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🖌️ The Complete Guide to Sardor AI: Maximizing Your Upwork Bidding Process
🖌️ The Complete Guide to Sardor AI: Maximizing Your Upwork Bidding Process

Learn how to guide Sardor AI for better cover letters. Avoid common mistakes and get more replies on Upwork

Dima from GigRadar avatar
Written by Dima from GigRadar
Updated over a week ago

Sardor AI, powered by OpenAI's GPT-4, is a tool designed to enhance your Upwork bidding experience. It creates targeted, engaging proposals tailored to each job post. As we are in the beta testing phase, your feedback is instrumental in refining Sardor AI to serve you better.

📝 Preparing the Perfect Cover Letter with Sardor AI

The art of crafting the perfect cover letter is of utmost importance. It's the first interaction with a potential client; hence, it should capture their attention right away. Here's how you can harness Sardor AI to perfect your cover letter.

You can follow a strategic order for Sardor AI prompts...

The sequence of your prompts matters. But.

There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the sequence of your prompts. It's important to remember that there's no "golden" sequence guaranteed to get you a reply every time.

The reason? Simple: Each one of us brings unique expertise to the table. This means the ideal structure of a cover letter can vary significantly based on your skill set and the job in question.

For instance, a designer might get away with a succinct letter, whereas a specialist applying for a complex DevOps position might need to delve deeper, addressing the client's specific challenges in more detail. However, a universal truth remains: brevity and precision are key 🗝️

📢 Start with the Tone of Voice prompts to establish the right conversational style for your cover letter.

While initiating with the Tone of Voice prompts can set the desired conversational style for your cover letter, it's more of an advisory based on our observations than a strict rule for Sardor AI.

The choice of tone is particularly significant if your profession adheres to a specific communication style.

For instance, while an attorney needs a solid, professional tone (you're not Saul Goodman from the Breaking Bad series, after all), others might have more leeway.

It's pivotal to remember that Sardor AI, at its core, is designed to generate attractive cover letters. Without explicit prompts about tone, the output might default to a generic style that might not resonate with your brand or needs.

👋 Next, include a personalized greeting, which Sardor AI customizes based on the available client information. Or, begin by pointing out what the client needs.

🤔 Wondering why?

Because it's essential to relate to the client right away:

❗An Upwork client sees the first three sentences of your cover letter while scrolling through the proposals.

So, it's crucial to make these sentences impactful. Sardor AI can assist with creating engaging introductions.

🕵️‍♀️ Detect Pain Points & Client’s Challenges

Capture your lead's attention further by reflecting their requirements in your own words. Sardor AI analyzes the job posting and identifies pain points.

For instance, let's consider a requirement like a time zone. Amidst a lengthy job posting with numerous details, there could be a small yet crucial point: “I’m looking for someone who works within the ET time zone only”.

If you don’t provide a specific prompt for this, Sardor AI will generically address it by saying something like, "Yes, of course, I'll operate within the ET time zone".

However, if you give Sardor a specific prompt about it, you increase your chances of standing out.

🔍 Keep in mind that Sardor AI writes cover letters to get replies, and it tries to make you look good.

For example, if a client wants PHP work and you don't offer it, Sardor might still say you can.

Always double-check the cover letter Sardor writes, your prompts, and your scanner settings to ensure everything matches your real skills and offerings.

🕰️ Another Example: Specific Time Zone Requirement

Job Requirement: "We're expanding our Asia-Pacific branch, so professionals aligned with the Singapore Time Zone (SGT) are highly preferred."

Prompt: [Analyze the job posting for any mention of a specific time zone or location preference. If found, respond positively by highlighting the Dmytro’s adaptability to that time zone or location, even if it's different from their actual location.]

Your cover letter will then include a detailed line about the client’s request: "While I'm based in Poland and have extensively worked with clients across Europe and the USA, I've always been adaptable to different time zones. I can efficiently align my working hours to the SGT to ensure seamless collaboration with your Asia-Pacific branch.".

