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How to Write a Cover Letter for a Museum Job with Examples

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Museum Job with Examples

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Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the museum job market is crucial when crafting your cover letter
  • Tailor your cover letter to the museum’s job posting and highlight your relevant skills and experience within the museum field
  • Showcase your skills and experience in a way that aligns with the museum’s goals and values

 
Crafting a cover letter for a museum job can be challenging, especially if you’re not sure what to include or how to make your application stand out.

Museums are highly competitive, and there are often many candidates vying for a limited number of positions. As such, it’s essential to tailor your cover letter to the museum’s job posting and highlight your relevant skills and experience.
 
By following the following steps, you’ll be able to craft a museum job cover letter that will help you stand out from the competition.

 

Step 1: Write your and the museum’s contact information 

Writing the header details for your museum cover letter is very important. These details include both your and your potential employer’s information, and is written at the very top.

First, include your full name, address, e-mail address, and today’s date. This can be written as a horizontal line centered at the top of the page like in the following example:

                  John Smith  123 Fake Lane   Boston, MA 01234    [email protected]   5/12/2014

You may also write it to the left of the page, similar to how you would write it on a letter’s envelope:

5/12/2014

John Smith

123 Fake Lane

Boston, MA 01234

[email protected]

 

Once this information is written, include the museum’s information in the same format you chose for your own. Instead of a personal address, use the museum’s name and address.

It is best practice to include the name of the museum’s hiring manager if it is known. If you do not know, you may write “Hiring Manager” in place of the name here.

Directly after this information, you will put the opening salutation. This is most commonly “Dear [hiring manager’s name],” or simply “Dear Hiring Manager,”.

 

Step 2: Specify the museum job you’re applying for

You must start your cover letter strong, using clear and concise language. Museums have a range of different jobs within, from security to curators, so you must specify the position you are seeking.

It is a good idea to include where you heard about the museum job in this section. Whether it be an online job board or a referral from a current employee, the hiring manager will likely want to know how you came to know about the position.

Keep this information to 1-2 sentences max, as you want to have enough space for more relevant information later on in your cover letter.

This should look like the following examples:

I am writing to express my strong interest in the curator position at the American Museum of Natural History as advertised on Indeed.com.
I am writing to express my keen interest in the youth tour guide position at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This position was recommended to me by one of your current youth tour guides, Jane Doe.

 

Step 3: State why you’re a good fit to work at the museum

In the same paragraph as step 2, you should state within 1-2 sentences why you are a fitting candidate for the position you’re applying for at the museum. 

This should be a very brief overview of the “why”, most often including your most relevant job skills or experience.

The best way to write this depends on the type of museum job you are seeking. 

Tour guide jobs will require people-skills and ability to memorize large amounts of information about exhibits. 

Curators will require experience with artistic displays, creativity, and a historical knowledge of the subjects. 

For example:

With over 7 years’ experience as a tour guide at the Smithsonian Institution, I am equipped with a great attention to detail, a friendly constitution, and excellent people-skills.  

 

Step 4: Include the reason you want to be a part of the museum’s team

One of the most critical aspects of writing a cover letter for a museum job is to demonstrate your passion for the museum field. 

Hiring managers want to see that you are genuinely interested in the job and the museum’s mission.

In short, make sure to have a solid and relevant reason for applying to this specific museum. If you have always been interested in renaissance art, and this museum is known for its displays of such works, include this information! 

Do not include reasons such as “the museum is close to my house” or “the pay is good”. The preservation of history is a labor of love, so hiring managers are looking for passionate people who love the subjects they will be working with. 

This section should be a few sentences long and should portray you as someone who is enthusiastic about the work. 

For example:

I am particularly drawn to the work that [xyz museum] does with local schools. Providing children with the opportunity to see and experience history outside of textbooks is an inspirational and worthwhile endeavor, and I would be honored to be a part of it. 

 

Step 5: Include your relevant museum work experience

This section should be 1-2 paragraphs at a maximum describing your relevant education and work experience.

If you have a degree in history, art history, or archeology, be sure to mention it. A master’s degree in museum studies is a valuable qualification that can set you apart from other applicants.  

Most often, the work experience should be limited to work you have done at other museums or galleries. Include the most relevant tasks you were required to do, such as collection management, art restoration, or overseeing acquisitions. 

You do not need to write out every task you were required to do. Search the job description you are applying for and include experiences that match what the museum is looking for.

