When applying for a graphic design, videographer, or any art-related position, hiring managers will focus primarily on your professional portfolio and past projects when determining whether to bring you in for an interview. One might wonder whether or not a cover letter is even necessary for this type of application. However, this type of document allows you to provide context for your projects and how your background aligns with the organization. Our guide provides examples and expert tips to help you build a winning cover letter.

Portfolio Cover Letter Templates and Examples

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How To Write a Portfolio Cover Letter

A great portfolio cover letter has five main elements:

1. Heading. Use a professional template to enhance the style and presentation of your cover letter. Be sure your heading includes:

  • Your name, title, and contact info
  • The current date
  • The addressee’s details

2. Salutation. Greet the hiring manager by name — Mr. or Ms. [Last Name]. If you can’t find the hiring manager’s name, use a variation of “Dear Hiring Manager.”

3. Introduction. Create an impactful opening paragraph to introduce yourself and convey your interest in the job. Illustrate your years of experience within the industry and how you’ve excelled throughout your career. Feature one of your most notable professional projects or highlight a key qualification the organization is looking for. This will hook the reader and greatly increase your odds of landing the interview.

Example


As a photographer with over 10 years of professional experience, I’ve conducted over 400 professional photo shoots for individual clients and large corporations. In 2020, I ran a project to capture the perfect photo for the March cover of Wedding Plan Magazine. I am confident my background in the photography space makes me uniquely qualified for the photographer position with your organization.

4. Body paragraphs. Include up to two paragraphs that describe your most relevant professional projects and career achievements. Mention specific details about the company’s reputation, culture, or mission and why you’re interested in joining their team. Use this as an opportunity to establish context for your portfolio and how you achieved the end result.

Example


Astora Fashion Designs is a prestigious brand with a well-established identity. This is also what draws me to apply for the position, as I believe I can help your team continue to refine your brand aesthetic to drive long-term marketing growth. I am confident my experience will be an asset to your organization based on the following achievements from my professional career:

  • Executed a wide range of graphic design projects for a variety of clients, including print/web ads, logos, product pages, trade show materials, graphics, brochures, and web pages
  • Developed print and digital marketing material for a fashion design company, which contributed to a 150% increase in social media traffic, a 100% increase in web traffic, and a 70% increase in sales
  • Consulted with clients to define the look and feel of brand aesthetics for web pages

5. Closing section. Think of your conclusion as a call to action. Ask the hiring manager to contact you so you can learn more about the position. Be sure to thank them for their time and consideration.

Example


I would like to schedule an interview to discuss further how my expertise in video production can help your company continue to deliver unique and eye-catching commercials. Feel free to contact me via phone or email at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards,

John Bergsen

Portfolio Cover Letter Tips

Now that you’ve seen some examples of portfolio cover letters, we’ll provide additional insights to help create your own document during the job search. The key to writing a strong cover letter is to avoid providing the hiring manager with vague and generic details. Rather than restating every detail from your resume, highlight other aspects of your unique story and explain why your background makes you a good fit for the client or company you’re applying to. Below, you’ll find three expert tips to help craft an engaging cover letter for your next job application:

1. Grab the reader’s attention early

To make a lasting impression on the hiring manager, lead with a strong introduction that highlights the focal points of your professional career. In the example below, the job seeker provides a brief outline of their career trajectory and anchors the paragraph with one of their defining industry achievements. This strategy entices the hiring manager to view the application and portfolio more closely during the hiring process:

Example


As a freelance graphic designer with over five years of experience, I’ve had the opportunity to create innovative marketing assets across a variety of digital and print platforms. While working on a project for Eva for Women, I produced quality logos and marketing materials to accentuate the brand’s unique identity. Following the completion of the contract, the company experienced a 150% increase in social media followership and a 70% increase in annual sales. I believe I can achieve similar success with your organization in the graphic designer position.

