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How To Write A College Student Cover Letter (With Examples)

  • Cover Letter Examples
  • Best Cover Letters
  • Cover Letter For Internship
  • General Cover Letter Templates
  • Career Change Cover Letter
  • Promotion Cover Letter
  • College Student Cover Letter
  • Entry Level Cover Letter
  • Legal Cover Letter
  • Creative Cover Letter
  • Cover Letter For Government Job
  • Cover Letter With No Experience
  • Short Cover Letter Examples
  • How To Send An Email Cover Letter
  • How To Write A Cover Letter For A Job With No Experience In That Field

Find a Job You Really Want In

Writing a cover letter can be difficult, especially if you’re a college student who may not have written one in the past. An excellent cover letter can help convince a hiring manager that you are the best person for the job. This is why you should know how to write a college student cover letter.

If you’re a college student who needs to write the best cover letter, stick around. In this article, we’ll go over how to write a college cover letter, provide some student cover letter examples, and give you some tips to keep in mind when writing your letter.

Key Takeaways

Your cover letter should include an achievement-driven introduction, your key skills and qualifications, and a call to action.

Research the company you’re applying to so you can tailor your cover letter to them and follow any guidelines they lay out.

Include your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, honors, and soft skills in your cover letter.

How to Write a College Student Cover Letter

How to write a cover letter as a college student

What to include in your cover letter, cover letter examples for college students, 7 tips for writing your college student cover letter, how to write a college student cover letter faq.

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When writing a cover letter as a college student, you should start by greeting the recipient of the letter by name and give an achievement-driven introduction. The formatting for both a resume and a cover letter is quite similar. Here is an overview of how to lay out your letter:

Add your contact information in a header. At the top of your letter, you want to list out your contact information . This should include your name, phone number, and email address. Including your home address is also an option.

Maria Smith 215-888-5252 [email protected] 16 West Street New York, NY , 10001 9/1/2020

Add the company’s contact information. Up next you should add the contact details for the company . You should put the hiring manager’s name, company address, and phone number. Typically, this information can be found within the job posting or by doing some digging on the website.

Tim Cook Apple, Inc. One Apple Park Way Cupertino, CA 95014

Include a greeting. Your salutation should be tailored to the hiring manager, i.e. “Dear Mr. Smith”. You want to avoid saying phrases such as “To whom it may concern” which are not as personal. If you cannot find the correct hiring manager to address the letter to , it is also acceptable to use “Dear Hiring Manager” as your greeting.

Dear Mr. Cook ,

Give an achievement-driven introduction. The introduction to your cover letter should be a way for the recruiter to get to know you right away. Discuss how your education has made you a strong candidate and what you have learned. Lead with a special accomplishment that relates to the position that you are applying for. This gives the hiring manager an immediate sense of who you are and is a great segue into the next component of your letter.

My name is Maria Smith and I’m pleased to submit my application for Marketing Research Intern at Apple, Inc. I was thrilled to read this job description on Indeed and feel as though my education and skills are a perfect fit for this exciting team.

Cover key skills and why you fit the job. With your introduction setting the tone, the next section of your letter should dive deeper into your relevant qualifications. As a college student this is where you can describe experiences or organizations that you were involved in that helped you to acquire certain skills. These experiences and transferable skills should align with some of the key duties that were outlined in the description of the job. Show your passion and why you want the role.

This area of your cover letter should speak directly to why you want to work for the organization. You should express enthusiasm and a knowledge of the company. A tip is to research any notable accomplishments of the company, such as philanthropic work that you would also be interested in. Let the employer know that your personal values and goals align with those of the company.

As a senior at Penn State University in the Marketing department planning to graduate in May with a 3.6 GPA, I have accumulated a broad range of skills in market research and spent over 150 hours compiling reports of various findings on different subjects. I recently conducted a significant focus group for the university, where we gathered feedback regarding the perception and satisfaction of campus life.

Provide a call-to-action (CTA). One of the first rules of advertising is to always have a call to action, and when marketing yourself to a prospective employer the same rule applies. Be direct in that you know you are a good fit and that you would like to move forward. You can request a follow-up to further discuss your credentials and learn more about the role. This will be the conclusion paragraph of your letter, tying everything mentioned earlier together.

As an individual who fights for inclusion and diversity, I can say that not only do your values align with my own personal ones, but I feel as though I could make a significant difference through the value of research on this team if given the opportunity. Enclosed, please find my resume with further details about my education and previous experience. Thank you for the opportunity to apply for this exciting new position and I look forward to hearing from you soon. Please reach me by email at [email protected] or via phone at 215-888-5252.

Give your best regards and add your name. End your cover letter with a farewell statement such as “Best regards” or “Sincerely” followed by your first and last name underneath.