Sometimes, the job description may provide insights into what the client aims to achieve by hiring on Upwork and the challenges they're currently facing.

For example: “Currently our developer fell ill and the project halted. Our .NET application is 40% complete. We need someone to pick it up, review it, and deliver a working prototype”.

Despite other listed requirements, addressing this crucial point with an appropriate prompt will help Sardor AI craft a more relevant and engaging opening for your cover letter, as opposed to a generic introduction like "I am an experienced developer with 10 years of experience".

Let's be brutally honest here: No one really cares that you have a decade's worth of experience. Take a moment, put yourself in a client's shoes on Upwork:

👉 Post a job
👉 Observe the barrage of incoming proposals

Notice a common theme?

They're all screaming about "ME", "MY ACCOMPLISHMENTS", and "MY BACKGROUND". This self-centric approach is a non-starter.

Solve CLIENT'S problem, not YOUR ego.

In the world of business, your client's pain is priority; your experience is just the toolkit!

📣 End with a Strong Call to Action and Sign-off:

Based on your preferred strategy, you can ask Sardor AI to include a Call to Action prompt. It could be scheduling a meeting, asking for more details, or sending a test task.

Finally, conclude your cover letter with a distinctive sign-off prompt.

🛠️ Using Sardor AI [Instructions]

Sardor will replace every [placeholder] inside a user-defined template with AI-generated text following the instructions provided.

The instructions can be inserted in any part of the cover letter and answer templates.

For example, an instruction like [tell a short friendly unbeaten joke about the client’s country] will surprise the client with an original joke every time a new cover letter is generated.

Sardor will try to keep the rest of the cover letter unchanged, but as with any AI, its creativity core can sometimes take over and modify the cover letter slightly while keeping the meaning unchanged.

Unlike popular chat-based tools like ChatGPT, Sardor’s main goal is to act as a template engine. It functions similarly to how you'd guide someone in drafting an Upwork cover letter: adhering to the structure and information you provide.

Similarly to how you wouldn’t want your Facebook ads to be completely random, Sardor is designed to add a personal touch to your cover letters, while leaving the importance of creating a template to the user.

Thanks to this design, it is possible to keep the cover letters consistent, and analyze and test different messaging strategies using the analytical engine of GigRadar.

❓Questions and Answers Section

On Upwork, aside from the main cover letter, there's an opportunity to provide more specific insights through Q&A. This isn't about the inherent questions in a job description; it's the supplementary queries added by potential clients.

🔍 When you're navigating through GigRadar, you'll come across two primary fields related to questions:

📍 Most Frequent Questions (MFQ):

These are the questions that Upwork typically suggests, tailored to different job categories.

We have a fair shot at predicting these, which means you can pre-emptively provide answers in the dedicated field. This aspect gives freelancers an edge because the questions are somewhat anticipated, making it easier to provide prepared responses.

📍 Default Answer Template (DAT):

This is where the magic truly happens. Given that clients might have their unique questions, predicting them becomes a tad challenging.

However, fear not! Sardor AI is adept at handling such curveballs. Whether it's for the general MFQ or the DAT, you have the advantage of using prompts.

💡 At its most basic, inputting "[answer]" will prompt Sardor to generate a relevant response. But the real beauty lies in the flexibility Sardor offers, allowing you to customize the prompt to better suit your needs.

🌟 In essence, Sardor AI doesn’t just enhance your cover letter but also ensures that your responses to specific client queries remain on point, comprehensive, and tailored to each unique situation. This ensures you stand out in a sea of freelancers, making your proposals both compelling and comprehensive.

Avoiding Pitfalls and Navigating Known Issues

As powerful as Sardor AI is, it comes with its own set of limitations. Understanding these issues can help you use Sardor AI more effectively.

