How to Write a Graphic Design Cover Letter

How to Write a Graphic Design Cover Letter

How to Write a Graphic Design Cover Letter

What Is a Graphic Design Cover Letter?

A cover letter is not always the easiest document to write, especially when it is for a creative industry role.

It brings your resume to life and allows you to show a bit of your personality. It needs to highlight your strengths and will often determine if you get an interview.

As an ideal career choice for digital nomads, graphic design is becoming vastly popular for those who have an artistic talent.

As the number of people applying for these types of jobs is increasing, your graphic design cover letter needs to share all your relevant experience and highlight your creative talent.

Most importantly, your cover letter should make the recruiter desperate to see your artwork.

What Should a Great Graphic Design Cover Letter Include?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to cover letters for creative roles.

  • The first is that a cover letter is a formal piece of writing designed to highlight relevant experience.

  • The second is that, if you're a creative person, your skills should be expressed in all areas, including cover letters.

Regardless of whether you choose a creative or more formal style, your cover letter should:

  • Showcase your communication skills – Whether you are applying for an in-house, agency or individual role, you need to demonstrate your ability to communicate professionally and confidently. Your employer needs to know that you understand their requirements. There may also be occasions where you will give presentations to decision-makers regarding a project.

  • Show your passion for graphic design – As this is a role that so many people apply for, your employer needs to know that this is your passion and that you will deliver excellent results. So many people choose graphic design as a second job and end up not being able to commit fully. Make it clear that graphic design is your career.

  • Indicate that you are good to work with – Using phrases such as 'only work with high-profile brands' or 'only available for...' will make you seem stand-offish. Be polite and approachable.

  • Mention any relevant qualifications – Show your potential employer that you have studied art or graphic design and have taken courses to extend your knowledge when new software becomes available. This tells the recruiter that you are serious and that they can trust you to deliver quality work.

  • Connect role requirements to previous experience – If the job description states that the project is to the value of $300,000, then tell them about the projects you've worked on with similar budgets. If it is a campaign with different tasks, tell them about your previous work that followed the same formula.

Where your graphic design cover letter will differ between formal and informal is the way you tell your story.

The choice is entirely up to you. If the organization is traditional and formal, then keep your cover letter more formal. If the organization is new or known for its quirkiness, then make your cover letter expressive and creative.

How to Write Your Graphic Design Cover Letter

Salutation

The salutation, together with the first paragraph, is considered an essential part of a cover letter as it is the first impression the recruiter will have of you.

Start by addressing the recruiter by name:

Dear Mr/Ms Bloggs,

If you don’t know the recruiter's name, check the company’s website to see if an HR specialist is listed, or call the organization to find out.

If you have exhausted all your options and cannot find a name, then as a last resort, address the letter to ‘Dear Hiring Manager’.

If the recruiter is a woman and you don't know her marital status, ‘Ms’ is a safe option. You don't want to presume your recruiter is married.

First Paragraph

Begin by detailing what position you are applying for, where you found the role and your elevator pitch:

I'm excited to be applying for the graphic designer position at Coca-Cola. I understand you plan to add new product lines. I believe my skills will provide an advantage for this launch. I have been a fan of your products from such a young age and I'm thrilled to bring my passion to your company.

Alternatively:

It might seem strange to get excited about colors and typography, but my passion for all aspects of graphic design has remained with me throughout my seven-year career. I am very interested in the graphic designer position advertised on your website, as I believe my skills are a perfect match for your new product launch.

Both versions deliver the same message, just in different ways.

Second Paragraph

In the second paragraph (it may take a couple of paragraphs, depending on your experience), you want to show how you are a good fit for the role by providing examples for the requirements detailed in the job description.

During my previous role at Hershey's, I was responsible for all aspects of rebranding. This role provided insight into the full product journey, which allowed me and my team to create a more unique and influential design. As a result, sales surpassed expectations by 14%.

Or:

I have worked on national and international marketing projects and product launches for global brands, as well as a host of startups.

Highlights of my skills include:

  • Print and digital graphic design
  • Website, UX and GUI design
  • Packaging design
  • Brand creation and extension
  • Original artwork and illustration
  • Color rendering and correction

If you are applying for a big brand or agency, be as specific with your success as possible. For the smaller companies, detail your experience but in a less formal way.

How to Write a Graphic Design Cover Letter
How to Write a Graphic Design Cover Letter

Third Paragraph

As you begin to close your cover letter, share a bit of background information, such as your education and why you chose graphic design.

As well as my practical experience, I graduated from UCLA with a bachelor's in art. My final project won the Artist of The Year Award. I also have certificates in Adobe Creative Suite, HTML, CSS and various other design software.

