Artwork by: Antonina Kasyanikova
Writing a creative cover letter is the first step in getting that interview and landing that next great job. In this blog, we will look at what it takes to write the perfect letter that will bring your resume to the top of the hiring manager’s pile.
Getting noticed by the hiring manager is the most important goal of any application package. To do that, you need a strong resume, but an even better cover letter. To write a creative cover letter that catches the attention of the hiring manager, you will need to present your most valuable skills in a way that automatically makes you the best candidate for the position.
This guide will cover what it takes to write a creative cover letter that will get you noticed. Here are the topics we will look at.
How do you start a creative cover letter?
What should a creative cover letter include?
How do you spice up a cover letter?
What are the four tips for a great cover letter?
What are some examples of creative cover letters?
The first thing you should focus on when writing your unique cover letter is its opening. The goal is to capture the attention of the hiring manager, so using powerful and exciting language is important. Here are some things you will want to include in the opening of your cover letter.
Enthusiasm: Don’t be afraid to show your excitement for the position, the company, and the opportunity to apply for the position. Being enthusiastic can show a hiring manager that success motivates you.
Be personable: Greet your hiring manager as though you are old friends. Be sure to show a lot of your personality in your opening. Telling a funny story about yourself is a great opening for a creative cover letter.
Use Humor: If it fits your personality, using humor to introduce yourself can help capture the attention of a hiring manager and make you stand out in a memorable way. Just remember to use humor that is appropriate for the workplace.
Offer to be the solution: One of the main reasons an employer is searching for a new employee is when they have a problem they need to solve. In the opening of your cover letter, clarify that you can solve the problem they currently have.
When displaying how you can solve an employer’s problems, be sure to give examples of accomplishments you’ve had in the past that have solved similar problems for other companies.
Even though you are trying to make your cover letter a little more creative and personal than a formal cover letter, there are some general things you will need to include. Here are a few of them.
A header that includes your contact information, LinkedIn profile link, full name, and link to your portfolio, if applicable.
A personalized greeting to a specific hiring manager or contact within the company. If you don’t have the name of your contact, use the greeting ‘Dear Hiring Manager’.
A customized selection of skills that are transferable to the position you are applying for.
Three quantifiable accomplishments that show how you can be successful in your new role based on your past achievements.
A strong call to action that prompts the hiring manager to read your resume and schedule an interview with you.
Feel free to add some flare to your skills, accomplishments, and call to action. Funny and adventurous cover letters are those your hiring manager will remember, and may lead to more opportunities for your resume to be looked over in the future.
One mistake many applicants make is writing a cover letter that is boring and generic. To truly capture the attention of a hiring manager, however, it’s important to write a cover letter that is exciting and personalized. If you are struggling to write a compelling cover letter, here are some tips to try.
Add your personality: Show off who you are and what your hiring manager can expect from you right from the start.
Be creative: Start the letter with an attention-grabbing opening sentence that the hiring manager won’t be able to ignore.
Demonstrate how you can help: Show the hiring manager how your skills will benefit the company and solve the problems they currently have.
Whenever cover letters catch the attention of a hiring manager, chances are that the writer has employed a few tricks that help them stand out. When writing your cover letter, there are some strategies and tips you will want to keep in mind.
When looking for opportunities to bring humor or excitement to your cover letter, see what you can draw out of your research into the company and the job itself. You may even be able to tie some of your own experiences and skills to the position in a comedic way.
While you are hoping to be creative with your letter, don’t fail to include the important information that can land you the job. Some mentions of your skills and accomplishments will be necessary regardless of the type of cover letter you write.
Above all, use humor in moderation and know when it is time to be appropriate. You want your cover letter to be memorable because it left a positive impression, not a negative one.
After you’ve completed your cover letter, check and recheck your grammar and punctuation until it is perfect. Poor grammar can have an instant and negative effect on your ability to move to the next step of the interview process.
One great trick to ensure you aren’t missing any grammar or strange wording issues in your cover letter is to have your computer read your letter aloud. Your mind won’t be able to trick itself into believing things are correct when you hear the words read to you.
Now that we’ve talked about what goes into writing a creative cover letter, let’s look at some examples of what a good cover letter might look like.
Dear Hiring Manager/Contact Name,
[Use this paragraph to introduce yourself in a unique way. Capture the attention of the hiring manager right out of the gate so they are excited to read more about you.]
[Your skills and achievements should be included in this section. Keep this section personable, and don’t forget to include information about your achievements. It’s also a good idea to break out a few of your achievements into a bulleted list.]
[The final paragraph should be devoted to a creative call to action, gratitude for the opportunity, and more excitement for the position.]
Dear Hiring Manager/Contact Name,
I am a recent college graduate whose parents are excited to have me move out of their house. I would love to use my education to get my start in the [industry], so I was extremely excited when I ran across [company name]’s posting for the open [position name] position.
During my college career, I gained a wealth of knowledge, including training in [Skillset 1], [Skillset 2], and [Skillset 3]. With my knowledge in these areas, I am more than equipped to assist [company name] by [detail what problem you can solve for the company you are applying to.]
Along with my education, I was able to accomplish the following while attending [college/university name]:
I look forward to speaking with you more about my accomplishments and how they can be an asset to [company name.] Thank you for your time and consideration, and for the possible assistance in helping fulfill my parents' dreams of being empty nesters once more.
When writing a cover letter, customize it around the specific job you are applying for.
Add your personality to the cover letter and make sure you showcase your skills and strengths in a positive light but remember to keep humor appropriate and use it in moderation.
Even when trying to be creative, include your accomplishments and skills so the hiring manager will know you are the right fit for the job.
Always proofread the cover letter multiple times before submitting it.
Holly Skaggs is an experienced SEO writer with 10+ years of creative content expertise across diverse digital channels. She is skilled in writing articles, blogs, and social media posts related to career development and HR. She is a seasoned professional committed to fostering organizational growth and individual career success. Holly has previously worked in human resources with a focus on talent acquisition, employee engagement, and performance management. Her journey in HR has been marked by a passion for talent development, strategic workforce planning, and effective communication.