Graphic Designer Cover Letter Tips For Relocating
I’ve read a lot of cover letters throughout my career. When I was a fellowship program manager, I reviewed them in consideration for more than 60 open positions each year. So I saw it all–the good, the bad, and the standout examples that I can still remember.
As a result, I’ve become the go-to friend when people need feedback on their job applications. Based on my own experience putting people in the “yes” (and “no”) pile, I’m able to give these cover letters a quick scan and immediately identify what’ll turn a hiring manager off.
While I can’t give you insight into every person’s head who’ll be reading your materials, I can share with you the feedback that I give my own loved ones.
1. The Basics
First things first, I skim the document for anything that could be disqualifying. That includes typos, a “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern” salutation, or a vibe so non-specific that it reeks of find-replace. I know it seems harsh, but when a hiring manager sees any one of these things, she reads it as, “I didn’t take my time with this, and I don’t really care about working here.” So she’s likely to pass.
Another thing I look for in this initial read-through is tone. Even if you’re applying to your dream company, you don’t want to come off like you think someone entertaining your candidacy is the same as him offering you water at the end of a lengthy hike. You don’t need to thank the hiring manager so incredibly much for reading your application–that’s his job. If you align considering your application with the biggest favor ever, you’ll make the other person think it’s because you’re desperate.
So, skip effusive thanks and demonstrate genuine interest by writing a cover letter that connects the dots between your experience and the requirements of the position. Telling the reader what you’ve accomplished and how it directly translates to meeting the company’s needs is always a better use of space than gushing.
2. The Opening Sentence
If your first line reads: “I am writing to apply for [job] at [company],” I will delete it and suggest a swap every time. (Yes, every single time.) When a hiring manager sees that, she won’t think, “How thoughtful of the applicant to remind me what I’m reading!” Her reaction will be much closer to, “boring,” “meh,” or even “next!”
Compare it to one of these statements:
I’ve wanted to work in education ever since my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Dorchester, helped me discover a love of reading.
My approach to management is simple: I strive to be the kind of leader I’d want to work for.
In my three years at [prior company], I increased our average quarterly sales by [percentage].
See how these examples make you want to keep reading? That’s half the battle right there. Additionally, it makes you memorable, which’ll help when you’re competing against a sea of applicants.
To try it out for yourself, pick a jumping-off point. It could be something about you or an aspect of the job description that you’re really drawn to. Then, open a blank document and just free-write (translation: write whatever comes to mind) for 10 minutes. Some of the sentences you come up with will sound embarrassing or lame: That’s fine–no one has to see those! Look for the sentence that’s most engaging and see how it reads as the opening line for your cover letter.
3. The Examples
Most often, people send me just their cover letter and resume, so I don’t have the benefit of reviewing the position description. And yet, whenever a letter follows the format of “I am skilled at [skill], [skill], [skill], as evidenced by my time at [place].” Or “You’re looking for [skill], and I am a talented [skill], ” I could pretty much re-create it. Surprise: that’s actually not a good thing.
Again, the goal isn’t just to show you’re qualified: It’s to make the case that you’re more qualified than all the other applicants. You want to make clear what distinguishes you, so the hiring manager can see why you’re worth following up with to learn more. And–again–you want to be memorable.
If you write a laundry list, it’ll blend into every other submission formatted the same way. So, just like you went with a unique opener, do the same with your examples. Sure, you might still include lists of skills, but break those up with anecdotes or splashes of personality.
Here’s a real, two-line excerpt from a cover letter I’ve written before:
If I’m in a conference room and the video isn’t working, I’m not the sort to simply call IT and wait. I’ll also (gracefully) crawl under the table, and check that everything is properly plugged in.
A couple lines like this will not only lighten up your letter, but also highlight your soft skills. I got the point across that I’m a take-charge problem solver, without saying, “I’m a take-charge problem solver.” Plus the “(gracefully)” shows that I don’t take myself too seriously–even in a job application. If your submission follows the same list-type format all the way through, see if you can’t pepper in an example or anecdote that’ll add some personality.
You want your cover letter to stand out for all the right reasons. So, before you click submit, take a few minutes to make sure you’re putting your best (and most memorable) foot forward.
Related Video: This Is What People Really Think Of Your Resumé
This article originally appeared on The Daily Muse and is reprinted with permission.
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.