How to Write a Creative Cover Letter
A cover letter is one of the first things a recruiter or hiring manager may review for your job application, and having a creative one can help you stand out from other candidates. A creative cover letter can encourage potential employers to notice you for your passion, talent and drive. In this article, we explore what a creative cover letter is, what the benefits are of writing one, how to construct one effectively and provide you with a template and sample to help guide you.
What is a creative cover letter?
A creative cover letter differs from a more traditional structure by including a variety of personal elements that may help you stand out to potential employers. Creative cover letters can incorporate various aspects like telling a short story or outlining what you can deliver to the company using a bulleted list. Some creative cover letters have clever descriptions of why you’re the perfect candidate and something that can make the hiring manager laugh, while others may feature a drawing or graphic that meets the company culture of the business you’re applying to.
What are the benefits of writing a creative cover letter?
Many applicants submit a cover letter with their resume when they’re applying for a job, meaning that recruiters and hiring managers may read many of them when looking to fill a position. A creative cover letter may help you stand out if you:
Summarize your skills and include additional information about yourself.
Capture the hiring manager’s attention and keep them engaged.
Exhibit the unique passion or abilities that you can bring to the company.
How to write a creative cover letter
Consider following these steps to write a creative cover letter:
1. Choose a unique opening paragraph
There are many ways you can choose to begin your cover letter, and this is your first chance to show the hiring manager you’re the right fit for the position. Consider one of the following creative approaches:
Start with your passion for the job: Leading with your passion for the position or career can help assert your interest in the company and illustrate why you’re a great candidate for the job. For example, if the position is for a job in the fashion industry, consider leading with a reference to your lifelong passion for style and design.
Lead with an accomplishment: Beginning your cover letter with an accomplishment is one way to impress the reader right away. Consider including a compliment from a previous manager or personal accomplishment to show why you’re a great fit for the job.
Add some humor and personality: As long as it fits the company culture, starting with humor can help you stand out from other applicants and show the hiring manager more about your personality and the positive attitude you would bring to the company.
Include your admiration of the company: While many people start by introducing and focusing on themselves, one creative way to begin is to shift the focus back onto the company and highlight the specific reasons you’re interested in working for them.
2. Tell them why you’re interested
Unless you’ve already explained this at the beginning of your cover letter, consider writing about why you’re interested in working for the company specifically. Many applicants may discuss why they’re right for the position and their work experience in a related field but may include nothing about the company in particular. Addressing unique or meaningful aspects of the company can show that you took the time to not only research the job but also the company and that you’re eager to join their team.
3. Highlight what sets you apart
When setting yourself apart from other potential candidates, it’s beneficial to lead with a lot of personality, including a meaningful anecdote or personal attribute. This can help exemplify that you’re approaching the company and position for a specific reason, making it seem like you have been waiting for an opportunity like this to come along.
Example: “Having grown up in the Rocky Mountains, I know firsthand how important wildlife conservation can be. For 22 years you’ve impressed me with your conservation work, and I’d love to join your team.”
4. Proofread and personalize
Even if you decide to make your cover letter creative and fun, the basics like spelling and grammar are still very important. A spelling or grammar mistake could distract from your storytelling or ability to highlight your accomplishments, whereas error-free writing can help you make a meaningful first impression and show that you take the position and company seriously. Reading the letter out loud can help you catch grammatical errors or notice sentences to rephrase.
It may also benefit you to address the recruiter or hiring manager by name rather than using a generic greeting. While it might take a bit of research to find out exactly who may read your cover letter, this step could help you make a great first impression with the hiring manager and with the company.
