How to Write a Creative Cover Letter for a Creative Position

Jun 9, 2020 | Cover Letters

A title graphic featuring a smiling orange lightbulb icon and an alternate version of the article's title: "A Guide to Cover Letters for Creative Positions"

Are you a creative? Want to show your uniqueness in your job applications? Here’s how to write a cover letter for a creative position.

By: Ashley Leal | Resume Writer for Let’s Eat, Grandma

In today’s competitive job market, everyone is probably telling you that you need to stand out.

However, it can be hard to “show your personality” when crafting your resume and cover letter, as you risk not seeming  “professional” enough. 

This is a particularly daunting task if you are applying for a creative position — whether that be as a graphic designer, creative writer, or content marketer. That’s why I’ve outlined some tips and tricks that you can incorporate into a cover letter for a creative position to help your personality shine.

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Yes, a Cover Letter Can Show Your Creativity

It is first important to note how significant a cover letter is in your job search. Even if people have told you “your portfolio is all that matters,” they don’t know how far a well-written cover letter can go for any position. 

You can think of it like this: your resume is essentially a sales pitch, in which you have as little as six seconds to impress a hiring manager and encourage them to read more. Your cover letter, however, is more like a full sales PowerPoint presentation that allows you to expand on your initial pitch (a.k.a., your resume.)

With your cover letter, you can go deeper, showcasing your top skills and your unique personality and why both are directly applicable to the job. For a creative role, the full sentences of a cover letter let you truly show who you are beyond the stats of your resume.

So, how do we do that? How do we showcase your uniqueness while remaining formal in a professional document?

Highlight Your Passion

To show your unique personality in a cover letter, you’ll want to highlight your passion for the field (and this position in particular.) What inspires you in your artistic pursuits? How did that draw you to want to work for the company you are applying to? How does the company’s mission compare to your own? 

This is the first place where we can be a little more personal in describing how you can contribute to the company’s value. These elements can be written in your personal voice because they’re truly about you as a person and not just your stats and accomplishments. Remember: “culture fit” is an important factor in the hiring process, and your cover letter can demonstrate it before you even get to the interview. 

It is important to remember, though, that this section still needs to have a bit of formality as you are applying for a job and not writing a hip dating app bio. You can be casual, but don’t call the hiring manager “dude”, describe your project as “sick”, or use any other slang that would call your professionalism into question.

Tell Stories to Show Passion in Action

Another way to highlight your creativity is to expand on any projects or freelance work you have completed that aren’t as highlighted on your resume. In a cover letter for a creative position, your projects are especially illustrative of your personality, motivation, and unique artistic style.

Maybe you designed some really cool graphics and logos as a side project for your favorite restaurant just because. Or maybe you’re a content writer who’s in the middle of writing your first murder-mystery novel. As long as it is work-appropriate, feel free to discuss side projects like these to show how creativity permeates your whole life in a way that’s relevant to the job. 

Additionally, take this time to expand on at least one project or achievement that you have outlined on your resume. This is important on any cover letter, but especially for you with your project-driven work. While you shouldn’t simply restate your resume, you can go into further detail on your unique thought process for the project, any challenges you overcame, and what goal/mission the project achieved. Use these specific stories to highlight what you accomplished here and how you can bring that same spark to the table in this new position.

Lastly, if you have a digital portfolio or website, make sure you add a link either in your header, at the end of the letter, or both to allow the hiring manager to visually see your work. (Even if you’ve submitted this elsewhere, add a link in this document to encourage them to view it when they’re done reading!) This lends your words some real meaning as it directly connects the dots for the hiring manager and show them how the projects you mentioned came to life.

At the end of the day, here’s the main thing to remember: don’t be afraid to allow your own voice to shine when writing a cover letter for a creative position, but do it in a way that is still professional.

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