How to write a job-winning art and design cover letter

Art & design professionals are responsible for major contributions to our culture, media, and more. To become a professional in this industry, you'll need to go beyond crafting a beautiful portfolio – you'll also need an art and design cover letter that showcases not just your artistic talent but also your passion for and experience in the industry.

In this guide, we show you 7 key elements to creating the ideal art & design cover letter. Keep reading to learn all about how to:

  • Format your art and design cover letter header & headline
  • Open an art & design cover letter by explaining why you chose the role
  • Present your professional journey as an art & design professional
  • Show off your technical and artistic skills
  • Showcase your notable achievements in the art field
  • Share a closer look into your art and design projects
  • Conclude your art and design cover letter with a strong closing statement

As a bonus, we include an accounting cover letter example that got a real person hired at Iyuno-SDI (a major player in the entertainment industry) and examine why it was successful.

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1. How to format a cover letter header & headline

The first of the key components of any cover letter is a properly formatted header and headline.

The cover letter header forms the top part of your document and should include necessary details like your name, contact information, and relevant employer details. 

The cover letter headline is a succinct yet compelling one-liner that serves to both introduce your application purpose and immediately capture the employer's attention.

To guide you on properly formatting these vital sections of your cover letter, here's a little more detail and examples:

Structuring the cover letter header

There are standard components that should consistently be included in every cover letter header:

Company details: name of the recipient or department (or both), the name of the company, and company address.

Your details: full name and title (if applicable), email address, phone number, and a short version of your address.

Cover letter header example:


  • Jane Doe 
  • HR Depatment
  • Summit Entertainment
  • 9 Melrose St, 986-986, Toronto, Canada


Place these two sections either in the top left and righ corners of the cover letter (with your credentials on the right) or under each other. 

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Cover letter headline

It should encapsulate in brief who you are as a professional and be tailored to the role you're applying to. 

For example, if you're an architect applying for a leadership role in a firm that specializes in sustainable design, your headline could be, "Seasoned Architect with Emphasis on Environmental Sustainability." 

Or, if you're an experienced Motion Graphics Designer applying for a role in a marketing agency that focuses on social media campaigns, your headline could look like, "Creative Motion Graphics Designer Specialising in Social Media Marketing."

Remember, your headline shouldn't just be a replica of your job title but rather, a reflection of your skills, experiences, and how they align with the role you're applying for.

2. Explain the reasons behind choosing the role or company

Now, it's time to talk about how to start a cover letter. Similar to every cover letter, people in the art & design field should dedicate the first few sentences to explaining why this job caught their eye

Here are two strategies to get you started:

1. Demonstrating industry knowledge. Show that you have your finger on the pulse of the sector. Employers appreciate a candidate who is well-versed in trends and can bring fresh perspectives to their workspace. Here's how you can put this into words:

 "As a passionate film critic who values innovative thinking, I was drawn to XYZ Company's recent reviews that seamlessly integrate theoretical analysis with contemporary themes. I am excited by the prospect of contributing to a team that is at the forefront of the industry's evolution."

2. Alignment with personal values. Understanding the company's values and illustrating the connection between them and your own views sends a convincing message to employers. Here's an example:

"A lifelong advocate for environmental preservation, I am inspired by ABC Media House's dedication to raising awareness about ecological issues through their compelling nature documentaries. As an experienced 3D animator, I would be thrilled to contribute to the ambitious goal of influencing popular perception regarding the environment."

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3. Showcase your relevant experience by discussing past projects or jobs

Naturally, in the field of art & design, having a long chronological list of experiences isn't the sole factor that sets you apart; it's how you utilize your experiences to illustrate that you're the perfect fit for the job. 

Here's how you can show your past experience in a compelling way:

  1. Showcase how you've solved specific problems or overcome design challenges in your previous roles or projects. It illustrates your problem-solving skills and your ability to deliver tangible results.
  2. Demonstrate the progression of your career and how your skills have been honed and diversified over time. This can add value by showing your learning agility and adaptability.
  3. Share other relevant experiences above and beyond traditional employment. Other experiences that provided valuable skills or experiences should also be mentioned. This may include freelance work, collaborations, or even personal projects that allowed you to use your skills in a real-world context.

