when in school learning about cover letters and graphics I made a cover letter with a very big yellow and black butterfly and that was received very well; and for my final once I made a power point using recorded music and graphics with a Beethoven melody that went over well too. I guest the more you put into something especially something out of the box it draws attention in a positive way
I think it all depends on the field you are working in. I applied for the same job in 2 different agencies in the same area. One of them I used a traditional resume and cover letter and the other I used a more modern one with a different layout, font and a picture. I was, honestly, a perfect fit for the jobs. I got an interview and eventually an offer with the traditional one, and not even a call with the modern one. Crazy.
Agree, @KellyFromKeene! In my own experience, I've found cover letter formats are really dependent on the industry. I've had friends have luck with ultra creative cover letters / resumes, but they are in creative industries where that sort of thing is highly valued.
For my own industry (PR/Marketing), I tend to keep it pretty traditional but I add fonts and try to format any application materials in a way that's clean and easy to read. Curious to hear what other Penny Hoarders have had success with!