🚫 To prevent unexpected mutations (unplanned changes in your cover letters outside the [placeholders]), here are a few simple rules to follow:

👉 Keep your cover letters concise. Even part w/o prompts.

👉 Provide very clear instructions to Sardor AI.

👉 Avoid overloading your cover letter with too many prompts/instructions.

👉 Avoid long links (which might even deter customers - who likes to open unknown links?).

👉 Cover Letter Length: Now, let's briefly delve into the topic of cover letter length. We have two examples of using Sardor AI.

The longer ones tend to have a lower lead response rate because they are more substantial, harder to read, and contain numerous links:

❌ Bad Example:

Looking at the example, the cover letter has many links and a mixed-up layout. The long design of this cover letter is almost at the 3,000-character limit. Imagine how this large text affects our system. It might work now and then, but usually, it has issues.

This can cause problems for Sardor AI, making it possibly give wrong results or not work. Complex cover letters can be tricky.

Our system validates every cover letter. If it isn't up to standard after three attempts, there's an error, and the proposal doesn't get sent.

💡 Make sure you've turned on 'Failed Proposals Notifications' in Autobidder settings. This lets you know if a proposal doesn't go through, so you can resend it.

❓ Question: Are you thinking of expanding limit and going over 3,000 characters?

🙋 Answer: Definitely not. Doing that makes cover letters hard to read for for clients. It'll result in fewer replies, which goes against what we stand for. Your cover letter should stand out and get answers!

✅ OK Example:

On the other hand, the second example — our tested template with some modifications - has maintained a 12.5% lead reply rate.

The optimal length for a cover letter has been a topic of long-standing debate, but the consensus seems to be clear now: no one is going to read your lengthy letters.

Just think about it: a lead from Upwork might need to review a minimum of 10 cover letters, with each software development job receiving over 100 proposals.

At GigRadar, we highly value data-driven insights, and our findings suggest that

Shorter cover letters tend to receive more replies:

So, why not review your cover letters and try a more winning strategy?

With Sardor AI's help, you can use well-crafted prompts to create short, concise, and highly engaging cover letters.

🧩 Puzzle-Solving Attempts

There's no need to ask Sardor AI to solve puzzles within the cover letter. It already comes equipped to handle client's anti-bot checks.

Just a quick context: we see under "puzzle" specific words or tasks that customers on Upwork usually ask to make sure that you will read their requirements.

Such as "Write Banana on the top of your cover letter to showcase you read and understand fully".

Sardor will write it by default. Like here:

👔 Client:

🤖 Sardor AI:

🚧 Limitations in Accessing Information

Sardor AI can only utilize the information that's available to it.

For example, if you write a prompt to Sardor like [Tell customer how I'm strong in completing React.js projects], Sardor doesn't know this unless it is explicitly stated on the freelancer’s profile or in the instructions. It just takes the versatile answer from our database of proposals and OpenAI (where it has been trained) and will give a really generic, or possibly untrue, answer. Like "I'm strong with React for a 6/10 scale", although it may not be the expected outcome.

Another example of an incorrect instruction would be mentioning pronouns that may confuse Sardor.

For example, an instruction like [Tell the client how relevant I am] or [emphasise our experience in the matter] will confuse Sardor as it has no clue what these pronouns stand for.

💯 It is best to be more explicit about the objects like [Tell the client how relevant Dmytro is] or [emphasise EvaCodes’ experience in the matter]

⭐ Understanding Sardor AI's Capabilities

To craft highly personalized proposals, Sardor AI uses the following accessible information:

📄 Information available from the context:

  • Client's name (if provided in the job post);

    • Finding the client name in the reviews section is currently not available;

  • Client's Job Posting's title, description, skills and questions;

  • Client's country and city;

  • Client’s time zone and current time of the day (as is writing the proposal);

  • Freelancer’s selected profile (all work or specialized ones);

