Well, hello there! Are you currently looking for a new job? Maybe you’ve been putting off updating your resume for eons, but can no longer afford to keep burying your head in the sand? Don’t worry, I’m not here to judge. On a scale of taking out the trash to filing taxes, writing a cover letter rates as a solid 10 in terms of things I hate doing. It’s a universally acknowledged fact that writing cover letters suck, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who enjoys the process (if they say they do, they’re almost certainly lying to themselves/you).
With that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to our new series ‘Epic Cover Letter Tips’. Each month, we’ll be picking the brains of industry experts for tips on how to write the best mother flippin’ cover letter in the world, to make it a lil’ less daunting. To kick things off, we chatted to Pedestrian TV’s Creative Director James McManus—a man who definitely knows his stuff—about writing and designing a cover letter that stands out from the noise.
Now raise your pen, and let’s toast to taking over the world, one epic cover letter at a time.
What I do…
“My role as Creative Director at Pedestrian TV is an incredibly exciting and expanding one, managing and growing a team of 20+ Creative Producers, Project Managers, Videographers and Graphic Designers, Traffic Managers, Response Managers, and more. Recruiting up to 7 positions at any one time is swiftly enabled by Pedestrian Jobs, our own creative careers portal—a huge asset in sorting through hundreds of applications that each deserve equal attention.”
The purpose of a cover letter…
“The fundamental purpose of a cover letter is to summarise your experience and the value you can offer the role and the business. I am looking for diversity and flexibility in any employee—whilst your CV outlines the epic places you’ve worked, studied and lived, your cover letter is the chance to inject some personality and convince me to read further. A cover letter is an applicant’s opportunity to grab me by the short and curlys and stand out from the noise.”
Tips for writing an epic cover letter…
“Keep [your cover letter] concise and direct, no longer than two to three paragraphs. Your CV should be no longer than two pages. Pedestrian is known for its tongue-in-cheek approach, so [if you’re applying for a position here], play into this and speak our language, but keep it professional and ensure I get a strong sense of who you are and what you will offer to the role versus a competitive applicant.
Design and layout is pivotal in a client-facing communications role. Don’t be afraid of a personal logo, a bit of colour, or taking the time to visually portray your taste. How you sell yourself is how you’ll eventually sell our ideas, solutions and work. Always address the recruiter specifically by name and tailor your cover letter to the role—this isn’t the time for sweeping statements. PDF that sucker and have a proof read to avoid looking sloppy.
Ultimately, the job hunt can be a nerve wracking and arduous process. Start on the right foot and confidently introduce yourself to any employee with an interested and focused approach.”