For example: 

"In my previous role at XYZ Creative, a substantial challenge was to revamp an outdated brand image for one of our top clients. Applying my unique approach to digital design (Point 1), I undertook an intensive redesign process, which not only modernized the brand but also resulted in a 30% increase in their customer engagement within three months.

This particular project required extensive knowledge about evolving design trends, which I had acquired over time transitioning from traditional graphic design to specializing in digital and interactive designs (Point 2).

Moreover, my contribution as a motion graphics designer to an indie film on a freelance basis (Point 3) provided an exploration of my design skills in a cinematic context. This experience allowed me to bring a unique, fresh perspective to commercial design projects, further diversifying my portfolio and demonstrating my adaptability.”

If cover letter writing is not your forte, you can give our cover letter write tool a try, which utilizes AI to assist in writing the initial draft of your cover letter.

4. Show off your technical and artistic skills 

If you're aiming for a job in art and design world, showcasing your creativity and ideas isn't enough. You also need to be familiar with the nitty-gritty technical details. It's these hard skills that translate your great ideas into fantastic finished products.

Here's how to do it in an art & design cover letter:

1. Point out your tool proficiency. It's a given that you'll need expertise in certain tools and software based on your creative role. Highlight that you're not just familiar but proficient with more than one of them. For instance, you can emphasize why you prefer some programs for certain tasks and others for different activities. You could say something like: 

"At ABC Architects, sketching by hand was my starting point—it added that personal feel to the blueprints. However, when it was time for detailed construction plans, I found Autodesk Revit to be extraordinarily helpful for its detailed elements and realistic 3D models. That being said, for complex structural calculations and analysis, nothing compared to the precision of the STAAD.Pro software. Switching between these programs ensured my designs were not only visually appealing but structurally sound too." 

2. Highlight your technical know-how. Creating beautiful things is one thing, but making sure they function well is a whole different story. Having the technical or practical knowledge to ensure your creations not only look good but also work well is key in art & design careers. Here's how a graphic designer can put that into words:

"The visuals I create are not only pleasing to the eye but are designed with user experience in mind. I understand that good design should simplify and enhance interaction, not hinder it. This is why my designs are always user-tested and refined based on the feedback, making sure they’re as functional as they are aesthetic."

3. Celebrate your artsy side. Whether you love to doodle initial ideas on paper or have an eagle-eye for choosing the right color combinations, these are strengths worth mentioning. For instance, you could say: 

"I find that sketching initial ideas by hand lets my creativity flow better - it's random and loose. Plus, I have a knack for choosing beautiful color combinations. Give me a mood, and I'll translate it into color in a snap."

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5. Showcase your notable achievements in the art field

Whether you've gained recognition in your field, taken part in public exhibits, or contributed to major collaborations, it's these accolades that can set you apart in the art and design industry. And you should definitely include these in your cover letter.

What accomplishments can you mention in an art & design cover letter? Here are a few examples:

  • Awards (or nominations)
  • Exhibition in famous galleries
  • Publications in famous magazines
  • Collaborations with renowned artists or designers 
  • Commissioned projects for prominent clients or organizations
  • Presentations or lectures at industry conferences or symposiums

Example of achievements in an art & design cover letter

"As an Interior Designer, I’ve had several proud moments. My workspace design for 'TechX' earned a ‘Best Office Design’ award in 2022, a notable recognition in our field. A residential project I led was featured in the widely-respected 'House and Home' magazine, reaching a broad audience. I also had the unique opportunity to work closely with renowned architect John Doe, learning top-notch sustainable design practices. My signature stamp in blending comfort and sophistication equally has brought me commissions from high-profile clients, which serve as a testament to my expertise."

6. Share a closer look into your projects

The difference between a cover letter vs a resume is that a cover letter provides you with the opportunity to delve deeper. 

