and my clients I know what a business is looking for when hiring and that is not always years of experience. In fact, I have rolled my eyes on applications that would just say “I have X years of experience as a…” and nothing more. I do not know if they expect me to guess if they are qualified or not or do they think that it is the prerequisite to getting hired.

So creating a cover letter is all about getting a client’s attention. You can’t impress someone whose focus you don’t have.

Because the game is all about the client’s’ attention and interest. With too many applicants as well as experienced people in the field vying for the same job position, you won’t get hired by wallowing on your lack of experience. It is even impractical because people get hired without experience all the time, why do you think you’re against experienced people? Someone hired them before! They did not start out as experienced individuals.

Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Focus on what you intend to do.

Adding some “zing” on your cover letters

I have found that using POWER LINES help in getting a client’s interest. And if they are interested, they’ll be more likely to read my application from start to end.

It is simply copywriting. Copywriting, as they say, is salesmanship in words. Some people refer to it as a string of words intended for the reader to take action.

Now, I don’t consider myself a copywriter; I just realized that what I do on my cover letters fall into that category slightly. Because my intention in writing those words is to “sell my services” and for the client “to take action” by sending me a reply and offer me the job.

So I’ll stick to power lines because I have one to two liners I like to use.

How do I know my powerlines work? My clients told me when I asked them why they hired me instead of the other clearly qualified people. So if you are an experienced freelancer or with current clients now, ask them. Find out what made them hire you and invest on that. So you’ll get more and better clients next time.

Here are some “power lines” I like to use, where to add them on your cover letter? It’s where they will look natural and make sense.

“I can hit the ground running”
“I work to impress”
“You will hire me for what your business can achieve with me in it.”
“I focus on quality and efficiency.”
“Can work with minimal to no supervision.”

The lines may sound awkward now, but this is how it should look like inside a cover letter:

“If you are looking for someone who can hit the ground running, genuinely loves helping people and can represent your brand well to its followers, I’d love to be considered.”

Noticed that I wrote it in a way where I was talking ABOUT them and not me. I “just happened” to be exactly what they are looking for.

As opposed to the normal:

“I am hard working. I have three years experience as a VA.”

See what I did there?

Creating cover letters on Upwork like a PRO

Here is an Upwork tip I always use when sending applications there:

The first line of the cover letter should contain something interest grabbing.

Because applications look like a list on a client’s dashboard on Upwork. They’ll see the applicant’s name, job title and the first line of the cover letter.

So if you write:

“Dear Sir/Madam,

I am applying because…”

The first thing they see is the generic “Dear Sir.”

But while browsing through all those applications, they see something like:

“Want a win-win situation? Hire me.”

They’ll probably click on your application first.

Here are other tricks:

1. I try to add the business name or hiring manager’s name from my research. Simply because you are more likely to click it if it has your name, business name or your colleague’s name.

2. ex. You have 1000 likes on your page, you need conversion and not more likers.

And here are some more cover letter best practices you should never forget

Understand the job ad.

Let them know WHAT YOU BRING TO THE TABLE not experience, but what YOU CAN DO.

Research them if possible.

Insert your personality.


I hope this article helped you! Good luck on hunting for jobs!

Winning proposal examples here– this might not apply for your skill set but handy enough for writing reference. Sample proposals from Danny of Freelance to Win.

About Althea Sagayno

Althea is active in the Philippine freelance community in helping aspiring freelancers land a job online. A blogger, baker, VA business owner, VA mentor and influencer, Althea is known for her enthusiasm and encouragement to newbies and experienced freelancers alike.


  1. Superb! This showcases you are a role model and leader in the freelancing community. Thanks, Althea!

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