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EURES (EURopean Employment Services)
News article8 November 2023European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion2 min read

Stand out from the crowd with these unconventional cover letter ideas

In the competitive world of job hunting, it is essential to make your cover letter stand out. While a traditional cover letter has its merits, thinking outside the box can be the key to catching the recruiter’s eye. Check out these seven ideas.

Stand out from the crowd with these unconventional cover letter ideas

Start with a story

Begin your cover letter with a compelling personal or professional anecdote that directly relates to the job you are applying for. A well-crafted story has the power to grab the reader’s attention and establish an immediate connection.

Play with the format

Depending on the specific job you are applying for, consider shaping your cover letter in a unique format. For example, it could be written as a press release or a news article, advocating why the company should pick you. You might even incorporate a concise testimonial or quote from a former employer, functioning as a mini-recommendation that emphasises your competencies.

Play with the design

Transform your cover letter into an engaging infographic that allows the recruiter to easily grasp your skills, experience and strengths. You do not need to be a design expert, as there are many intuitive tools available online, such as Visme, Canva and Piktochart, for example. Alternatively, consider using a flyer or brochure design, which permits more textual content than an infographic while still adding a visually appealing touch.

Record a video

Recruiters review hundreds of cover letters in their line of work. A well-produced video cover letter can be the ideal method to differentiate yourself from the competition and demonstrate your creative thinking.

Use visual elements

Enhance your cover letter with elements such as a personal logo, header image or even text boxes and charts. These visuals can help break the monotony of text and make your cover letter more visually engaging.

Use the social media angle

Create a fictional social media profile page in the style of platforms like LinkedIn or X, where your achievements, skills and personality traits are showcased. This playful format can demonstrate your qualifications while adding a modern twist.

Create a ‘top 10’ list

Style your cover letter as a list of the top ten reasons why you are the perfect candidate for the job. Use concise, punchy language to convey your qualifications and highlight what sets you apart. Alternatively, you can structure your cover letter as a list of questions and answers or frequently asked questions.

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