[see the end of this article for full examples of the work experience section]

 

Step 6: Write your conclusion and include a signature

The conclusion to a cover letter should be between 1-2 paragraphs including your contact information, and should thank the museum’s hiring manager for their time. 

While it seems redundant, it is customary to include your phone number and email again at the end of the cover letter. 

Reiterating that you hope to hear from the museum’s hiring manager and are excited about the opportunity are important to include in this section as well. 

This will look something like the following:

Thank you for taking the time to review my application today. I am excited for the potential opportunity to serve as the collections manager at [xyz museum].Enclosed is my resume for your review. Should you have any further questions or would like to reach out, feel free to contact me by phone at (123) 456-7890 or by email at [email protected]
 
Sincerely,

 

John Smith

 
By following these six steps, you should be able to create a strong museum cover letter that highlights your skills and experience and helps you stand out from other job seekers. Good luck with your job search!

 

Additional tips for museum job-seekers

Cover Letter for a Museum Job Gallery

When applying for a museum job, it is essential to have a well-crafted cover letter that showcases your skills and experience. Here are some additional tips to help you stand out from other job seekers:

  • Customize your cover letter: Make sure to tailor your cover letter to the specific museum and job you are applying for. Research the museum’s mission, exhibitions, and collections, and mention how your skills and experience align with their goals.
  • Showcase your interpersonal and communication skills: Working in a museum often involves interacting with a wide range of people, from colleagues to visitors. Therefore, it’s important to showcase your interpersonal and communication skills in your cover letter. Be sure to highlight any relevant experience you have working with others, and emphasize your ability to work well in a team.
  • Demonstrate your leadership and initiative: If you have experience leading projects or initiatives, be sure to mention it in your cover letter. This will show the museum’s hiring manager that you are a proactive and engaged employee who is capable of taking on leadership roles. Additionally, if you have any ideas for new initiatives or programs that you would like to implement in the museum, mention them in your cover letter to demonstrate your forward-thinking mindset.
  • Use clear and concise language: Your cover letter should be easy to read and understand. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that may not be familiar to the museum’s hiring manager. Instead, use concise language that highlights your museum related skills and experience.

To help guide you in the right direction, it can be useful to look at some completed museum cover letters to get an idea of what yours should look like! 

Here are 4 examples of cover letters for different jobs within the museum job field:

 

Examples of museum cover letters

 

Example 1: Cover Letter for a Curator Position

[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State, ZIP Code] [Your Email Address] [Today’s Date][Employer’s Name] [Title] [Museum Name] [Address] [City, State, ZIP Code]

Dear [Employer’s Name],

I am writing to express my strong interest in the Curator position at [Museum Name], as advertised on [Job Board/Website]. With a deep passion for art history, extensive experience in museum curation, and a commitment to promoting art and culture, I am eager to contribute my expertise to your renowned institution.

As a graduate in Art History from [University Name], I have honed my knowledge in various art forms and their historical significance. My professional journey in the field of museum curation spans over [Number of Years] years, during which I have had the privilege of curating several successful exhibitions, including [Exhibition Names], which received critical acclaim and increased visitor engagement.

My expertise in collections management, exhibition design, and interpretation strategies has allowed me to curate exhibitions that connect with diverse audiences. I am particularly drawn to [Museum Name]’s dedication to fostering community engagement and education through its exhibits and programs, aligning perfectly with my own values and career aspirations.

In my current role as Curator at [Current Museum], I have successfully collaborated with multidisciplinary teams to develop innovative exhibition concepts, secure valuable loans, and manage collections with the utmost care and integrity. I am confident that my ability to curate compelling exhibitions, along with my commitment to scholarship and accessibility, would make a positive contribution to the already outstanding work at [Museum Name].

Enclosed is my resume, which provides additional details about my accomplishments and qualifications. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how my skills and experiences align with [Museum Name]’s goals during an interview.

Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the possibility of contributing to the rich cultural heritage and educational mission of [Museum Name]. Please feel free to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address] to schedule a conversation.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

 

 

Example 2: Cover Letter for an Education Coordinator Position

 

[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State, ZIP Code] [Your Email Address] [Today’s Date][Employer’s Name] [Title] [Museum Name] [Address] [City, State, ZIP Code]

Dear [Employer’s Name],

I am writing to express my enthusiastic interest in the Education Coordinator position at [Museum Name], as advertised on [Job Board/Website]. With a strong background in museum education, program development, and a passion for making art and history accessible to diverse audiences, I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to your institution’s mission.

