Writing a graphic design cover letter is not easy.
Sure, the internet has loads of letter samples and templates on which you can easily create your cover letter design – but will it help you get your dream job?
Being a graphic designer, you have to demonstrate both creativity and professionalism in your cover letter – that is why it can be even more challenging.
However, I am here to offer you some tips that can help you come up with an original graphic design cover letter.
Why do you need to make your cover letter great?
Let’s talk about why you have to put so much effort into coming up with a decent cover letter in the first place when your resume and graphic design portfolio seem much more important.
They are important, especially when it comes to graphic design, but it is the cover letter that can help get them noticed.
These days, the recruiters simply cannot spend much time on reading each and every resume carefully, as they receive too many of them.
Actually, some candidates do not even get their resumes read as their cover letters simply don’t look impressive enough.
The cover letter is the primary tool to attract the recruiters’ attention.
With the help of a few short sentences, you can show your strongest skills, demonstrate that you do have the necessary qualities for the job, and encourage them to take a look at your graphic design resume.
That’s why the cover letter simply has to be strong, therefore, increasing your chances of getting a job you want.
Moreover, you do not even have to spend hours on writing it to make it great.
Simply following some basic tips and making certain adjustments could be enough to make your cover letter much better than before.
So, what should you start with?
1. No standard templates and no copy-paste.
It might seem rational to recreate one of the standard cover letter templates, putting your information in the right places.
It also might seem very tempting to simply copy-paste your cover letter template once it is finished and send it to all the companies you want to work for.
However, this probably won’t attract the recruiter’s attention and won’t benefit your career too.
Standard cover letters look… well, standard.
The recruiters receive hundreds of them, and it does not help you stand out.
Copy-paste letters do not look as bad, but still, don’t guarantee you the desired effect.
Tailoring your cover letter format to the job you want is always a good idea: you can respond to individual demands specified in the job description as well as demonstrate those skills that are the most related to this position.
That’s why you should work to make your cover letter as unique and exciting as possible and try writing a new letter for every job position that seems appealing to you.
Believe me; it will be worth the time.
2. Be as accurate as possible.
One of the toughest things about cover letters is that they have to be catchy, informative, and short at the same time.
The recruiters will not read ten paragraphs of text when all they want to is to simply take a glimpse at what they should expect from your resume.
That is why try to be short, listing only the skills and experiences that seem the most relevant and related to this job.
Moreover, try to be specific too – the recruiters love it.
For example, seeing “I have designed identities for the following five companies” followed by the list of those undertakings is always better than “I have a significant experience in brand identity design”.
3. Address a person.
As I have mentioned above, tailoring your cover letter to a certain job will always benefit you.
Another good thing to do is to address a particular person at the beginning of your cover letter template.
Drop all these “sirs” and “madams” – there’s nothing less personal than that.
Address a real person instead: this will show that you have been paying attention to the details, that you are interested in this position, and that you did not simply copy-paste your cover letter.
4. No mistakes.
This might seem like an obvious thing, but it is crucial.
Do your best to ensure that no grammar, stylistic, or logical mistakes slip into your cover letter.
It’s short, so all these errors will be easily seen, ruining the impression that you have been trying to create so carefully.
If you doubt yourself or want to be as sure as possible that your cover letter looks flawless, turn to a resume writing service for proofreading help.
5. Show only the best works.
Being a graphic designer, you know that your portfolio is much more important than your resume is.
However, not all graphic designers know how to present their portfolios in the most beneficial way.
Some decide that more is better, sending as many works as they can – and that is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
There’s no need to show most of your work.
Actually, it would be even more beneficial to show only the best ones: people remember worst examples better, so even an average work could ruin the overall impression about your portfolio.
Bear in mind that your goal is to impress the recruiters over a very limited amount of time – that is why it is so important to choose the examples that are stunning.
Moreover, make sure that these examples are correctly formatted, easy to open and download, and not too big too, so the recruiters will be able to look at them even when the internet connection is slow or when they open these works on their mobile devices.
6. Always follow the instructions.
It is important to read the job description as carefully as possible, looking for possible instructions that you should follow.
That’s especially important when it comes to creative professions – maybe you will be asked to do some test or to provide only particular examples of your work.
Maybe you will be invited to answer certain questions in your cover letter.
Sometimes the candidates do miss these things while they are critical to the recruiters.
It’s always better to check twice and to make sure that you did follow all the instructions than to present yourself as an inattentive person.
7. Provide all contact details.
Of course, you know that you have to provide individual contact information, such as email, mobile phone number, and probably your LinkedIn profile.
However, being a designer, you should also provide the links to those social media of yours that could add you value – and I am not talking only about Behance and Flickr here.
Maybe you own an Instagram account with the examples of your works or a Tumblr account related to graphic design.
In this case, try giving links to them in your graphic designer cover letter.
If the recruiters do not have time to open these links, you will not lose anything.
However, if they become interested in you and check these links for more information, this could benefit you a lot.
8. Look confident.
This might be your dream job, or you might be desperate to get it only because you need a job.
In any case, don’t let these things show.
You should not look desperate in your cover letter – you should present yourself as a confident and professional person instead.
This is important not only because you want to create the best impression possible, but also because the recruiters do not like desperate candidates.
When you look like you need to get this job, they might start doubting your skills and your professionalism: after all, if you are a valuable candidate, why do you have so many issues finding a job?
Don’t forget about creativity too – you are a graphic designer, after all.
If you want to get a job in a well-known company, do your best to meet their standards and to present yourself accordingly.
If you want to work somewhere creative, you can make your cover letter less formal and more interesting.
If you want to work for leaders of the industry, you should pay attention to what you are writing and do your best to ensure that it is appropriate.
You can use humour in some cases too but be careful here: too frivolous jokes will get you nowhere, while the gentle and suitable ones can make the recruiter more interested in you.
I hope that these tips will help you to come up with a graphic design cover letter format that is exciting to read, and that will help you to get a job of your dreams.
Of course, these tips are not the only ones you can use: you can find other useful advice on cover letter templates and resume writing online websites as well as come up with your own.
Or maybe you already know some tips that you would like to share with us?
If so, feel free to do so in the comment section below.
Author's Bio: Kevin Nelson started his career as a research analyst and has changed his sphere of activity to writing services and content marketing. Apart from writing, he spends a lot of time reading psychology and management literature searching for the keystones of motivation ideas. Feel free to connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin & Google+.
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