Graphic Design Cover Letter Tips For 2016
Having a good cover letter to accompany your resume is one of the best ways to get yourself noticed by hiring managers. A well-written cover letter will show your enthusiasm in the position and what skills and abilities you can deliver. Check out our graphic designer cover letter example and helpful do’s and don’ts.
- Do keep your cover letter concise. Generally, a cover letter should not be more than one page. Remember to use succinct language as well.
- Don’t forget to edit. It should go without saying that running a spellcheck is absolutely essential. Have someone read your cover letter aloud to you to see how it sounds.
- Do make it stand out. As a graphic designer with creativity, you should have a cover letter that shines among the rest. Be creative with your wording and make the hiring manager remember you.
- Don’t be afraid to brag. If you find it difficult to write about yourself, think about the perspective of someone you have impressed before, and write the letter from his or her point of view. In our example, the candidate highlights her experience, attributes, and ways she would excel at the job.
Graphic Designer Advice
If you’ve got a knack for design, and the proper technical skills, consider a job as a graphic designer. Graphic designers are responsible for developing the look of a companies products, communications, websites, and more. You’ll need the right education, a strong portfolio, and an eye-catching cover letter. Our cover letter examples can help show you the way. With these cover letter examples, you can take the next step toward designing your next job!
Cover Letter Tips for Graphic Designer
Finding jobs as a Graphic Designer means putting to use certain job-seeking skills while also maintaining the right mindset. The tips below can help keep you on track as you are looking.
1. Start with a plan. The best way to accomplish your goal is to make a plan comprised of steps and smaller goals that you can accomplish each day. Breaking down the process can help you stay focused and organized.
2. Get creative in your job search. Joining support groups and attending lectures is a great way to help you feel connected within the community and can open the door to unexpected opportunities.
3. Keep up with your networking. Reaching out to personal and professional contacts is one of the best ways to get information and advice about any industry or field you might be interested in. You never know where your next lead could come from.
4. Maintain a strong presence online. Make use of social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, as these provide platforms to increase your network circle. This also gives potential employers an accessible way to find your professional profile.
5. Stay persistent. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you are out of work, but remember that if you keep up your momentum, finding your next job will only be a matter of time.
Graphic Designer Job Seeking Tips
When it comes to looking for jobs as a Graphic Designer, the best way to impress a potential employer is with a standout cover letter. Read the tips below to learn how you can get your cover letter into top shape.
1. Do not exceed two pages. Unless you are a doctor or academic who might be using curricula vitae (CVs), there is no need to exceed two pages of writing. Always use brief and concise language.
2. Do not use generic language. Words such as great,” and hard-working” do not paint a unique picture of you as a professional individual. Avoid using these common words and pick more vibrant language instead.
3. Do use bullet notes for listing information and align the text flush left. These simple formatting standards will improve the organization and readability of your text.
4. Do create a Summary of Skills” section that will introduce your work history. Doing so provides an overview of your professional qualifications.
5. Do list your work experience in the following recommended order: title of position, employer, city and state of employer, and employment dates.
How to Write the Best Graphic Design Cover Letter
If you want the job at the best graphic design firm ever, you have to submit the best cover letter, resume and portfolio ever. (We’ll leave the bits about being a worthy designer to another post.)
And with no shortage of resources on what makes a great cover letter, resume and portfolio out there, this should be a somewhat simple feat. But here at Go Media, we are disappointed to see the same mistakes made over and over again. It often seems like applicants choose to apply for more jobs – the quantity – over quality (in other words, doing a thorough job of applying to fewer companies). In this three part series, we talk about the elements in cover letters, resumes and portfolios that really make our jaws drop.
To start, we’d like to address cover letters. Above all, there is one element that most good applicants touch upon, but often do not take the time to cover with enough depth and passion. This aspect makes all the difference between a cover letter worth passing by, and one worth paying attention to.
What is this magic element?
A SECTION THAT SERIOUSLY PLAYS TO OUR EGO.
Sounds simple, right? Far from it.
It takes time and a ton of time, which is why we rarely see it. Please read on!
