The design field is awash with new graduates looking for work and competition is hotter than ever. Along with this, we have also seen the complete digitization of the application process particularly for Graphic Design companies like Fiasco. With this in mind, any opportunity to stand out from the crowd is a valuable one, especially with such an impersonal application process.
Before I found a home at Fiasco I was on the hunt for a graphic design position for about a year. It was tough-going. With very little feedback, I was drowning in a sea of emails, attachments and job-site refreshing. For a few applications, a covering letter was actually required alongside the usual application email, which struck me as odd. Seeing it as an opportunity to show off some new HTML skills, I decided to take a bit of a risk and combine the two. There was a marked difference in response to my emails when I began to use a simple HTML template and a personal touch to the header. I felt it was so much better at introducing myself that I went on to use it for every application.
With some pretty basic coding skills, you can design your own cover letter and show you care about the finer details of the way you communicate. So lets say you’re on board and want to make your own. How do you create one?
For those who know basic HTML/CSS, I would strongly recommend reading the following guides from Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor before coding your template. Once it’s done, view your email in Safari and click File > Mail Contents of this Page and it will open in your Mail application beautifully. If you don’t use Mail, I would recommend the HTML features of Hotmail as they are the next best as dealing with code.
For those new to coding, you could use a free mailing service like Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor, which will allow a fair amount of customisation in it’s templates and require virtually no coding. Remember though, you’re aiming for individually customized emails that show attention to detail and not sending mass emails. Be specific about who you are writing to and why. This is about quality, not quantity.
Tips on designing your email:
- Keep it simple
Some smart, minimal typography in keeping with your other work will go a long way. There are limits to what email applications can manage too in terms of code.
- Host your images
Make sure that any images you include, in the signature for example, are not attached but hosted somewhere stable online.
Use the email to personalise your communication. Think hand-drawn type or something that stands out as individually created.
Make sure to test in multiple browsers before you send, including mail clients as there are great inconsistencies between how they render the same code.
Finally, remember to tailor your emails to your audience, and if you want to show off your work you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or share your thoughts in the comments below.