There is a big difference between writing a regular cover letter and writing a creative cover letter to send with a resume. For one thing, a creative cover letter is much more informal. It is, in a sense, spunky and fun. Sometimes a creative cover letter is used when applying in the more creative fields, such as for positions in the arts and entertainment industries.
Just like any cover letter, when writing a creative cover letter, you should aim to keep your cover letter to one page. This is crucial. The aim of the cover letter is to introduce yourself, provide several pointers or highlights, and end it. Nothing more and nothing less. You must be as savvy as possible in order to make a creative cover letter stand out from that of your competition.
Aside from the return address, date, recipient address and the greeting, a creative cover letter begins with a brief introduction. In the introduction you will want to tell your current profession and what compelled you to inquire about the position. For example, if you were applying for a position at a film studio, you might want to consider using the following as an introduction.
Dear Mr. Smith,
As a savvy administrative professional who has seen all the studio's movies (yes, all of them, feel free to quiz me), I am very excited about the Publicity Assistant position within ABC Film Company.
Notice how the introduction is brief, excitable and personable. This is very important because your introduction should work as an attention grabber. Just as a movie has a memorable tagline, so your cover letter should have a memorable introductory statement.
After the introduction is the real meat and potatoes of the letter, which is the body. The body of a creative cover letter is simple yet direct, it is informal yet informative. The body of the cover letter is the sales pitch for your experience. This is where you flaunt all the skills you have that are important for the job in question. However, you will need to do this briefly. Your cover letter should be no more than four paragraphs.
Highlight your best professional points or achievements. That is, what you do best in the particular field that you work in, what you're proudest of.
Here is an example:
My colleagues will tell you that I am a self-starter and a go-getter. I need to be as I currently support three executives in creating and distributing marketing materials in a fast-paced, start-up environment. I have recently been entrusted with pitching to media outlets and have already secured several stories and interviews.
As a self-proclaimed film addict, I was president of the media society on my campus and I have coordinated film screenings both on campus and in my local community. Many people describe me as a human moviefone!
As you can see from the above example, the whole purpose of the body of the letter is to focus attention on your previous experience within the field, whether as part of your job or outside of work. Highlight your accomplishments and what makes you such a dynamic candidate and the right fit for the position.
The closing paragraph should be short and sweet. Limit this paragraph to two or three brief sentences. After the closing remarks are the closing salutations with your name typed and signed.
If you really want to make your creative cover letter stand out try putting it in a different format than a standard letter or email. Depending on the industry you're applying to, a mock up of a web page or ad, a slideshow or brief video could be the attention grabber you need. It may not guarantee you a job but it will guatantee you will be remembered.