Template for a creative cover letter
Here is a template for a creative cover letter you can follow to create your own:
[ Your name ]
[ Your phone number ]
[ Your email address ]
[ Your online portfolio link and/or social media page links ]
[ Name of potential employer ]
Dear [ hiring manager’s name ] ,
[ Begin with a creative way to start a cover letter such as a meaningful anecdote that illustrates your passion for the job, an accomplishment of yours that applies to the position or a humorous story or remark to display your personality. ]
[ You can use this second paragraph to highlight what stands out to you about the company. Here, you can include your favorite things about the company itself and show your thorough knowledge of the company and that you’ve taken the time to do research. ]
[ Your next paragraph can explain what sets you apart from other potential candidates. You can use a high-personality lead to show an element of your personality or tell a little more about yourself. ]
[ Sincerely ]
[ Your name ]
[ Your signature ]
Example of a creative cover letter
You can use the example below as a guide for writing your own creative cover letter:
MIA Marketing Agency
Dear Samantha Thomas,
When I was a freshman in college, I worked extra hours at the university dining hall so I could save up for the trendiest pair of sunglasses, like the rest of my friends. I have since forgotten exactly what they looked like (or where I left them) but I’ll never forget wanting to feel like the model on the billboard, or how good it felt when I had finally saved up enough money. That moment is when I understood the power of good marketing. Ever since I’ve been working toward joining an innovative and influential marketing agency like yours.
Companies may attract candidates with offers like catered lunches, beanbag chairs, and causal Friday dress codes. While these are all great perks, especially coming from my current cubicle, what drew me to MIA Marketing Agency is the collaborative international team. I recognize many marketing agencies have exceptional company culture and fast-paced environment, but MIA Marketing Agency would allow me to work with team members around the world (and hopefully offer me the opportunity to brush up on my Italian).
Over the last 10 years, I’ve built my career off of one simple principle: follow your passion. I’m the person who shows up early and leaves late merely because I’m excited about my work and love being surrounded by like-minded people. This attitude has earned me four promotions in the past eight years, and it’s what I know I can bring to the team at MIA Marketing Agency.
The 11 Best Cover Letter Examples: What They Got Right
Let’s face it: A job search is, typically, anything but fun.
It’s almost as if it carries its own five stages of grief. At first, there’s denial of its demoralizing nature. Then comes the anger over either radio silence or rejection from prospective employers. Of course, there’s bargaining — “I promise to never complain about work again, if I can find a new job!”
That’s often followed by depression and the idea that one is simply just unhireable. Then, there’s acceptance: “This is awful, but I have to keep trying, anyway.”
Sample Cover Letters for a Writing Position
Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts and has counseled both students and corporations on hiring practices. She has given hundreds of interviews on the topic for outlets including The New York Times, BBC News, and LinkedIn. Alison founded CareerToolBelt.com and has been an expert in the field for more than 20 years.
The internet created a boom of writing jobs of all kinds, from content writers to technical writers to social media managers. To land one of these jobs, you’ll need to create a cover letter that conveys your relevant writing experience, captures an employer’s attention, and persuades them that you have the skills to attract and engage readers.
How to Write a Cover Letter for a Writer Jobs
Get advice on how to craft an effective cover letter for a writing position. Plus, take a look at cover letter examples for writing jobs, along with a template to download to get your own letter started.
Cover Letter Tips for a Writing Position
Don’t Send a Form Letter: Form letters look lazy and lack originality. You’re applying for a job where your words matter. Use them to craft a specific letter that speaks uniquely to the position and potential employer.
Get to the Point: Some writers love to read their own words. But keep the letter’s recipient in mind: they’ve likely received tons of applications and are short on time. Don’t ramble or pontificate.
Keep your letter short and to the point. You may find that using bullet points helps you convey a lot of information without a ton of words.
Choose Your Voice and Tone Wisely: Match the tone of your letter to that of the job description. If the description is formal, write a straightforward cover letter with a sophisticated voice. A fun, offbeat job description filled with humor gives you permission to let your guard down in your letter and spice it up. But don’t go overboard on wackiness—when in doubt, reel it in.
Demonstrate Your Writing Technique: Use the cover letter as an opportunity to showcase your command of your craft. Vivid description and imagery aren’t just for poetry and prose. For example, if you’re applying to write about food or travel, use sensory language in your descriptions. Tell an anecdote to describe your experience.
