The Cover Letter is often the way you introduce yourself to Curators, HR Directors, and others.

Ismael Asked

Ismael asked about writing Cover Letters, so here we are. They’re not strictly part of ePortfolios/websites, but since they go hand-in-hand with Portfolios, CVs, Artist’s Statements, etc, we might as well take a look. You might feel a little awkward writing your first few, but it’ll get easier and faster with every one you write. So don’t avoid them – it’s like making too big a deal about removing a band-aid – just rip it off already!

Cover Letter resources

Here are a few samples, templates & tips online that should make you feel less clueless and make the whole thing more painless:

Take a risk?

The people reading your cover letters are probably just as “excited” to read them as you are to write them. Oh, the cover letter – nobody loves you!

Still, while nobody tends to have any fun with cover letters, they do serve a purpose. When you write one, you’re hoping someone can help you. And anyone who bothers to read your cover letter at all, well, they’re hoping you can help them.

One approach is to be short and to the point. Nobody’s very excited about this cover letter, so let’s not go on and on. Just get the info out in a clear and effective way.

Another approach is to tacitly acknowledge that cover letters aren’t very fun and to be playful with yours. Perhaps to poke a bit of lighthearted fun at the very thing you’re writing, in hopes that your reader will warm to you as they slog through a pile of repetitive cover letters.

If you follow baseball (sorry Dodgers! 🙁 you might know that the home run kings, also tend to be the strikeout kings. It isn’t that they score every time they’re at bat, it’s that they get a lot of at-bats, and sometimes something big happens.

For sure you will have cover letters that don’t connect. Maybe nobody even read it. Or maybe it was too plain and vanilla. Or too out there. If you get a lot of at-bats, you’ll definitely connect after a while.

One idea is just to be yourself. You won’t be the perfect fit for everyone. But even if those employers, curators, etc, had selected you, working with them might have not worked out so well. When someone is attracted to an authentic you, there’s a pretty good chance it can turn into a good working relationship for the longer term.

As some final inspiration, here’s an article featuring cover letters by artists across the ages:

Give it a try!

Visit and search for anything relevant for you in the city/cities of your choice. Then write a cover letter for one of the positions you find. Even if you don’t submit it, this is a valuable experience. And as long as you wrote it, maybe submit it! 🙂

Or, if you prefer, instead of a LinkedIn listing, you could write a cover letter to a Curator at an Art Gallery.

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