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  1. Career Advice
  2. Cover Letter
  3. You are not a dime a dozen. Here's how to show personality in a cover letter
You are not a dime a dozen. Here's how to show personality in a cover letter

You are not a dime a dozen. Here's how to show personality in a cover letter

  • Showing your personality in a cover letter
  • How to write a cover letter to show off your personality
  • Key takeaways

You’re one in a million, and your cover letter should be, too. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of having a creative cover letter, including tips and examples, to set you apart from the crowd.

There’s a lot of competition for jobs right now (with each job opening attracting around 250 applications), so it’s important to stand out from the crowd. One of the ways you can do that is by having a cover letter that shows off your personality. But you shouldn’t go overboard—too much of a good thing, in this case, isn’t helpful. So how do you draw the line between showing off your unique personality and looking like someone who’s just a little desperate?

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can show your personality in a cover letter, including:

  • Should a cover letter convey your personality and style?

  • How to write a cover letter to show off your personality

  • Dos and don’ts of writing a unique cover letter

  • Template and sample creative cover letter

Showing your personality in a cover letter

To catch a hiring manager’s attention, you’ll want to break from tradition a little. While your cover letter should be professional, it’s okay to show a bit about who you are as a person. But you have to make sure that it fits with the overall company culture—if a company is more formal or traditional, a super-funny story may not be the way to go. But to stand out, you also want to avoid having a letter that’s completely by-the-book and full of clichés, too. Companies want to feel that they're special too, and not just one of hundreds of positions you've applied for. And while that means tailoring each cover letter for the position you’re applying for, you can also add a little “pizzazz.” But remember, it’s not okay to brag or sound cocky in a cover letter. Aim for a genuine, honest letter that shows who you are, not an embellished version of yourself.

Advantages of writing a creative cover letter

You might be thinking, “No one reads these things, anyway? Why should I make the effort?” Don’t be so sure. A well-written cover letter can help ensure that the hiring manager gives it more than just a glance, and increases your chances of being put in the “interview” pile. Other reasons you should write a creative cover letter include:

  • It shows that you're truly interested and excited about the position

  • Highlights why you have the skills for the position

  • Judicious use of personal stories or professional anecdotes can showcase your skills in a vibrant, interesting way

  • It engages the reader. Honestly, hiring managers see hundreds of cover letters every week and spend an average of seven seconds reading them.  If you can catch his or her eye, they’re more likely to read it more closely. 

  • It sets you apart from the crowd. You’re special, and your cover letter should be, too. Adding a creative component can make you more memorable—in a good way.

How to write a cover letter to show off your personality

How do you write a professional cover letter, that also highlights who you are as a person? Here are some tips:

  • Research the company, to have a better idea of their goals and values. This will help you tailor your cover letter appropriately.

  • Use a personalized greeting. Avoid “Dear Sir or Madam,” or “To Whom It May Concern.” That screams, “generic.” Address each cover letter to a specific person. You may have to research who will be reading it, but it’s worth it.

  • Tell them why you’re interested in the position, and what you bring to the table. Mention something you admire about the company’s products or services, and how you could bring value to the position. Be specific.

  • Close on a high note. Avoid the passive, “I look forward to hearing from you.” Make a statement about why you’re the best person for the job, and that you’d like the opportunity to discuss your qualifications further.

An important thing to remember is that you should match your letter to your industry. A job in an informal or creative industry would call for a more creative, jocular tone that includes a bit more humor, but a corporate position might require a more traditional letter, although you can still include a personal touch or an eye-catching opening sentence.

  • Be honest. Hiring managers can spot insincerity and empty boasting a mile away.
  • Avoid using profoundly personal or embarrassing stories.
  • Avoid clichés such as “team player” or “thinking outside the box”.
  • Make sure your cover letter is conversational, yet professional.
  • Forget to spell check and check for typos.
  • Be overly pessimistic. Phrases such as "I know I'm just one of many candidates" are off-putting and show a lack of enthusiasm.
  • Recap your resume. A unique cover letter is your chance to showcase information that isn’t on your resume and support your candidacy for the position.

Template for a unique cover letter

Once you've researched and determined how you’ll demonstrate your value to the company, here is a template you can use to craft your letter.

Copyable example

Your name Address Phone number Email address


Full name of interviewer/recruiter/hiring manager Title and Company name Company address

Dear {hiring manager}:

[Open creatively, stating why you are interested in the job using a personal anecdote, a major achievement that relates to the position, or a witty (yet professional) statement to showcase your personality.]

[The next paragraph should mention why you’re interested in the company. This is a good place to show that you’ve done your research and have a grasp on the company culture, goals, and values.]

[Use the third paragraph to give specific details about why you’re the best candidate for the job. Don’t just give a laundry list of qualifications — demonstrate an aspect of your personality or give a few personal details (but not too personal!]

[To close, recap your interest and excitement about the position and end on a call to action.]

Yours truly, Your name

Example of a creative cover letter 

Now that you have a basic outline of a creative cover letter, here is an example of what it might look like in practice.

Copyable example

Janet Ridge 654 First Street Arlington Heights, IL 60016 708-555-1234

October 11, 2023

Susan Jones Director of Human Resources Sunrise Digital Advertising 123 Pine Avenue Chicago, IL 60004

Dear Ms. Jones,

As a teenager, I used to babysit the neighbor's children to make some pocket money. Though I also wanted to put money away for college, my actual—secret—goal was to buy this red, satin jacket that I had long coveted. (The height of fashion at the time!). When I finally got the jacket and l slipped it on I felt just like the kids in the magazine ad: chic, cool, and fun! In that instant, I understood the power of advertising. That’s when I set my sights on working for a pioneering and creative agency like Sunrise as an Advertising Director.

A lot of advertising agencies may have a lot of flash and perks like free cafeteria lunches, “Pet Fridays,” or in-house yoga classes. While these are terrific to have, I’m interested in Sunrise Digital Advertising because of your unique, cross-collaborative international reach. I am fluent in French and eager to put my language skills to good use. I feel I would prosper in your supportive, interactive work style that supports employees both as individuals and as a team.

During the last eight years, I’ve followed one straightforward career rule—always do your best. I’m the employee who puts in the extra time, not because I have to, but because I love my work and I enjoy being around other people who do, too. This rule has rewarded me with two promotions over the last five years, and this solid work ethic and excitement about advertising is something I would bring to Sunrise Digital Advertising.

I would welcome the opportunity to talk more about this position and what I will bring to the table as an Advertising Director.

Yours truly, Janet Ridge

Ready to take your cover letter to the next level? Check out’s Cover Letter Builder, which can provide you with expert-tested templates and help you tailor the structure and formatting with ease!

Key takeaways

  1. To catch a hiring manager's attention, you'll want a cover letter that is still professional while showing who you are as a person.

  2. Writing a creative cover letter shows off your skills in a unique way, engages the reader, and sets you apart from the crowd.

  3. Match your letter to your industry. A job in an informal or creative industry would call for a more creative, jocular tone that includes more humor, but a corporate position might require a more traditional letter. 

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