A cover letter is one of the most important selling features as a UX designer. It gives you a chance to tell your story to prospective employers so that they will want to learn more.
And there are a few things that every cover letter should include when you are looking for user experience design jobs. Here’s a look at all the things it should include, to help you get invited to that interview.
The first thing your UX designer cover letter needs might seem a little elementary, but you would be surprised at how many people forget to include basic header information.
Consider using a letterhead-style format that matches your resume design for your cover letter as well and include the following information:
Only consider this if you’re making a cover letter document. If your cover letter is an email, then add it to the footer.
When it comes to the formatting and style of your cover letter for user experience design jobs, keep it simple. While you might have a lot to say, take care to be respectful of the hiring manager’s time and keep the letter to one page or less.
How you start off a cover letter can vary somewhat depending on how well you know the company and position for which you are applying.
If applying at a large company, use a more formal style and presentation for the letter. Include the name of the hiring manager and address of company and refence the position you are applying for in the header, using the style of a formal letter.
Use a simple greeting that’s personable and warm, such as:
Avoid greeting such as this if you can because they are impersonal:
The next line might be the most important in your UX designer cover letter. The first sentence and paragraph of the letter will keep people reading and want to know more about you or it will turn them away.
You need to have an outstanding story to tell. What makes you a great UX designer? Why do they need to hire you?
Don’t waste time with an opening that says “My name is …” or “I am applying for your job…” Jump right in to what makes you an ideal fir for the company.
Take a narrative approach to your story and structure it with a beginning, middle and end. Use keywords throughout your story that were used in the job posting. (This helps create a connection between you as a UX designer and the job available.)
Don’t overthink it or overwrite this story. Be yourself. A good opening to the story might be what appealed to you about this job. What made you want to work for this company?
Then use a few paragraphs to tell your story. That’s it!
What impact have you made as a UX designer? Answer that question in your cover letter.
While you don’t need to run through all the jobs you have held (that’s in your resume) or how you solved specific design problems (that’s in your portfolio or case studies), you do want to explain your role as a UX designer in the cover letter.
This is also a good place to highlight things that set you apart that might not really fit elsewhere in the employment package: Additional education or experience beyond what was noted in the job posting, special connections or leadership positions with professional organizations or how your skills are just a little bit different from what everyone else might put in their UX designer cover letters.
This is a short, but important sentence as you are winding down your UX designer cover letter: How can you help the company?
Answer this question in a sentence. It should be your elevator pitch as to why you should get the job. It’s the opening when you go in for an interview.
If you can’t explain why you are best for the job in a sentence, maybe this isn’t even the job for you.
When it comes to putting together a cover letter for UX design jobs, you want to show that the job you are applying for is important to you. You don’t want hiring managers to think you are sending the same letter to dozens of companies.
Make them feel special by explaining why the job is important to you.
This might be a sentence or two of its own in the meat of the cover letter, but more commonly it is a theme that is scattered throughout the writing.
It’s a mix of facts and flattery about the company with highlights of how you can help. It’s showing from the first part of the cover letter through the closing that you have done your homework and that you want to be a part of the company’s team. That essence is enough to show that the job is important to you. It shows that you took the time to make sure you understood the work that this company is doing and how that work relates to your skills and proficiencies.
That’s a level of detail that everyone wants in a UX designer, right? The cover letter is just a user path for a hiring manager. It’s taking them on a journey that helps them get to know you well enough to want to invite you in for a chat.
Wrap up your UX designer cover letter with a gracious and sincere closing. This provides an opportunity for one final reminder of your story and why you will be a fit with the company.
Furthermore, it is a place to think the hiring manager for their time and invite further engagement.
Try closings that have this sentiment:
And while these weren’t part of our tips for things that every great UX designer cover letter has, don’t forget the essentials before mailing (or emailing) your letter.
Make sure to check the spelling and grammar, answer any questions or include any documents requested in the job posting, meet all deadlines for submissions and make sure the links work and your portfolio website and resume are up to date.
Whether you're preparing for your first interview, switching jobs, hiring for your company or just want insight into how things are done; this book is a must-read.
It gives you a step-by-step framework to follow and teaches you what to expect. The book even goes into the business side of design (a huge competitive edge).
Alexander Graham Bell said it well:
"Before anything else, preparation is the key to success".