Finding a Job in the Design & Animation Industry
Part 2 – Writing a Cover Letter
Hi I am Jamie and a Motion Graphics Artist at Dazpix, I graduated in the Summer of 2012 and have been working at Dazpix for the last few months. In part 2 we will talk about writing a good cover letter as it may be the first thing the employer reads about you and decides whether to look at your CV and showreel.
Make sure you are Covered!
Most likely, if you are applying to a job via email your cover letter will be the first thing your employer looks at before they even consider looking at your CV so it is also very important to get this piece right. Do not write a generic cover letter, an employer wants to be able to know you want to work with them and have made the effort for the job you are applying for. Here are some tips that helped me:
1. It is nearly always best to find someone specific to send your cover letter to rather than the generic inbox of a company. Find out who needs to see your cover letter and try and find a direct contact to them, for example it could be a senior artist at the company who would be in a position to hire a junior or the head of recruitment at a larger company.
2. Remember to be considerate. You are likely to be emailing very busy people and you are asking for their time to look at your showreel and cv to potentially give you employment. Courtesy could extend with opening your cover letter with something like, “I understand you are very busy but If I could possibly take a moment of your time…”
3. Mention where you found out about the job and that you are interested in applying to start a career working for them, you are more likely to strike an impression if you appear career driven and not just looking for a stop gap job or whatever comes up first.
4. Write a paragraph about your skills and why you would be an asset to your employer – sell yourself as a product as well as an individual, remember an employer has to make a financial investment to hire you, they will want to be sure they are getting their moneys worth be it in skill or potential.
5. Engage them on a personal level – mention something you like about that company or something you noticed on their website/showreel that particularly took your fancy. This point harks to the fact about avoiding generic cover letters, adding engagement on a personal level shows that you have made some effort to research the company you are applying for.
6. Talk briefly about your career goals and maybe a little something about your hobbies. Try and make your personality shine through and think to yourself, “If the roles were reversed would you want to read this guys CV?” It can be difficult so sum yourself up in a few lines so keep it fun, brief and creative.
7. It is essential that you also add a link to your portfolio/showreel and invite them to have a look, this is after all what the employer wants to see and often this is enough for a potential employer to put you on a shortlist for an interview immediately, and last but certainly not least, remember to attach your CV!
8. If you can you should design your cover letter in the same style as your CV, this will be sure to get you some extra attention for your efforts and illustrate your understanding of branding and conformity.
In the next part of this ongoing series of how to find work in the industry I will be talking about getting your showreel up to scratch and making sure to include all the important things that potential employers will want to see. Until then Good Luck.