As a graduate in Museum Education from [University Name], I have gained valuable experience in designing and implementing engaging educational programs that cater to a wide range of age groups and backgrounds. My [Number of Years] years of experience as an Education Coordinator at [Current Museum] have allowed me to develop a deep understanding of the unique needs and preferences of museum visitors.

I am drawn to [Museum Name] because of its commitment to creating meaningful and inclusive educational experiences. Your museum’s dedication to connecting art and history with the community aligns perfectly with my own professional goals. I am particularly impressed by the impact of initiatives like [Specific Museum Program or Event] and [Another Museum Program], which have received accolades for their innovative approach to museum education.

In my current role, I have successfully managed and expanded educational programs, coordinated workshops, and collaborated with educators to develop curriculum materials that enhance the visitor experience. I am confident that my ability to create engaging and accessible programs, along with my commitment to fostering a lifelong love of learning, would make a positive contribution to the educational efforts at [Museum Name].

Enclosed is my resume, which provides additional details about my accomplishments and qualifications. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how my skills and experiences align with [Museum Name]’s educational mission during an interview.

Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the possibility of working with the dynamic team at [Museum Name]. Please feel free to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address] to schedule a conversation.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

 

Example 3: Cover Letter for a Visitor Services Representative Position

 

[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State, ZIP Code] [Your Email Address] [Today’s Date][Employer’s Name] [Title] [Museum Name] [Address] [City, State, ZIP Code]

Dear [Employer’s Name],

I am writing to express my keen interest in the Visitor Services Representative position at [Museum Name], as posted on [Job Board/Website]. With a strong background in customer service and a deep appreciation for art and culture, I am excited about the opportunity to be the welcoming face of your esteemed institution.

As an art enthusiast and a frequent visitor to [Museum Name], I have long admired the museum’s commitment to providing an exceptional visitor experience. Your dedication to making art accessible to diverse audiences aligns perfectly with my own values, and I am enthusiastic about the prospect of contributing to this mission.

My [Number of Years] years of experience in customer service roles, including my current position as a Customer Service Representative at [Current Company], have equipped me with the interpersonal and communication skills necessary to excel in a front-facing role. I have a proven track record of assisting visitors, answering inquiries, and ensuring a positive experience for all patrons.

I am particularly drawn to [Museum Name]’s reputation for its engaging exhibitions and educational programs. I am excited about the opportunity to interact with museum visitors, provide them with information, and enhance their overall experience. I believe my passion for the arts and my commitment to excellent customer service would make me a valuable addition to the Visitor Services team at [Museum Name].

Enclosed is my resume, which further highlights my qualifications and experience. I am enthusiastic about the possibility of contributing to the welcoming atmosphere and exceptional visitor service at [Museum Name]. Please feel free to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address] to discuss my application further.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how my skills align with the goals of [Museum Name] during an interview.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

 

 

Example 4: Cover Letter for a Museum Marketing Coordinator Position

 

[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State, ZIP Code] [Your Email Address] [Today’s Date][Employer’s Name] [Title] [Museum Name] [Address] [City, State, ZIP Code]

Dear [Employer’s Name],

I am writing to express my enthusiastic interest in the Museum Marketing Coordinator position at [Museum Name], as advertised on [Job Board/Website]. With a background in marketing, a passion for promoting arts and culture, and a track record of developing effective marketing campaigns, I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the museum’s success.

As a marketing professional with [Number of Years] years of experience, I have had the privilege of working on a variety of marketing projects that have helped organizations like [Previous Company] increase their visibility and engage with target audiences. My experiences have equipped me with a deep understanding of marketing strategies, digital media, and brand management.

I am particularly drawn to [Museum Name]’s commitment to celebrating art and history and making them accessible to a wider audience. The museum’s reputation for its innovative exhibitions and programs aligns perfectly with my own passion for promoting cultural experiences.

In my previous role as a Marketing Coordinator at [Current Company], I successfully executed marketing campaigns, managed social media accounts, and analyzed data to measure campaign effectiveness. I am confident that my ability to develop and implement marketing strategies, along with my passion for the museum’s mission, would be a valuable asset to [Museum Name].

Enclosed is my resume, which provides additional details about my qualifications and accomplishments. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the marketing efforts and continued success of [Museum Name]. Please feel free to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address] to schedule a conversation.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to discussing how my skills and experiences align with the marketing goals of [Museum Name] during an interview.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]