A graphic design cover letter introduces you, your resume and any additional enclosures to a company or organisation. Some graphic designers submit hard copy cover letters, others send e-mail cover letters and some send both. Some graphic designers submit cover letters with an application for a job, and other cover letters request informational interviews with companies that a designer wants to know more about. Graphic design cover letters contain the contact information for the sender and the addressee, a salutation, body paragraphs and a signature line. Formatting for e-mail cover letters differs from a hard copy.
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Write your contact information in four lines in the top left corner of the page. The first line includes your street address. The second includes your city, state and postcode. The third and fourth lines include your phone number and e-mail address, respectively.
Skip a line and write the full month, date and year.
Skip a line and write the addressee’s contact information in five lines. The first line includes the addressee’s title (Mr., Mrs., Ms. or Dr.) first name and last name. The second line includes the addressee’s position at the company, and the third line includes the name of the organisation. The fourth line includes the addressee’s street address, and the fifth line includes the addressee’s city, state and postcode.
Skip a line and write a salutation followed by the addressee’s title, last name and a colon. For example, the line may say, “Dear Mr. Smith:”.
Skip one line after the salutation, and open the first paragraph with your basic information. Your basic information includes your career title, current position or degree type. Write how you found out about the job opening or the company in the second sentence of the first paragraph. State the reason you are writing in the third sentence of the first paragraph. Some reasons for writing include job applications and general informational interview requests.
Skip a line after the first paragraph, and open the second paragraph with the reason you are interested in the employer, the position or both. State parallels between your skills and the skills that are required for the position with two to four lines in the second paragraph. Some parallels for employment openings include software applications, foreign language skills, similar prior project work and any specific qualifications that match items in the job listing. Some parallels for general informational interview requests include portfolio samples that are similar to the organisation’s graphic design needs and work experience that is relevant to the organisation’s operations. Close the second paragraph by requesting that the addressee review other materials that you enclosed with the letter, and indicate items that are relevant to the position. For example, request that the addressee review a work sample that reflects the same skills that a particular employer wants. Other materials include your resume, work samples, references and letters of recommendation.
Skip a line and open the third paragraph by stating that you want an interview for the position on the phone or in person. Alternatively, request an interview and clarify what you want to discuss, if you requested a general informational interview.
Write when and how you intend to follow up on your request in the second paragraph. For example, write, “I will call your office in two weeks to follow up on my request and confirm that you received these materials.”
Close the third paragraph by thanking the addressee and requesting that he or his representative contact you for additional information.
Skip a line and write “Sincerely,” then skip one line and type your first and last names. Alternatively, leave two to four blank lines between "Sincerely," and your name for hard copy cover letters.
Ask someone to proofread the cover letter for spelling and grammatical errors.
Print the cover letter and sign the space between “Sincerely,” and the signature line, if you are sending a hard copy cover letter.
Tips and warnings
- E-mail cover letters should include your contact information after the signature line at the end of the letter instead of the top of the page.
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