    • Name

    • Location

    • Skills

    • Description

    • Latest portfolio items

      • Portfolio Item Description

      • Portfolio Links

⚙️ Information from system messages:

  • Sardor’s built-in LLM is generally instructed to act as a “Cover Letter Machine”, not as a freelancer;

  • The client is generally referred to as “the client”;

  • The freelancer, under which Sardor is composing the cover letter, is generally referred to as “the freelancer”;

🙅‍♂️ Currently unavailable information:

  • Client’s past hiring history;

  • Client’s feedback history;

  • Agency information;

  • Upwork's work history;

  • Employment history;

  • Education history

✍ How To Write a Prompt for Sardor AI?

Crafting effective prompts for AI models like Sardor AI or ChatGPT requires clarity, specificity, and thorough context.

🗣️ Command Clearly and Directly:

AIs respond best to clear, straightforward commands, avoiding colloquialisms.

Avoid: [Maybe inform them about my skills?]

Optimal: [Based on the profile overview and portfolio, detail Jane's expertise in graphic design for the client.]

Explanation: This optimal prompt is direct, citing specific resources, ensuring the client receives a clear message.

🔠 Emphasize Specificity:

Ambiguity can lead to broad outputs. Precision is key.

Vague: [Share my best coding accomplishments fits this job]

Clear: [Highlight the three most significant web development projects John completed, emphasizing the results achieved for each portfolio case]

Explanation: This refined prompt narrows the scope, pointing towards specific achievements at past work history.

🏗️ Structure is Vital:

While providing a clear structure can enhance the output, it's equally important to frame your prompts for distinct interactions, ensuring the AI targets exactly what you need.

Example: [Based on the job posting, extract and ask a thoughtful question regarding the most emphasized pain point related to React Native development.]

Explanation: Here, the directive isn't just about identifying a pain point — it's about crafting a question around it. This distinction guides the AI to not only understand but interact with the provided data in a specific manner.

💡 Context Matters:

Always give context; AI doesn't intuitively 'know' individual details.

Prompt: [Referring to the web projects in the portfolio of CodeWarriors, write a paragraph that demonstrates the agency's innovative approaches and meticulous attention to detail for potential clients.]

Explanation: This prompt zeroes in on the agency’s portfolio, ensuring the output is well-tailored and doesn't misuse individual tools or languages inappropriately.

🤙 Ask Sardor

As mentioned, it's a Cover Letter Machine. But when our users hear that, they often think, "Okay, I need to write everything related to cover letters here."

However, this doesn't capture the essence of the tool. Upwork clients are, frankly, tired of reading the same old proposals boasting years of experience or how "our agency is the best. Hire us."

🏞️ Sardor AI encourages you to think outside the box:

  • Ask Sardor to provide a unique fact about a client's city—it's a fresh approach that grabs attention.

  • Ask Sardor to craft a joke related to a detail in the client's job posting. For instance, if they're using Shopify for the Automotive sector, how about a quip on fast-selling Teslas?

  • Ask Sardor to offer three inventive solutions to the client's issue. Remember, Sardor now can access your profile and portfolio.

  • Ask Sardor to draft a code snippet, especially if you've segmented scanners and know which types of jobs GigRadar will target.

The only limitation is what you haven't asked of Sardor yet

📝 Summary

First and foremost, you need to understand that Sardor AI is still an AI.

Yes, it is based on the robust GPT-4 API; yes, it has received training from tens of thousands of proposals; and yes, it functions with the assistance of other LLMs on the backend, but this is still an AI.

It can hallucinate sometimes, but we're working to reduce the error rate to the lowest percentage because, as mentioned, it's a complex system under the hood.

On the other hand, it opens up an almost unlimited world for creativity and testing new approaches in your proposal writing, so don't hesitate and try your maddiest prompts ever!

There you have it — a comprehensive guide to mastering Sardor AI.

Utilize this knowledge to make the most of this innovative tool and transform your bidding process on Upwork.

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