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I am soon to start looking for a new permanent role as a graphic designer.

I left my previous job a year ago after 2 years, to go freelance. I was always planning on looking for a new job and I only intended to freelance for a few months.

But then COVID happened... so Ive been freelancing a lot longer than planned.

I left my previous role mainly because the work was very tedious and I wasn't able to get stuck in to any of the creative stuff, I did learn quite a lot while I was there however.

I'm just wondering how much detail I should go in with my cover letters when contacting design agencies? I'm conscious that they might just assume that I'm applying for jobs because freelancing hasn't worked out, or because it's too much of a struggle in the pandemic.

Should I cover all this in my cover letter?

Or should I just focus on my skills, experience and aspirations? Afterall, I don't want my letter to be overly long.

I also don't want to be 'complaining' about my previous employer to someone who I've never even met... for all I know they might even know each other.

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    Never mention "reasons for leaving" anywhere - ever - ever
    – Fattie
    Feb 9 at 22:29
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    I would not state why I left the old job, but why I want to start at the new gig. This may relate, and maybe the interviewer digs into the reason why you left/want to leave your job. But whatever you do, don't say anything bad about your previous job. Stay positive, it is about the new opportunity, not the past.
    – jwsc
    Feb 10 at 13:41
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Easy: "I'm a company that really needs a really good graphic designer – if I can find one."

Okay, sales(wo)man, "there's your prospect." You know that you've got what they're [desperately ...] looking for. In fact, you know that you're better than everyone else they might be considering!

Your objective is simply: "to convince them of it."

What do they care about? Your ability to integrate into their existing business environment and to solve their existing business problem for their customers.

What do they not care about? "Everything else."

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Cover letter is not the place for this. Everything in your application should be positive.

I also don't want to be 'complaining' about my previous employer to someone who I've never even met

I wouldn't even do this in an interview if I were you.

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    +1. You do not say a single thing about "why you left" in a cover letter and you treat it very lightly in an interview - never say anything negative, focus on new opportunities. "I wanted to freelance and get more experience, that's been great, but now I want to use what I've learned to do whatever it is you do."
    – mxyzplk
    Feb 9 at 23:06
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I'm conscious that they might just assume that I'm applying for jobs because freelancing hasn't worked out, or because it's too much of a struggle in the pandemic.

And what's wrong with that? Do you think that's a negative thing? Do you think that they think that's a negative thing?

There's nothing wrong with telling them that you tried freelancing, that it didn't work out, and that you're ready to rejoin the workforce.

Should you tell them why you left your previous job? No. Why would you? It's none of their business. Simply tell them that you left to go out on your own and now you're ready to rejoin the workforce.

Never bad mouth previous employers or colleagues. It can only hurt, not help. It doesn't serve anyone, least of all you.

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