I've been looking for a job myself (I've found one) and I have to say that cover letters don't really matter. Perhaps it has something to do with culture, location etc (I live in Amsterdam).
About 3 three years ago when I was looking for a job after school I had a pretty hard time even getting interviews but this time around I have a success rate of a out 80-90%.
I use a pretty generic cover letter which I use for most of my applications. In it, I state;
- How excited I am about the position
- where I found the vacancy
- some of the projects I've recently worked on and how it can be relevant to the position.
It's a fairly generic but that is because most job adverts are also very generic. If I see a very well thought out and written advert I make an effort of matching it with a more persnal motivation letter.
For a design position I think the most important thing is a well presented portfolio (possibly a case study) and a good CV can get you an interview.
That said it all depends on the type of company. If you're apply to Startup or a small product company, it's much more personal so perhaps a cover letter might be important. They also want to know how can help them or their product so it's important to take that into consideration.
If you're applying to a big company with several layers bureaucracy, they care more about your CV than a cover letter or Portfolio. Also be prepared for phone interview, competency tests etc
If it's an agency they care more about style, process, embelishment and presentation. (just make sh**t about emotion bla bla bla) In this case a more personal motivation and neatly presented portfolio oulining process will be in order. They only care about your CV if you have some big brands in there.
Long story short, A portfolio and a well presented CV is more important than a cover letter.
32 Fire Road
Melbourne VIC 4000
P: 03 5414 1414
M: 0414 404 040
Design and Construction Coordinator
56 Trudy St
Melbourne VIC 4000
Dear Mr Cody
RE: Senior Industrial Designer/Product Design Engineer Position, REF ID497
I wish to apply for the role of Senior Industrial Designer/Product Design Engineer as advertised on mycareer.com.au on 20 October. I am an experienced industrial designer looking for my next challenge and my skills, experience and specialties make me an ideal fit for the advertised role.
My 14 years working in industrial design, including 11 years in senior roles, has seen me develop my CAD, project management and team management skills to an advanced level. My current role as Project Manager in the Strategic Development department at Aqua Manufacturing Pty Ltd requires an expert understanding of business goals, client relationship management, team building and mentoring skills and verbal and written communication skills, on top of my designing, drafting and developing abilities.
I have won several awards for my designs including the prestigious Enviro Safe Appliance Award from the Australian Environment and Consumer Board in 2007.
Please find attached my resume and examples of some of my recent designs. If you would like any more, please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can see more of my designs at www.amandacarey.com.