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Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Creative Cover Letter

Updated on Aug 23, 2019 4744 views
Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Creative Cover Letter

Job seekers have become familiar with making creative resumes to propel their job hunt. But you also need a cover letter that will make your application memorable for recruiters and potential employers.

While you may have the text of your cover letter planned out, how do you make it attractive enough to get recruiters’ attention? In this guide we will explain how you can make a creative cover letter. 

We strongly suggest using a cover letter maker that will speed up the process of creating one. 

You can choose from the templates available to you to start customizing your cover letter to your needs. 

Once you have chosen a relevant template, here are the steps you need to follow to make a creative cover letter.


Step 1: Customize the Cover Letter Header

The header of your cover letter is the first thing recruiters and potential employers will see when they come across your cover letter. You need to make it notable enough for them to stop and read it.

When customizing the header of your cover letter, ask yourself what impression you want to make on the reader. How do you want them to feel?

Add a few pops of color in the header to show off your vibrant personality—but don’t use too many. If you’re planning to use more than three colors, ensure they all belong to the same color palette. 

You may also want to display your skills in your header and there are a number of ways to do this. 

Are you looking for a job in video marketing? Use an assortment of video-related icons to convey that message, like in the example below.



Photographers can include an image they have taken as their header to showcase their abilities.

However you customize your header, It’s important to keep it clear and legible. Avoid using too many colors or too many elements.

A great header will help you get your foot in through the door and on your way to having your cover letter read.


Step 2: Choose a Layout

There are a number of layouts you can choose for the modern cover letter. You can choose a standard single column layout, or two to three columns.

A single column layout will look like the below example.



The layout is quite traditional and the focus is almost exclusively on the text. These layouts can be created on word processors, as well, but those may come across as boring to recruiters.

To avoid being relegated to the rejection pile, choose a template where you can add some creativity through headers, footers, and a background (more on that in a bit).

Alternatively, you can choose the more popular two-column layout, like in the below example.



This layout allows you to include more information about yourself—such as contact details and references—on the smaller left column.

It also looks cleaner and more readable, which will make it more enticing for recruiters to read.

The two-column layout has become very trendy at the moment, and it is advisable that you use this layout for your cover letter if you want to make a strong impression.


Step 3: Choose Your Fonts

When it comes to picking fonts for your cover letter, it is best to choose a maximum of three, one for each of the following:


  1. Heading

  2. Subheading

  3. Body text


Limiting the number of fonts will make your cover letter easier to read, instead of looking chaotic.

Choosing a font can be difficult as they evoke a myriad of reactions. Here is a helpful guide about the kinds of fonts available to you and what they convey.


It’s important to remember that the font you choose should be, first and foremost, legible. As much as a quirky font conveys your personality, if it can’t be read, then it’s a poor choice.

Also try to pick fonts that complement each other. You can pair a playful font with a futuristic one, but they may not work well with a dramatic font.

Picking fonts will require some trial and error but it is worth the time and effort to find the right ones for your cover letter.


Step 4: Give Your Cover Letter a Background

When you make a cover letter on a word processor, you don’t have many options in terms of backgrounds.

But with a cover letter template, you can add a background to your cover letter that will make it stand out more prominently. 

And you don’t need graphic design software to create a good background; most template sites will have stock images you can choose from, like in the below example.



Alternatively, you can jazz up a solid color background by adding a pattern to it. 

Whether it is a picture or a pattern, a background makes the body of text more noticeable and showcases your creativity. 

Remember to choose an image or pattern that is relevant to the industry you are applying to—nothing too cartoony or colorful for a job at a non-profit. Instead, use a topiary-inspired image that is down-to-earth and sedate.

When choosing a background image or pattern, ensure it isn’t too busy. You want the image to add gravitas to your cover letter, not overwhelm it.


Step 5: Create a Personal Logo

Most individuals are under the impression that logos are solely created for businesses. But this could not be further from the truth.

In the digital age, job seekers are their own ambassadors. Which is why personal branding has become so important for anyone on the job hunt.

While there are a number of elements involved in personal branding, one of the ways you can highlight your brand on a cover letter is through a personal logo.

Unlike corporate logo design that tends to be complex, personal logos can be simplified. Your initials in an eye-catching font encased in a shape could be a logo.

Alternately, you can make a logo using a simple icon that conveys your skills. In the below example, the job seeker has created a logo using a pencil and ruler to showcase their graphic design skills.



A personal logo will make your cover letter easier to remember for the recruiter, and will increase your chances of getting an interview.


Step 6: Add a Signature

Speaking of personal branding, adding a signature is a great way to sign off your cover letter, like you can see in the example below.



People rarely have reason to sign things anymore, with the popularity of digital signatures increasing every day. But a signature is a great personal addition, and traditionally significant. 

Ending your cover letter with a signature will show recruiters that you have put thought into the cover letter and that you want to make a personal connection with the company you are applying to.


Key Takeaways

Whether you decide to use a cover letter maker, or create a cover letter on a word processor, it is important to make a good first impression.

Make a custom header that incorporates a handful of colors or an image, without being too busy.

Decide on a layout that displays your information well and choose fonts accordingly. With those in place, pick a background image or pattern that makes the cover letter pop.

Adopt personal branding methods by creating a logo and adding a signature to your cover letter.

With these steps, you will be well on your way to creating a cover letter that will boost your job search.

All cover letter examples provided by Venngage.



Ronita Mohan


Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at Venngage, the online infographic and design platform. Ronita writes about a number of subjects, including digital marketing, pop culture, workplace productivity, and diversity.Twitter: @Venngage

Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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