As a design whiz and typography genius, you’re all too familiar with the struggle of capturing someone’s attention. And while you’re a master at manipulating pixels to achieve that goal, you might need some advice on how to do that with your graphic design cover letter as well.
Now, you might be thinking, "Why is a cover letter so important?” After all, shouldn’t your portfolio be enough? Let’s put it like this—if you think of your work as a painting, a cover letter would be a frame that holds it together and presents it for viewing. It’s a carefully crafted written document that blends your skills and experience with just a tad of “Check out what I can do.”
So, let’s delve deeper into the topic to figure out how to make the perfect graphic design cover and impress recruiters long before they get to marvel at our actual art!
Your graphic design cover letter should be 3–5 paragraphs and 250–400 words long.
Top to bottom, your cover letter should feature your contact information, a cordial greeting, a body of the letter, a formal closing, and, optionally, a postscript.
The first paragraph of your letter should act as a hook for the reader, while the last should include a call to action.
You should always tailor your cover letter to the position that you’re applying for and only include relevant skills and experiences.
How to Format Your Graphic Design Cover Letter
If you’ve looked at some graphic design cover letter PDFs while learning how to write yours, then you’ve noticed how they all look similar. That’s because there’s a proven format to follow that often yields the best results.
But while those examples might steer you toward grabbing a random graphic design cover letter template in Word to work with it, you shouldn't do that just yet. A generic template might not be suitable for your needs or of good quality.
Instead, you should learn the formatting rules and guidelines to make a document from scratch and know what to include without the fear of messing up. Here’s how you should arrange the sections in your cover letter:
Your contact information and recipient’s details should go to the beginning of your cover letter—to its header.
Start the letter with a formal salutation. Try to name the recipient and avoid the generic “To whom it may concern.”
The main body of your cover letter should be 3–5 paragraphs or 250–400 words long.
Include a call to action in the final paragraph.
Formally close the letter.
If you include a postscript, you should add it after a formal closing, at the very end of the document.
How to Write a Graphic Design Cover Letter: Step-by-Step Guide
Whether you want to write a junior graphic design cover letter or showcase decades of experience in the field, this step-by-step guide will cover everything. Read it carefully, and writing a cover letter will become second nature to you.
But before we delve into details, here’s a quick rundown to help you visualize your cover letter:
#1. Add Contact Information in the Header
Every cover letter should start with the contact information section. The purpose of this part is purely functional, and you should simply list your and the recipient’s details.
Here are your details to include:
(Optional) Your mailing address
(Optional) Portfolio links, relevant social media links, etc.
After that, you should include the date of writing before continuing with the addressee’s details. You should always make an effort to find out the recipient’s name instead of just adding “recruiter” or “hiring manager.” It shows diligence and helps build rapport from the get-go.
Let’s see an example of what a graphic designer cover letter's contact section should look like:
Ray Lee Graphic Designer 2711 Diamond Street Asheville, NC 28801 828-555-9542 firstname.lastname@example.org linkedin.com/ln/raylee
Damian Russel Hiring Manager XY Design Solutions 808 Williams Mine Road Anchorage, AK 99503
Now let’s see how you can present this section on your cover letter:
Add two cover letter examples:
First, with contact information at the top, in the header.
Second, with contact information to the left, in the column.
#2. Greet the Hiring Manager
After a formal contact information section, the greeting serves as a segue into the content of your graphic design cover letter. A simple and elegant “Dear [Addressee’s Name]” is generally enough. You should avoid a universal “To whom it may concern,” as it feels too common and uninvolved.
#3. Emphasize Your Achievements in the Introduction
Hiring managers are busy professionals, and as a result, they likely won’t read every graphic design cover letter that comes their way. That’s why you want a strong start to grab their attention right off the bat and ensure they thoroughly examine your cover letter.
You can do that by including some of your most impressive accomplishments or strongest skills in the first paragraph. Think of this bit as a quick preview of what you’re capable of and one of the best ways to make your graphic design cover letter stand out. Give the reader just enough to get them hooked, and they’ll stay to find out more about you. Here’s an example:
I am excited to apply for the graphic designer position at XY Design Solutions. As a dedicated professional with a passion for brand identity, I’ve had the privilege of contributing to Solid Visuals Co.'s successes for the past 11 years.
