This is from my previous post, which answer shed a part of my problem but i have been having a long issues since when i apply for job, it get declined, reason? "Choose another contractor", i changed my format of writting cover letter as i think the problem might lies this. I have 4.81 score and i am a web developer, i scored in top10% in few test and few in top 20%. Typically my format of writting a cover letter.

I have read your job in detail; I would like to do your project, as I am very good in 
- skill 1, 
- skill 2, 
- skill 3,
- skill 4,
- skill 5,
- skill 6

I am listed in top 10 abc contractors. I am well versed with abc, xyz, and abc. I am available to start the project. My availability is 40+ hours a week.

Few of my work in abc are


I look forward for your consideration.

my name

Why is it that, client 99% reject my application with reason of choose another contractor, i understand that there are many other and its up to the client, yet 99-100% of my applied jobs gets rejected. why?

4 Answers 4


Please don't be offended. I'm sure you're working really hard. But if it were me trying to get some work done, and I received a contact that looked like yours, I'd probably delete it right away.

It reads more like a short resume than a genuine effort to communicate with a buyer as to why they should spend money on you. It's not personal. You do share the fact that you are familiar with technology a, b, c, and z, but there are 100,000 other people out there who can write a list to claim the same thing. You're going to have to give the potential client a bit more than just a list. This might take more effort but it does communicate to the client that you're doing more than cut and paste.

  • 1
    No offense taken, appreciate your input. How would you describe a genuine effort. Perhaps a example will do? If you can edit the answer and provide a efficient, also i don't do cut and paste.
    – localhost
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 18:50
  • 1
    If you are using a template like the one above, you ARE doing cut and paste. When I describe a genuine effort, I mean writing in paragraphs and demonstrating within the paragraphs that you've actually read the potential customer's requirement; and also then, interpreting back to the potential client as to how your skills directly can help their needs. Paragraphs, no lists!!!
    – Xavier J
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 19:05
  • 1
    To add to that - part of your ability to work remotely is the ability to communicate well in writing. Demonstrate that ability as early as possible in your exchange with a potential client.
    – Xavier J
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 19:09
  • 1
    And to add more to this, I'd say including how your skills will provide value would be important. Most clients, assuming they aren't technical, won't care what skills you have. Instead, they'll want to know how you can apply those skills to further their business.
    – jmort253
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 2:16
  • @codenoire Perhaps a example would be great of a effective cover letter?
    – localhost
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 3:25

Please don't take offense, but one thing that might be turning clients off is the poor grammar and sentence structure in your letter, which makes you look less professional than you probably would like to potential clients. I realize that proper grammar isn't required to be a great contractor, but when you are trying to get clients, you need to put your best foot forward. Also, if English is not your first language you need to reassure them that you can adequately and professionally communicate with them about their project in English.

TL;DR: You might consider having someone with better English writing skills and grammar edit your stock proposal letter.

  • I have seen individuals with horrible grammar skills being top contractors on odesk. I personally interviewed a few of them. I don't know how, but they are top contractor in spite of bad English. And they are not even cheap.
    – Peter MV
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 17:24
  • @TeresaMcgH English is not my native language, I do want to learn go use grammar properly, and sentences structure.But from where?
    – localhost
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 18:53
  • Nofel - there are quite a few business communication tutorials online. Those might help - it might also help to look for examples of the kind of letter you want to write, online, and use those as a guide. There are also folks on many of the freelancer sites that will do proofing and editing for you, and for such a small task probably won't charge you much. Oh, and if you can order or borrow a book that might be a useful resource for brushing up on your English grammar. Your main issues (from the example above) seem to be word choice and using incomplete sentences.
    – TeresaMcgH
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 19:20
  • I think a good way to phrase Teresa's point is this: Most clients don't care if you have good/bad grammar but they do care if you know the difference. Having a third party review your initial communications shows you care about details, even if you aren't an expert in those details.
    – jmort253
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 2:20
  • 1
    I don't know that most clients don't care about grammar - I do know that many of the folks I have talked to about their selection process for jobs use that as a first step in paring down their list of people to contact. So, yeah, it definitely can make a difference as to which "pile" your letter ends up in.
    – TeresaMcgH
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 15:17

The style is OK. Pay attention to addressing client's requirements and also always write the secret work the say you write on the beginning.

Also try changing style and see which works best. Experiment with styling.

Why you're being rejected is impossible to guess. Maybe you're too expensive? Maybe they want the lowest bid? Maybe they saw your portfolio and want someone who made more complex apps? Who knows.

Again I'd say to keep biding. To make it easy, I also have not been called and got a new job since mid Dec. And yesterday another client called asking for some updates. So I'd say clients are starting to recover from vacations and costs.

  • my rate is not much.Its 15$. It might be that clients are starting to recover from vacations and costs, yet it doesn't satisfy me of being rejected. Complex app, i can think that.
    – localhost
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 9:02

When you are searching for work through any of these freelancing sites, you are playing a numbers game and you need to focus on how to adapt to that environment.

The number of applicants on these sites can be very high, so you are competing against a very large pool. You mentioned in the other post that you unfortunately have a reduced performance rating. In a large pool, this could get you removed from consideration almost immediately. If I had 50 contractors submit a proposal and 49 had a score of 5 and one has a score of 4.81, the 5s are going to get the most serious consideration. 4.81 may not be a bad score, but if there are plenty of others with a good score, you may lose.

Your rate may not be competitive in the market you are addressing. In the US, 15 (I am assuming hourly) might be a low rate but in other markets there may be 50 other contractors who submit a proposal and have a lower rate. They may not all be better than you, but if there are that many to choose from the project owner is likely to find someone with acceptable skills and a lower rate.

Make sure you understand your competition pool and the market you are competing in, then make sure your proposal covers you in those aspects.

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