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tips from an alumna
Clarie P.



Be mindful of the order in which the potential employer will be receiving your information. It’ll likely be email first, with portfolio link second, then the resume attachment third. Unless you’ve met the person you’re emailing, your email or cover letter will be the first impression, so keep relevance and context in mind.

Be succinct and appealing subject line. Put yourself in their shoes. What would get you to open an email if you were a creative director? Briefly introduce yourself. Don’t ramble on with your life story. Everyone is short on time and may click off your email altogether if it’s too overwhelming to read. (Don’t ask generic questions, don’t ask for a job)

Be direct and tailored to the person you are sending it to. Express any of these points: *how you found them or their work, *why it really resonates with you, *why you wanted to write to them. TIP: When writing an email never put the person's email address in until you are ready to send. This way you can make sure you are sending to when you are ready and to the correct person. If your email goes to one person but the name in the email is different -- bad news.

Be clear. Make your call to action clear. Applying to a job or internship posting, asking for an informational interviewer, writing because X recommended you contact XX, asking them specific questions or specific advice. When wrapping up the email be clear on a call to action. Do you want to invite them for coffee? A quick zoom 15–20 minute chat at a time that suits them? An informational interview. *Let them know how grateful you are to receive their constructive feedback and advice. *Do not end an email with “I look forward to hearing from you.” You have to make the first move – have a clear call to action.

Build a connection. The key is to build rapport first. Aim to build a connection. There is, of course, more to it than that when it comes to increasing your chances of getting an interview, but that’s where to start.

Aside from first impressions via email (i.e. what you write and how you say it), your work must also be of a high standard. It should leave them thinking, “I’d regret not meeting this person. They have interesting ideas, beautiful craftsmanship and potential.” How can you make that reaction happen? You have to create work that they need and cater to who you’re communicating with as well. For example, if a digital agency says it is looking for  UX/UI designers, and you are only showing print work and packaging, it’s unlikely you’ll get a response.
Attachments and Links. Under your signature include a link to your online portfolio (behance is fine!), a link to your LinkedIn profile. Attach your resume.


Writing your first coverletter is difficult. Take your time, write a couple drafts and get  some feedback before you send them.

Introductory paragraph
Identify yourself, except please don't start off as "my name is and I go to KU". Start off strong, interesting... Something about yourself / how do you know of the company/ did someone tell you about them / refer you to them /see a job listing / did you see them speak /see them in an article online / in a magazine / state your objective.

Next: Something about them – be specific – a project you found interesting, a quote from the website... and why it speaks to you. Does it relate to anything you have done or would like to do?

Next: Don’t reiterate your resume. Make a stronger impression by limiting your focus to one or two experiences/projects (link to them if possible). If you talk about a project and how it relates to them then they are likely to click on your link and look at the project (hook them into your portfolio). The more specific you can be, the better. * the project(s)/ experience you choose should change based on what the company you are applying to: if they are branding choose a banding project and maybe a project with a lot of research or a lot of text...

Wrapping it up is difficult. Call to action.
Do not expect anyone to call you.

Your Name
website link (do not send a pdf unless they specifically ask for one!)
linked link
attach resume 


__ be formal: designers are casual people in general but stay formal!
__ address it Dear First Name Last Name (get it correct, lets remove gender of Mr/Ms.)
__ avoid being generic, do not write "your company" name the company
__ be specific 1 – 2 things about the company or the work they have done.
__ be specific about a project or experience you have
__ do not be assuming “I know I have the qualifications, qualify me for the position...”
__ DO NOT tell them you are qualified
__ in the letter: do not list phone number or say this is how you can reach me.
__ DO NOT list software you know in the letter (unless the job posting specifically asks)
__ NO typos whatsoever

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