I have always had an interest in design. As a child, I collected print advertisements and typography examples like they were posters. I am truly grateful that it is now my career.

Help the recruiter to see where your passion comes from and that you take your craft seriously.

Fourth Paragraph

In this final section, you need to tell the recruiter what you can do for the organization.

I am dedicated to bringing brands to life. My key focus is to exceed expectations and create memorable brand identities. I enjoy collaborating with clients and creative teams to deliver designs that increase web traffic, social engagement and response rates.

Allow the recruiter to see what your priorities are and what you can bring to the team.

Fifth Paragraph

In this final section, you want to bring everything to a close with a call to action.

Attached is a copy of my resume and a link to my portfolio, which showcases all of my designs to date. I believe that we would be an ideal match, and I look forward to discussing my application with you in person.

Please contact me on (555) 555-5555 or email me at janedoe@gmail.com

Sincerely,

Jane Doe

Graphic Design Cover Letter Example – Type 1

Dear Mr/Ms Bloggs,

I'm excited to be applying for the graphic designer position at Coca-Cola. I understand you plan to add new product lines. I believe my skills will provide an advantage for this launch. I have been a fan of your products from such a young age and I'm thrilled to bring my passion to your company.

During my previous role at Hershey's, I was responsible for all aspects of rebranding. This role provided insight into the full product journey, which allowed me and my team to create a more unique and influential design. As a result, sales surpassed expectations by 14%.

As well as my practical experience, I graduated from UCLA with a bachelor's in art. My final project won the Artist of The Year Award. I also have certificates in Adobe Creative Suite, HTML, CSS and various other design software.

I have always had an interest in design. As a child, I collected print advertisements and typography examples like they were posters. I am truly grateful that it is now my career.

I am dedicated to bringing brands to life. My key focus is to exceed expectations and create memorable brand identities. I enjoy collaborating with clients and creative teams to deliver designs that increase web traffic, social engagement and response rates.

Attached is a copy of my resume and a link to my portfolio, which showcases all of my designs to date. I believe that we would be an ideal match, and I look forward to discussing my application with you in person.

Please contact me on (555) 555-5555 or email me at janedoe@gmail.com

Sincerely,

Jane Doe

Graphic Design Cover Letter – Type 2

Dear Mr/Ms Bloggs,

It might seem strange to get excited about colors and typography, but my passion for all aspects of graphic design has remained strong throughout my seven-year career. I am very interested in the graphic designer position posted on your website, as I believe my skills are a perfect match for your new product launch.

I have worked on national and international marketing and product launches for global brands, as well as a host of startups.

Highlights of my skills include:

  • Print and digital graphic design
  • Website, UX and GUI design
  • Packaging design
  • Brand creation and extension
  • Original artwork and illustration
  • Color rendering and correction

As well as my practical experience, I graduated from UCLA with a bachelor's in art. My final project won the Artist of The Year Award. I also have certificates in Adobe Creative Suite, HTML, CSS and various other design software.

I have always had an interest in design. As a child, I collected print advertisements and typography examples like they were posters. I am truly grateful that it is now my career.

I love bringing brands to life and creating long-lasting brand identities. I enjoy collaborating with clients and creative teams to deliver designs that increase web traffic, social engagement and response rates.

Attached is a copy of my resume and a link to my portfolio, which showcases all of my designs to date. I believe that we would be an ideal match, and I look forward to discussing my application with you in person.

Please contact me on (555) 555-5555 or email me at janedoe@gmail.com

Sincerely,

Jane Doe

Things to Avoid

  • Writing more than one page – Your recruiter is short on time and will probably have a lot of applications to review. Keep it to one page if you want your entire statement to be read.

  • Writing too much – Keep your paragraphs short and your font neat and readable. Your recruiter may skim read your cover letter for keywords from the job description.

  • Unnecessary details – While it might be tempting to write about all of your amazing designs, pick two or three examples that relate to your new role. If the description doesn't mention a skill, then don't mention it – only detail what the employer wants to know.

Final Thoughts

It is difficult to find a balance between being professional and wanting to show your creativity. You may not know if your recruiter is traditional or if they will appreciate your unique style.

When writing a graphic design cover letter, consider:

  • Who your audience is – Can you be more playful with your writing, or should you stick to a traditional style?

  • What the job description is asking for – Does it mention lots of skills you need to demonstrate or a minimum level of education? These are all key points to mention.

  • What you think will help you stand out – The whole idea behind a cover letter is to show you are the best candidate for the job, so you need to create a message that reflects that.


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