#4. Illustrate Why You’re the Right Fit
The main purpose of your cover letter—apart from showing strong interest in the position and portraying you as a persevering go-getter—is to showcase your skills and experience. In essence, this document is an extension of your graphic design resume.
That’s why you want to emphasize your past work and valuable abilities that make you the right fit for their organization. Let’s check out what that can look like in a brief example:
In 2017, I led a cross-functional team in revamping the packaging design for ABC Cosmetics’ flagship product line. Our endeavors resulted in a 21% increase in shelf visibility and a 17% rise in consumer engagement.
You can figure out what the hiring manager and potential employers want to see by reading the job ad, examining the position that you’re applying for, and researching the company. Then, use 1–3 paragraphs to give them a tailored compilation of your notable results and impressive qualifications.
Furthermore, you can get bonus points by emphasizing your motivation to work with them in particular. For example, you can note if you’ve been following their work on social media or via professional magazines and that you’ve been eager for a while to join their team.
#5. Add a Call to Action
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to finish your cover letter with a bang. The intention behind this letter is to get one step closer to landing a job, and that step involves having an interview with the hiring manager.
So, after courteously thanking them for taking the time to read your graphic design cover letter, you should include a call to action. In a concise sentence, you want to highlight your desire to hear from them and discuss your future plans in person. Here’s an example:
Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my qualifications and ideas with you further. I look forward to the possibility of bringing my skills and experience in design and management to XY Design Solutions.
#6. Write a Formal Closing
You want to close your graphic design cover letter the same way you opened it—in a short and tasteful manner. There are several different ways to formally close a letter. Here are some of the most common examples:
Sincerely, [Your name]
Best regards, [Your name]
On a final note, you should consider adding a postscript with an attention-grabbing detail, such as another impressive achievement. Most people read this part of the letter, even if they skip the rest entirely. That gives you one more chance to grab the reader’s attention.
#7. Proofread the Cover Letter
After you finish writing your graphic design cover letter, you should proofread it thoroughly. That’s important for several good reasons:
Reasons to Proofread the Cover Letter
You can spot any potential grammar errors and other mistakes that could leave the wrong kind of impression on recruiters.
You get to read the whole letter without interruptions and check whether the writing is clear and coherent.
You can polish your language and make the letter more impactful, engaging, and persuasive.
Proofreading helps you review the cover letter to see whether there’s any generic or irrelevant content or if some parts need trimming and others need to be expanded upon.
Graphic Design Cover Letter Example
Freelance Graphic Design Cover Letter Example
4 Graphic Design Cover Letter Writing Tips
Let’s wrap up this comprehensive guide with a couple of expert tips that will help you get the most out of your graphic design cover letter:
Graphic Design Cover Letter Writing Tips
If you’re writing a graphic design cover letter with no experience, you can put more emphasis on your skills and education. You can mention personal or school projects, awards, relevant courses, and more.
When talking about achievements and results obtained, include exact numbers to quantify them. That way, you’re adding authenticity and credibility to your accomplishments and, subsequently, to your competence.
You can use your design skills to showcase your creativity when crafting a cover letter. However, keep in mind not to overdo it, as a cover letter should be a clean and professional document. The visuals should be subtle and only emphasize the content of your letter.
Don’t forget to add a link to your portfolio or a relevant social media profile in the contact information section of your cover letter. If you’re writing an entry-level graphic design cover letter and you don’t have a personal website yet, you can use alternatives such as Behance, Dribbble, or Tumblr.
As you can see, crafting a compelling graphic design cover letter is all about blending. You want to keep a balance between your skills and the company’s needs. This guide will help you achieve that, allowing you to stand out in a pixel-perfect world filled with vectors and Pantone color swatches.
After all, it’s good to show that you’re a competent candidate by highlighting your skills and experience. However, it’s much better to also demonstrate that you’re a perfect fit for their team and exactly what they are looking for.
Best of luck in your designing endeavors, and may your cover letters open doors to many exciting opportunities!