Before you go looking for your next creative internship or job, you will need four tools to guarantee your success. These four tools include an introductory email, a cover letter, resume and a portfolio.
These four tools are used to introduce yourself and your intentions to potential employers. Each of these pieces has to be clear, concise, and paint you as the amazing individual you already are.
This is your first contact with your potential employer and can also be used as a shortened version of a cover letter.
These emails should be one short paragraph, about 5 sentences long. In these, you want to highlight your relevant experience and your goals with your career and the given company.
Nine out of ten times you will have to send over your work samples, portfolio or website. So, this intro email should be light. Let your work speak for you.
To make your life even easier, check out our introductory email template here.
Formal cover letters are still widely used by employers all over the world. They can be formatted as a separate documents or be sent within your introductory email. You may wonder if these cover letters are just skipped over by employers or if they serve as a more personal replacement of a resume. At the end of the day, the HR person wants to be able to dig through the application quickly to find out if the candidate is qualified for the position.
These letters should include a header with your contact information, the person you’re writing to’s contact information and the date. Then you should have 3 paragraphs. These can be longer than those written for the initial email.
The first pargraph should introduce yourself, your current role and responsibilities and the top line experiences you have that apply directly to your intended role.
The second paragraph should be about the company and why you believe in the company. What do you love about this company? You want to flatter and pump up their ego just a bit.
The third paragraph is all about what you can bring to the table and what you want to achieve while working at this company. Your own goals should align with their missions. Here is your chance to briefly outline your plan to help them accomplish these goals.
End the letter with a confident and positive finishing line, your full name and signature.
Check out our winning formal cover letter template here.
There is a constant debate on what the style and structure of a resume should be. You could ask anyone, any age and each person would give you a different answer. The reason for this is simple: resumes are personal. It is your entire life story on one single piece of paper that is meant to sell you as an employee to these different companies.
There are two things that most people can agree on when crafting a resume.
- Make it unique and stand out from the crowd. Your future employer is looking at hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes. This requires you to get creative with stylistic choices, such as utilizing a photo or not, layout, font, diction, writing out a “summary of skills”, etc.
- Make it short. Do as much as possible with as little words as possible. Your resume shouldn’t exceed more than one page ever. Your future employer is scanning these resumes, they need to get a sense of you as quickly as possible. Their time is just as valuable as yours.
Attached portfolios should be a PDF including 3-4 highlighted projects that reflect the company’s and your own interests. Before presenting each project there should be a paragraph with 3-5 sentences describing the objective of the project and how the project accomplished said objective.
Each project that you showcase should include detailed images of the completed work including any notes needed about the work or details involved in crafting the project. We go deeper about selecting your samples and building a winning portfolio website in this article.
If you don't know where to start with creating a portfolio. Don't worry we got you covered with our starter template here.
Introductory emails, cover letters, resumes, and portfolios are essential for anyone attempting to jumpstart their creative careers. They are required for every role in every industry and now you have the tool kit and the templates to craft ones tailored for your dream career.
Check out all four of our free templates here.