It's a space for storytelling, where you can open up about your projects, the imagination that powered them, and the dedication that drove them to fruition. 

Here's what you can say about your projects:

  1. Highlight specific projects. Talk about some key projects that you’re particularly proud of or where your creativity shined. Explain what your journey looked like as you brought the final design to life. 
  2. Share your inspiration. Mention what sparked your creativity for the project. It could be a style, an era, a vision, or a story that guided your artistic decision-making process. Giving a glimpse into what drives your creativity can be quite impactful.
  3. Detail your creative process. Discuss what steps you took to transform the initial idea into a polished project. 
  4. Identify challenges and their solutions. Share the obstacles you faced during the project and how you overcame them. Demonstrating your problem-solving skills can show employers your perseverance and adaptability.

Example of how to examine your past art & design projects

"A project I'm proud of is the 'BookWorm's website redesign. The idea was to replicate the experience of a physical bookstore online. I started with sketches, built a user experience map, made design iterations, and took user feedback. The challenge was balancing an eye-catching design with ease of navigation. Using a clean, intuitive design approach, we successfully boosted user engagement by 30% post-launch."

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7. End your art & design cover letter with a strong closing statement

The final element of any excellent art & design cover letter is a strong closing statement.

In this statement, you should include:

  • An enthusiastic sentence saying you are looking forward to hearing from them
  • An additional sentence stating you will follow up, including how you will contact them or how they can contact you
  • A formal sign-off

Here is an example of a well-written closing statement on an art & design cover letter

As a member of your team, I am certain I can apply my skills to help create and execute impactful Art & Design projects that go above and beyond client and company expectations. I look forward to hearing from you and hope to connect either via phone call or in-person within the next two weeks. The best way to reach me is at (123) 456-7890, or by connecting with me on LinkedIn.

Yours Truly,

[Applicant Name]

Understanding how to end a cover letter effectively is crucial in the art & design field. It's not simply about signing off, but rather ending on a high note with a strong call to action. 

Art and design cover letter example

Finally, have a look at a real art and design cover letter example that got a person hired at Iyuno-SDI (a major provider of subtitling, translation, and language dubbing services to the entertainment industry) as an assistant audio engineer.

Here's why this cover letter succeeded:

  • Compelling rundown of past experience. The second paragraph is dedicated to Jacks past work experience in the film and music industry. His proficiency is also reinforced by mentioning he went to a prestigious university. 
  • Delves deeper into one project. In the third paragraph, Jack provides a closer look at his job at Private Islands post-production studio and details his creative process.
  • Highlights his soft and hard skills. In the second paragraph, Jack mentions tools he uses, like Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, and Sibelius. The 4th paragraph is packed with hard and soft skills, too.
  • Powerful closing statement. “I am ready to energetically learn all that I can from you while also ensuring your studio runs as smoothly as possible, you meet your deadlines, and your music remains of the highest quality.” Bam!

Key takeaways: Art & design cover letter

A career in the art and design field is no longer just about a good portfolio. You've got to show you've got experience and are ready to make a splash in the industry. This is a depth of character that a simple portfolio cannot capture.

So, use your cover letter to share your story in your own words. Here's a recap of how to write an art & design cover letter:

  • Format your art and design cover letter header & headline
  • Open the cover letter by explaining why you chose the role
  • Present your professional journey in the industry
  • Highlight your technical and artistic skills
  • Showcase your notable achievements in the art field (exhibitions, publications, collabs, etc.)
  • Share a closer look into your projects by examining your creative process
  • Conclude your art and design cover letter with a strong closing statement

Follow this cover letter outline for maximum success.

Published on July 19, 2023

Klara recently graduated from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. After having written resumes for many of her fellow students, she got an opportunity to write full-time for Kickresume. Klara is our go-to person for all things related to student or 'no experience resumes'. At the same time, she has written some of the most popular resume advice articles on this blog. When she's not writing, you'll probably find her chasing dogs or people-watching while sipping on a cup of coffee.

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