What do your write in your application to sit?

I’m curious about what everyone writes in their “cover letter”. Ours tend to be short, always less than 100 words. After all, the details are in our profile.

So - how much info do you include, and why?

We write a short introduction, explain them why we are applying for this particular sit, relate to their pets (e.g. if you know that particular breed well), language skills if you are applying for a sit abroad, refer to our profile for reviews + suggest a Skype/Whatsapp call if they’d like to know more.

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I greet everyone by name, (including the animals) and introduce myself.
I refer them to my profile and explain right at the beginning that I only travel with my little blind dog and the reasons why. This way there is no misunderstanding and they are free to refuse me on those grounds without even speaking with me.
I also offer a contact number and suggest we speak by video if they think that I’m a suitable match.

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Ours is quite long - I introduce ourselves with some background information. Let them know why we do this, talk about our experience, lay it on thick how much we love animals, lay it on even thicker how fantastic we are - kind, caring, honest, etc, etc. Use their pets names on seven separate occasions and make as many references to their listing as possible. We now have a standard application that is quite successful for us so I just tweak it for each application.

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Personalise the application … do not copy and paste - some owners make that easier by providing lots of information.

Be the owners solution not their problem, “I’m looking for but can’t find”

I’ve had owners who say they’ve had applications where the sitters never mention the pets, sitters who said “I really want to take care of your cat” when the owner had two dogs!! … yes really.

I have been known to write the entire application to the pets.

I had one young couple who had bee unsuccessful after applying for many sits. They were in their early twenties, their profile was great and I asked to see their latest application, it began:

Hi :slightly_smiling_face: and had emojis running through the casual and very familiar copy. We had a one to one short tutorial on what owners are looking for … one week later she messaged to say they had their first sit!

Be yourself, let your true character and warmth shine through.

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I keep my note quite short.
I think I have covered most information about myself in my profile.
However since most of my sits have been in SE Asia unless the sit is in a country I am already in, I reassure HO that I am willing to travel, have checked flights and prices before applying and would be happy to arrive a day or so early, and stay a day or so at the end in case of delays.
Almost all of my sits have involved flights, both for me and HO, and most have been slightly longer - 4 to 8 weeks at times.
When I first started applying for sits in Asia I was still in the UK, and I was unsuccessful, I think a lot of HO were surprised I was willing to fly halfway around the world, but once I relocated to Singapore, I quickly got sits easily.

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Thank you everyone for your replies! I think our cover letter is doing what it says on the tin but I wanted a few hints to tweak it. Thanks for your suggestions!

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I think I do exactly the same as you Julia. Some applications, I make a ‘pre-application’ and tell them I only travel with my little Cavalier King Charles… I give my phone number and encourage them to call so that I can then write a fuller application IF they would consider my dog coming too.

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Hi @LTD,
I am surprised at how many HOs have absolutely no problem with my little dog coming along.
One lady came straight back and said that her cat was traumatised by dogs and another said that one of her dogs was aggressive with other dogs. Both fair and valid points. The Great thing was that they both responded straight away so I felt free to move on.
You can’t win them all and clarity up front makes all the difference.

I tell in my listing that please no sitter should apply if they want to take along other pets or children. Our house isn’t suited for kids and our cats also wouldn’t like it. They would treat other pets as intruders and wouldn’t feel at home anymore.
There are Sitters who don’t read this and apply anyway…

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Hi @Düsenzofe,
That is so great. If I read your listing I wouldn’t apply because the answer is already there…makes perfect sense.
For me where it can get a little frustrating is if I apply for a sit and the HO waits for a week or two before replying that I am not being considered because of my pet. In that time I could have applied for another more suitable sit.

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I can’t understand how it can take so long for a HO to answer. When I publish my listing I want to find a sitter as soon as possible to get it out of my mind. I always answer within a few hours and can usually say right away if I can take the applicant into consideration or not.
If I don’t find the applicant(s) suitable I tell them right away even if no other has applied yet. I also don’t need to wait until a bunch of sitters have applied. If I find applicant Nr 1 fits my needs and the video chat is positive I say yes. I am a very fast decider and usually don’t go wrong.

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I think that makes you a hero amongst HOs. You should give lessons :wink:

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