Almost every job seeker knows at least one part of the application process that makes them the most nervous. For many, that part is writing a cover letter and resume that will help you stand out. Truth be told, both of them are exceptionally important to get that dream job - even in the visual-first world of UX design.
A cover letter is the first thing an employer reads about you. Most recruiters form an initial perception of a candidate just by glancing through their cover letter. If you’re an aspiring UX designer, having a professionally written cover letter can significantly improve your chances of getting hired.
In this article, we’re going to talk about what makes a cover letter great. Follow these guidelines and create a cover letter that leaves an outstanding first impression - and gets you your first UX design job.
What’s The Real Goal of A Cover Letter?
First of all, a cover letter is different from a resume. A cover letter's purpose is to market yourself to your potential employer. As an aspiring UX designer, this is your first chance to show them your array of coding and visual design skills, and why you’re suitable for the role. A cover letter alone could be the deciding factor for whether or not an employer goes on to open your resume.
Paired with a resume and digital portfolio, a cover letter holds a lot of importance for UX designers. So let’s dive into the nuts and bolts of what it takes to write an impressive cover letter.
Style And Heading
The style and heading of your UX design cover letter are incredibly important. Anything that does not have a definite structure is unpleasant to the eyes. Right off the bat, the structure of your cover letter can make or break your chances of getting to the interview process. Therefore, it is important to structure your cover letter in a way that’s visually appealing. At first glance, your cover letter should look clean and professional.
A cover letter must have a proper heading along with information such as your name, email, and phone number. It should also include a URL to your website, blog, or LinkedIn. If you are sending a cover letter in the form of a document, then all of these details should be at the top of the cover letter. However, if it is an email, the information should be in the footer.
Lead With the Right Greeting
Begin your cover letter with the perfect greeting. We recommend that you go with a warm and professional tone. For instance, writing ‘Hi Jacob’ would appear much warmer and more welcoming than ‘Dear Madame so-and-so.’ Since you’re applying for a creative UX design role, you want to convey a modern, personal touch.
Additionally, do not forget to mention the position you are applying for. This provides clarity and professionalism.
I am writing to submit my resume to be considered for the position of UX designer at XYZ Inc.
Narrate Your Story
When we say, ‘narrate your story’, do not write your life story. A story in a UX designer cover letter refers to your professional journey. It must highlight all your skills and accomplishments that relate to the position you’re applying for. It should be a mirror that reflects your professional self.
You must read the entire job description before writing your cover letter. Take note of the job-specific keywords used in the job advertisement, and use them in your cover letter. A good cover letter shows how you can benefit the company in the specific role you’re applying for. This is one of the major reasons why a cover letter needs to be unique to the job you want. A one-size-fits-all approach will not suffice.
Explain Why You’ll Be An Asset
Expanding on point 3, while writing a cover letter, you’re presenting yourself as a potential employee, and possibly a new part of their UX design team. So you need to explain your worth to the employer. This part of the letter is crucial because it will help the employer see why you stand out from the rest of the applicants. Not only should you mention your accomplishments, but you should also point out how those experiences would help you excel in the role you’re applying for.
Add A Gracious Closing
To wrap up your UX designer cover letter, choose some gracious and sincere closing words. The way you sum up your story will be a reminder of why you are a perfect fit for the company.
Some ideas of sentences to add as part of your closing are:
- Thank you for your time
- Learn more about my work in the attached resume
- Please find my resume enclosed in this email
- Looking forward to hearing from you
- I would love to chat with you about my skills and expertise
What Should You Leave Out Of A UX Design Cover Letter?
Remember, you’re writing a cover letter to get a job. The correct tone and words used are extremely important. Below are some of the things you should avoid mentioning in a cover letter.
- Too much personal information
- Any negative remarks about your current job
- Salary expectations
- Lies about your qualifications
What Skills Should A Cover Letter For A UX Designer Highlight?
A cover letter for a UX designer must highlight the following skills.
- Attention to detail
- Creative thinking
- Communication skills
- Team collaboration
- Drawing and conceptualization
- Extensive understanding of computer software
How Long Should A Cover Letter Be?
A cover letter should only be one page long or less. The word limit shouldn’t exceed 400 words and it should be divided into short paragraphs, making it easy to understand and quick to read. 3 paragraphs of well-written, no-fluff content will have more impact than 5 paragraphs of flowery writing that isn’t pertinent to the role.
The better you can express yourself in the least amount of words, the greater your chances are of reaching the interview stage. As a UX designer, your work and portfolio will speak for itself; so reserve your cover letter for the job-specific information you weren’t able to convey in your resume.
How Should You Format Your UX Design Cover Letter?
It’ is important to follow uniform formatting throughout your cover letter. You may follow the format mentioned below for reference.
- Margins should be 1” – 1.5”
- Do not choose a font smaller than 12-point font unless absolutely necessary. Anything below 12 is hard to read.
- Choosing an appropriate font is necessary. Some of the best cover letter fonts are Times New Roman, Helvetica, and Calibri.
- It is important to keep your paragraphs left-aligned.
Time to Get to Work!
By committing to writing a solid cover letter, you’ll be one step closer to the UX design job of your dreams. In a way, a cover letter serves as a window to your professional career. Your cover letter will reflect your dedication and personality. It’s also the best way to make a good first impression.
If you’re having trouble crafting your cover letter, professional help is always an option. There are plenty of cover letter examples available through a simple Google search. You can also reach out to a member of the Thinkful team for guidance about how to learn UX Design and start your career in tech.
If you want to succeed long-term as a UX designer, we’ve got you covered.