Are you applying for an arts-related position? A cover letter is an important piece of the on-paper first impression you'll give a potential employer. More importantly, it can provide a space to highlight details of your experience and special skills that might not be included in your resume.
What you include in your cover letter will be dependent on the open position and your unique background. For instance, if you're up for a position in the arts, such as a studio assistant, your cover letter should include information relevant to the position, which may include anything from organizational skills to your canvas-stretching know-how.
Always take the time to personalize your letter, so it shows the employer why you're a strong match for the job.
To get started, take a look at advice on what to include in a cover letter for an arts position. Plus, review a sample cover letter to inspire you while writing your own.
What to Include in a Cover Letter for an Arts Position
Since a cover letter is a formal document, there's a certain set structure that must be followed. Your cover letter should include the following things:
- A salutation—if at all possible, address the letter to an individual. See salutation examples.
- The body of the letter—here is where you'll share your qualifications for the role at hand. The body of the cover letter can be several paragraphs in length. You may opt to use bullet points in this section. This section should highlight your relevant skills and experience for the arts-related position. This could include previous work in the arts, including classes and volunteer positions.
Tailor this section to the job at hand—if you're applying for a job as a gallery assistant, you'll highlight different qualifications than if you're seeking a role as an art teacher in a museum.
- A close—a polite close is a must.
- A signature—sign your letter in pen if you are sending a hard copy; if you are emailing the cover letter, include an email signature.
- Contact information—for hard-copy letters only, add the hiring manager's contact details and your own above the salutation. If you're emailing the cover letter, share your contact info in the email signature.
Tips for Writing an Effective Arts Position Cover Letter
There are so many arts-related positions out there. Your letter will prioritize different aspects of your background and qualifications depending on the role at hand. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you write your cover letter:
Emphasize relevant skills. It's not just art-related skills that you'll want to highlight in your letter. There are many other skills—both soft and hard—that may be required for the role at hand. For instance, if you're applying for a role working in a gallery, you'll want to make sure to emphasize your sales-related skills, as well as your customer service skills. Someone applying for a role as a music teacher would share details about teaching credentials or experience working with students in their cover letter.
Consider sharing a portfolio. If you're seeking a role where your art will be assessed as part of the hiring, linking to an online portfolio of your work in your cover letter may be helpful.
Show why you're a great fit. The overarching goal of any cover letter is to make a case for your candidacy for the role at hand. To that end, you'll want to emphasize your relevant skills and experience, and also show that you're a good fit. By researching the company or institution, you'll know what points to emphasize in your letter.
Proofread and edit. Make sure to read through your cover letter carefully, checking for typos and grammatical errors. Take the time to proofread your letter.
Sample Cover Letter for an Arts Position
This is an example of a cover letter for an arts position. Download the cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Sample Cover Letter for an Arts Position (Text Version)
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
June 14, 2021
Director, Human Resources
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321
Dear Mr. Lee,
The description you posted for a studio assistant parallels my interests and qualifications perfectly.
With my background in art and psychology, I am confident that I would make a very successful and creative studio assistant. Having worked for the non-profit organization CountyArts, I have been exposed to a number of aspects of the art world. My experience as an artist assistant at the Museum of Art demonstrates my capability of working with others through the creative process of production while meeting the challenges presented to me.
Also, my education in psychology has allowed me to learn the nuances of people and has provided me with good investigative and analytical skills that will suit your needs for customer assistance.
I would appreciate the opportunity to make a substantial contribution by exploring the business of applied art through your design firm.
I welcome the opportunity to meet with you to further discuss my candidacy and will call next week to see if we might arrange a time to speak. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Signature (hard copy letter)
Sending an Email Cover Letter
We now live in the digital age, so when emailing your cover letter and resume, list the position and your name in the subject line of the email (e.g., "Studio Assistant - Your Name"). You can use the body of the email to jump right into the salutation and letter.
If you have the opportunity to deliver a hard copy of your cover letter or have chosen to attach a PDF to your email, you should follow the more traditional format, which includes your contact information, the date, and the contact information for the hiring manager or person to whom you are writing at the top.