Creative Cover Letters

Let's first start off by answering the question, What are Creative Cover Letters?

A creative cover letter is an effective way to GRAB the attention of the reader, much like an attention grabbing headline, or an like an attractive exciting book cover.  If you have work gaps, it's the best way to guarantee that your work experience and accomplishments don't get lost or the gaps negatively impact decisions of employers, recruiters (internal or external) and hiring managers.

They tend to bend "traditional" rules and formats.  They are geared to be different, and grab the attention of a reader who may be shuffling through hundreds of cover letters...much like the color RED will stand-out in a sea of black formatted letters - and include things you normally would not see; like pictures, include attention grabbing gag gifts, colored paper etc..  Well you get the idea.

They break "conventional" templates...they break "expected" formats...and certainly break most the "rules".

Here at, I'm going to show you some "non-traditional" attention grabbing creative cover letters that will help bridge employment gaps, and help you stand-out from your competition.

Through-out my long career I've read thousands and thousands of "traditional" boilerplate cover letters and all I have to say is BORING, BORING BORING!!!  In fact it got so bad, I'd skip the cover letter -- what a shame.

Today more than ever, and being in that over 50 group, I can not stress enough just how important it is to create a creative cover letter and stand-out from the crowd...and most importantly get that interview!

Creative Cover Letter Tips

Your cover letter is supposed to catch the prospective employer's attention.

There is a big difference between writing a "regular" run of the mill cover letter and writing a "creative cover letter" to send with a resume. For one thing, it is in a sense, bold, fun, artsy and creatively unique.

Sometimes a creative cover letter is used when applying in the more creative fields, such as for positions in the arts and entertainment industries or creative fields like media, advertising or marketing...but using creativity to other fields can certainly apply -- and it may help you stand-out.

When writing a good catchy creative cover letter your aim is still to keep your cover letter to one page. 

It will still introduce you providing several accomplishments or key skills or highlights that you want to call-out (these call-outs or highlights NEED to talk specifically to opportunity that you are applying for -- customize.

However, nothing more and nothing less...keep the reader interested and wanting to learn more about you.

You just want to peak their intertest - don't reiterate or bore them with the same details that they will get from reading your resume...make it interesting and compelling enough to make your cover letter stand-out from your competition.

Possible Introduction

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.

Dear Mrs. Thomas,

As a creative and witty Public Relations professional who has seen it all in the world of politics, (yes II am also a political history buff who knows all the presidents, and yes, all the vice presidents - feel free to test me), I am extremely excited about the PR Director opportunity you are recruiting for with the city council, and feel I can add a tremendous amount of value.

The Cover Letter's Body

Highlight your accomplishments and attention grabbing highlights (remember that book cover, you want the reader to keep reading - so excite them!) - display your accomplishments like a trophy.

Here is an example:

My associates will all tell you that I am a go-getter and creative problem solver and love challenges.  I have developed some VERY challenging campaigns addressing some very tough political issues in my career, and have recently won the 2017 Philadelphia Story Award (award winning article is attached for your reading), and have recently been invited to speak at the greater Philadelphia Political Writers Associations annual meeting. 

In college, as a self-proclaimed political historian addict, I was president of our campus politically charged newspaper, and consulted on various film documentary projects for film students - and continue to do so even today.

As you can see from the above example, the whole purpose of the body of the cover letter is to focus attention on your previous accomplishments and achievements, whether as part of your job or outside of work.

Highlight those accomplishments.  That is what will make you a dynamic candidate and fit for the position.  If you are in the more artsy fields...include art samples or writing samples in a electronic portfolio.  Add some BOLD colors and maybe use a more creative font -- just make SURE it's all easily readable!

The Closing Pitch

To sum it up - BE MEMORABLE!

As Simon Cowell (of "American Idol" and "America's Got Talent" fame), always says to those performing for the opportunity of a lifetime; "you only have this one shot...make it your best...leave nothing on the table...and most importantly - make us REMEMBER YOU AFTER THE AUDITION!"

The closing paragraph should be short and sweet, no more than a few sentences, and ask for the interview!

Such as:

I am certain that I would become a valuable addition to your organization and I feel strongly that my skills and experience would be an asset in this role and I hope to have the opportunity to discuss my background with you in person – I am available for an interview at a mutually convenient time and look forward to hearing from you. 

Thank you for your time, courtesy and consideration.

As An Added Measure!

If you really want to make your creative cover letter stand out from the crowd, try putting it in a different format than a standard letter or email.  Such as sending it via FedEx, UPS or Courier.  Change the subject line to a more intriguing line...make them WANT to open your email.

Perhaps changing the color of the paper (a nice light beige, light blue or a dark header (like an accent wall in a den or master bedroom) or the change the weight of the paper (it will thicken it) - BUT be sure to ALWAYS use 100% cotton paper such as (my favorite brand is Southworth Exceptional Resume Paper, 100% Cotton, 32 lbs.)

Depending on the industry you're applying to:

  1. Mock-up a web page
  2. Create a sample ad
  3. A slideshow or brief video could be the attention grabber you need
  4. Samples of your writings or research
  5. Publications that you may have been published or contributed to
  6. Copies of Awards and certifications
  7. How about creating an HR award with THEIR name on it for hiring you?
  8. This is very clever idea (a small replica of a folded dollar bill with your name and contact info printed in it)

Be creative...these ideas and suggestions may not guarantee that you get the job, but it will certainly guarantee that you will be remembered.

What's on your mind? Is there something specific I can help you with?

This site's success will hinge on me helping you solve problems. For those of us over 50, we face more challenges than others younger than us when competing for jobs and getting doors to open.

I invite you all to share your stories of challenge and successes. We all can learn from those who have faced the same challenges. The idea here is to help and be helped - so please add your comment or insight!

Thank you for your contribution.

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