Stand out elements in sitter applications?

The only way to find out is to ask the HO why they declined. But if they already just declined without explanation I would probably not expect an answer, but you never know.
As most people don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings I also don’t think, if there was something that put them off, that they would answer truthfully.

A few months ago I received an application from a sitter from the South of the US. At this time I asked for people abroad not to apply, because I only wanted local sitters due to rising Covid-19 cases. She either didn’t read my listing or completely ignored it. She also never mentioned my cats but wrote that she loves to travel and visit new places.
I declined right away, telling her that we only accept local sitters at the moment, but I didn’t tell her that the way she presented herself was what really put me off. Even if she had lived around the corner, I wouldn’t have considered her.
It’s different here on the forum if someone asks for advice for the profile. In this case it’s easier to recommend pictures with pets and that it’s not all about travel but that HOs are concerned that their pets might not be Nr1.


As someone who is both a sitter and a homeowner, I have realized that many sitters are not aware of the sort of information that should be included in an application. When I post my listing, because of the location, I get a lot of applications and I immediately weed out the people who give me very little information / do not say anything specific to my pets.

I realized that those who are not receiving applications directly may not know what a strong application / their competition looks like and therefore may not realize why they are not getting selected for sits over other people.

I think that this could be corrected by having some examples of what a strong application looks like or having a word count minimum. Also, it may minimize the number of overly succinct applications that people need to weed through.


I would love to see examples of applications. I have no idea how mine compares to others.
I do have a good acceptance ratio though, so I must be doing something right, but it would still be useful to be able to do a comparison.


THS Has a great blog on writing a good application letter: How to write the perfect application message |

It doesn’t show specific examples of a full letter, but it does give ideas in each of the categories on what to potentially include in an application letter.


I just write the application as i feel, obviously having taken note of the pets and their requirements
It probably takes me longer, as each application is worded differently but i like my personality & feeling to come through.
If it doesnt gel with the HO thats ok.


They should definitely send this resource to all of the house sitters because I get some pretty ridiculously lacking applications and people wonder why they are never selected. They should be shown the sort of applications that they’re stacked up against.

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Could you give of some examples of what should be included? Thanks.

Give me an example of a rediculous applications. I just apply saying I want to apply to look after their pets and name them and their homes. My profile and my reviews says the rest. No problem so far.

I write down the names of the people and the pets and a few other details about the sit before I hit “apply” because the listing info will disappear.
I state where I live (or where I was based when home-free) and my plans to be in that particular place. I reiterate pertinent info from my profile, such as that I do work from home, I do not smoke anything and I’m clean and responsible.

If there’s common ground (e.g., related careers or have also lived and worked in X place), I mention that. I include how I intend to travel there and back.


I want to know why the sitter is interested in visiting my area, and some more details about their experience with cats specifically. I could look at the profile, but maybe that doesn’t help. Plus, if I am getting 10 applications, I will eliminate the ones who don’t make an effort if there are other, more detailed, applications.

In my opinion

  • personal information about why the sit specifically interests you outside of your own desire to visit a place
  • specific experience you have with the type of animal in question
  • details about what makes you a strong housesitter - are you clean? Do you take good pictures?
  • if you have a lot of reviews, refer back to those. If you don’t, explain why and mention your experience regardless

That just happened to us. We accepted this couple to sit within 2 hours of their acceptance of our invite, and a few hours later, they declined. I feel like they found one they liked better, and blew us off. I was VERY unhappy. Now I’m having an extremely hard time fulfilling our request to sit.

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