And what’s an anecdote really but a story—draw the reader in, hook them with a conflict (e.g., “I had to write a 500-word piece overnight to meet a publication deadline”) and then describe how you resolved it with your top-notch skills.
Share Your Qualifications: While you want to showcase your writing abilities in the letter, you also need to make sure you’re highlighting your relevant experience. Read the job description and make sure to share your relevant experience. You’ll need to emphasize different skills and experience if you’re applying for a role writing social media copy than for a job as a staff writer.
Proofread Very Carefully: It’s always important to avoid typos and grammatical errors. But it’s essential when you’re applying for a role as a writer, because employers will be looking for evidence that you can produce error-free copy.
Share Your Portfolio: What better way to support your candidacy than by sharing previous work? If you’re applying for a role as a writer over email, consider attaching a link to your online portfolio. In a hard-copy letter, you can let the employer know you have a portfolio available to share.
What to Include in Your Cover Letter
There are a few essential elements that must be included in every letter:
- Your contact information: In a hard copy letter, this will go at the top of the page. For email cover letters, place this information in your signature. You can also link to your LinkedIn profile or online portfolio from your signature. : If at all possible, find out the hiring manager’s name and use it.
- Subject line: If you’re emailing a cover letter, list your name and thejob title in the subject line of the message. That way the hiring manager can tell at a glance that they are looking at an application for this specific position.
- Highlight qualifications in the body of the email: Keep the body of the email short and sweet—no more than two or three paragraphs at most.
- Include a professional close: Sign hard copy letters in pen, and incorporate an email signature if you’re sending your cover letter by email.
Before you hit send, make sure you understand formatting and sending email cover letters, including important reminders about attachments and sending test emails.
For hard-copy cover letters, print and proofread carefully before sending.
Sample Cover Letter for a Writing Job
This is an example of a cover letter for a writing position. Use this for inspiration as you craft your own letter, but don’t copy it.
Cover Letter for a Freelance Writing Job (Text Version)
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
Director, Human Resources
Acme Office Supplies
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321
I’m very interested in your job posting for a business writer. In my position as Business Representative for Union Local 80, I wrote feature articles for the website, managed content, and wrote a weekly email newsletter to subscribers.
While Legislative Director for Assemblywoman Susan Smith, I researched, drafted, and amended legislation, wrote press releases, and was responsible for office communications and correspondence.
I also have extensive experience writing freelance articles on labor issues, which, I believe, would be an ideal match for this position. Published articles are available for your review upon request, and I’ve included with this letter additional writing samples and my resume. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your consideration.
Signature (hard copy letter)
Sample Email Cover Letter for a Technical Writer
Email Cover Letter for Technical Writer Role
Subject line: Job Application – Technical Writer – Tamara Jones
I’d like to express my interest in the open technical writer position at ABC Gadgets. I’m a versatile and experienced writer, with a knack for crafting user-friendly copy that drives customer satisfaction.
At XYZ Gizmos, I overhauled consumer-facing instructions, wrote in-app text for multiple launches, and brainstormed strategy and copy for product pages with the marketing team. Prior to my time at XYZ, I focused on corporate communications for ABC Legal Firm. In that role, I maintained the company’s internal website as well as writing and coordinating a weekly newsletter sent to 50,000 full-time and contract employees around the world.
If ABC Gadgets would benefit from a timely, responsive writer, whose work reduces questions and negative feedback from customers, look no further. After the update to the consumer-facing instructions at XYZ Gizmos, tickets to customer support fell by 12 percent. While at ABC Legal Firm, my work enabled several departments to share timely information. I’m skilled at coordinating across departments—liaising with engineering, for instance, to get a sense of a product’s functionality—to develop effective documentation and instructions.
Examples of newsletters, documentation, and more of my writing are available in my portfolio. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your consideration.