2. Showcase your most compelling career accomplishments

A hiring manager will undoubtedly be impressed by your portfolio if the projects are substantial. The cover letter will never supersede your portfolio, but it can help to complement it if you build out your content strategically. In the example below, the candidate draws attention to the challenges and complexities of their various video productions and establishes a sense of scope for their achievements. These additional details add new dimensions and context for the portfolio projects and valuable insights into their unique approach to video production:

Example


  • Managed more than 200 video productions for nationally televised commercials, infomercials, and product testimonials for client accounts, generating over $500,000 in revenue per year
  • Executed all aspects of pre-production and post-production for a commercial to raise awareness for LGBTQ+ activism, created storyboards, and coordinated with creative teams to identify the appropriate tone for sensitive subject matter
  • Led a $200,000 video project to develop a commercial for a new antidepressant product line, which incorporated testimonials from patients on their experience and newfound quality of life

3. Highlight your client relations skills

When pursuing a contract position or seeking to acquire new business, make a point to showcase your client relations skills in your cover letter. Prospective customers and employers will often feel more comfortable if they see examples of you communicating and collaborating with other clients effectively. In the example below, the candidate outlines the collaborative approach they use to conduct their photo shoots. Guiding a client in the right direction for a photo while creating a space that allows for self-expression can be challenging to balance. Incorporating unique details such as this can help to make a stronger impression on the hiring manager and differentiate you from the competition:

Example


Memories Inc. has a prestigious reputation for providing quality photography services to its clients that strongly aligns with my professional background. I pride myself on my ability to collaborate with diverse clients during photo shoots to provide a unique experience that allows for a full range of self-expression.

Portfolio Text-Only Cover Letter Templates and Examples

  • Example #1
  • Example #2
  • Example #3

John Bergsen
Videographer | [email protected] | (123) 456-7890 | New York, NY, 12345 | LinkedIn

January 1, 2024

Matthew Johnson
Senior Hiring Manager
Accentra Video
(987) 654-3210
[email protected]

Dear Mr. Johnson,

With over seven years of experience as a videographer, I’ve managed and executed over 300 video productions for a diverse range of clientele. I pride myself on collaborating effectively with the cast and crew to bring nationally televised commercials to life. I believe my background and expertise within the industry would make me a valuable asset to your team in the senior videographer position.

Accentra Video’s reputation for delivering innovative and creative commercials draws me to apply for this position. During my time with Arkline Productions, I made a consistent effort to push boundaries and create commercials inclusive and relatable for a wide range of audiences. I am confident my unique approach to video production would allow me to succeed in this position based on my past achievements:

  • Managed over 200 video productions for nationally televised commercials, infomercials, and product testimonials for client accounts, generating over $500,000 in revenue per year
  • Executed all aspects of pre-production and post-production for a commercial to raise awareness for LGBTQ+ activism, created storyboards, and coordinated with creative teams to identify the appropriate tone for sensitive subject matter
  • Led a $200,000 video project to develop a commercial for a new antidepressant product line, which incorporated testimonials from patients on their experience and newfound quality of life

I would like to schedule an interview to discuss further how my expertise in video production can help your company continue to deliver unique and eye-catching commercials. Feel free to contact me via phone or email at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards,

John Bergsen

Portfolio Cover Letter FAQs

How do I make my portfolio cover letter stand out?-

The best way to make your cover letter stand out is to provide unique insights into your projects and career experience that your portfolio doesn’t show. Telling your story as an industry professional is a great way to engage with prospective employers and make a lasting impression. This is why it’s essential to include new elements and details not already covered in your resume.

How should I submit my portfolio cover letter?-

How you provide your cover letter is largely contingent on the job application portal that the company is using during the hiring process. In some cases, you can upload your cover letter as a PDF, which allows you to keep your template and formatting intact. In other situations, you may be sending your cover letter in the body of an email or in a text box through the company job portal.

What is the ideal length for a cover letter?-

While the cover letter is an opportunity to provide new information, you need to be intentional in what you include in your document. A concise, focused cover letter that encapsulates your most compelling achievements is far more likely to garner interviews during the job search. As you craft your content, pay close attention to what the company is looking for and feature aspects of your experience that match the posting.

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Frank Hackett

Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Frank Hackett is a professional resume writer and career consultant with over eight years of experience. As the lead editor at a boutique career consulting firm, Frank developed an innovative approach to resume writing that empowers job seekers to tell their professional stories. His approach involves creating accomplishment-driven documents that balance keyword optimization with personal branding. Frank is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PAWRCC).

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