In the cover letter, it’s critical that you communicate to the potential employer: “You are the only company I am applying for, I’ve been following your company for years.” You want to play into the ego of the company. In order to communicate this you need a plausible story. Most importantly, you need more FACTS about the company you’re applying to. So, this means research! Referencing a few portfolio items is a fine start, but anyone can do that in 10 seconds.
If you REALLY want to wow the potential employer, spend several days (even weeks if necessary) reading anything you can get your hands on about them. This may sound like a huge investment, but consider this – you’re about to commit to working there for YEARS. Isn’t a week of research worth getting into the right company?
If they wrote a book – read it. If they have a blog, read every article you can on the history of the company. About page? Read it. Then, write a concise ‘How I got to know your company’ story… If you can find any gem in your research to reference you can say things like: “I read in your book that you used to lay on the floor drawing with crayons all day as a kid. That’s exactly how I spent my childhood.”
Basically, you need to make sure they know you KNOW them… you did your research. You desperately want to work for them and them only. Sprinkling in a few obscure facts will help communicate this.
As an employer it’s VERY clear to us who’s done their research and who is just throwing out a generic cover letter. Pandering to our ego works. We want to think that the people I’m hiring are HUGE Go Media fans! Of course! We love hearing their stories about how they discovered our company and have been following us for years. When they reference specific tutorials we wrote 8 years ago, we think: “Wow. This is going to be a loyal employee!”
Similarly, continue to blow us out of the water if you’re able to illustrate actionable ways in which you’ve shown your love for the company. Have you volunteered for our design conference, benefit shows, or attended every single one of our open houses? Let us know!
Also, Answer the why
Next, explain WHY you want to work for the company you’re applying to. The reason should be specific. Something like: “Your firm has a background in illustration and I can see that you appreciate art. This is unique compared to the other firms I’ve considered applying to. I love the balance of artistry with design – it’s something I’ve always done. It’s important to me that I’m working in an environment that has that appreciation for the artistic side of design.” Again, you are not only giving the reason why, but you’re reinforcing that you have a deep knowledge of the company you’re applying to. This ties everything together eloquently while making us feel warm and fuzzy.
While you’re at it, here are things to avoid doing in your cover letter:
- Not addressing anyone specifically. Never write “Dear Hiring manager” or “To whom it may concern”. Do your research! Figure out who’s hiring and write to them specifically!
- Sending before having trusted friends and family proofread it again and again. Watch your spelling! Attention to details is critical. One error here can knock you out of the game completely.
- Using your email as the cover letter itself. Design a cover letter that you save along with your resume and attach. It’s ok if what you write in your email is exactly the same as the attached pdf. The point is – I want to see you apply the same branding from your resume onto a cover letter page, and then again on the website. If you don’t attach a designed cover letter you’re losing that opportunity.
- Praising your own design skills, i.e. “I’m a VERY talented designer.” This simply comes across as arrogant. Whether you are talented or not will show up in your portfolio. Saying you’re good ONLY WORKS AGAINST YOU. If you want to praise yourself in any way – it should be: “I work hard, I’m eager to learn and I have a positive attitude.” These are things that cannot be seen in a portfolio. And these ARE traits that a potential employer is looking for – not arrogance or overconfidence.
- Giving your potential employer work. Saying things like: “To download my resume go here…” is very bad. Make hiring you as simple as possible. I recommend attaching a finished designed cover letter (which may contain the same text that you included in the e-mail), your resume and a pdf of your portfolio and or a link to an online portfolio.
- Saying you want this job as a jumping off point for completely different. The last thing we want to hear is that you’re applying to be a Junior Designer, only to turn into a Project Manager in another 6 months. We will support your hopes and dreams, but we are looking to fill the position of a Junior Designer now. If you’re actually looking for a Project Management position, please look elsewhere.
Okay, now that we’ve covered our number one must follow rule and these important don’ts, promise us you’ll dedicate the time your cover letter (and future employer) deserves.
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Stay tuned, when next week we’ll be back with our favorite rules about creating the best design resume ever >
Please Avoid Making these Mistakes We Often See on Design Resumes