Best regards, Maria Smith

When writing your cover letter as a college student, you should include your academic achievements, any extracurricular activities, or your high GPA. Here is a more detailed list of the things to include in your cover letter:

Academic achievements. If your senior project earned the award for the best in your graduating class, say so. If you worked on a project that was successfully implemented in the real world, talk about that too.

Extracurricular activities. Talking about the clubs you were a part of (or led), the volunteer work you did, or the other activities you participated in can help give hiring managers a better idea of all that you bring to the table.

Honors or high GPA. If you graduated with honors or with a GPA higher than 3.5, mention that in your cover letter. While grades certainly aren’t everything when it comes to getting a job, if you have good ones, they’re worth mentioning.

Soft skills. Being a college student requires many of the same skills that being an employee does, especially when it comes to soft skills like communication, time management, and problem-solving. Highlight these in your cover letter by giving examples of how you’ve used them.

Student cover letter example

John Brown 123 Brook Ln. Towne, MD 123-456-7890 [email protected] 08/24/2020 Ashley Smith Senior Analyst 456 Technology Way Landon, MD Dear Ms. Smith, As a senior sports management student at Roothers State College, I was excited to see your posting for equipment interns. Within my degree program, I have been able to gain experience working with athletes across football, basketball, and baseball. I have been one of only four students to successfully complete rotations in all three sports in four semesters. I have maintained a 3.8 cumulative GPA throughout my academic career, while also being active in several campus recreational leagues. I have found that participating in sports gives operations staff a unique perspective when it comes to working with athletes. This has also helped me to interact with diverse groups of people and maintain a working knowledge of each sport. I know how to organize, coordinate, and assist with all aspects of equipment management due to my experience. It has been a dream to work for a professional sports team, but the Maryland Tigers is a franchise that I truly believe in. I have watched as the organization supports young players and always gives back to the local community. Being that I have also volunteered with Little League teams, I know that the core values of the organization align with my own. I am confident that I would make an ideal candidate for the equipment intern role. Whether assisting coaches with drills or maintaining inventory, I can be an asset to the team. I look forward to learning more about the internship and discussing my qualifications in detail. I have provided my contact details for your convenience. Best regards, John Brown

Email cover letter example

Subject Line: Social Media Manager Application — Sam Smith Dear Mr. Williams, My name is Sam Smith and I believe I would be an excellent for your Social Media Manager position. As a recent Yune University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in social media management and a member of the Media Communications Society, I am an expert across several major platforms. During my time as a board chairman, I successfully increased engagement by 86% on Facebook during my final campaign to increase enrollment. During my four years at Yune University, I maintained a 3.9 GPA while holding leadership positions across several campus organizations. Being involved in multiple groups taught me how to not only lead but also how to communicate effectively. During the time period that I managed the Instagram and LinkedIn accounts for the university’s English department, I led a team of six other students. I know that at Social Ink, collaboration, creativity, and social awareness are highly valued. Last year, the company ran a Pets Go Social campaign that raised more than $75,000 for dog shelters. This reminds me of an initiative I led across Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube that resulted in an increase of 250 followers and 25 pets getting adopted within 48 hours. I am passionate about getting involved in the community, and Social Ink would give me the opportunity to use my social media skills for that purpose. I believe that my academic history as well as my experience running successful social media campaigns would make me an ideal candidate. I would like to further discuss my resume and overall qualifications in more detail. Please reach out at your earliest convenience regarding the Social Media Manager position with Social Ink. Sincerely, Sam Smith

College student cover letter template

[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State, ZIP Code] [Your Email Address] [Your Phone Number] [Date] [Employer’s Name] [Company Name] [Company Address] [City, State, ZIP Code] Dear [Employer’s Name] I am writing to express my interest in the [job title] at [company name] as advertised on [job posting] and to share my enthusiasm for joining your team. As a highly motivated and adaptable college student studying [your major] at [University name], I am eager to contribute my skills and learn from the amazing opportunities your organization offers. Throughout my academic journey, I have developed a solid foundation in [relevant skills or qualifications] which I believe make me a great fit for this role. During my time at [University name], I developed abilities in [mention a few key skills relevant to the position]. I am particularly drawn to [company name] because of its impressive track record and for the diverse group of professionals who share my passion for [industry or field]. Your company’s emphasis on [company’s focus] and its commitment to innovation make it an ideal environment for a proactive learner like me. Enclosed is my resume which provides more details about my academic achievements and relevant experiences. I welcome the opportunity to discuss in more detail how my background aligns with your needs. Please feel free to reach out to me at [your phone number] or [your email address] to schedule an interview or discuss my application further. Thank you for considering my application Sincerely, [Your name]

Before writing your letter, do your research on the prospective employer and find out their name and contact information. You should also follow any guidelines the company may have for their cover letters. Here are some more tips to keep in mind when writing your letter:

Do your research. Before you begin writing your cover letter, start researching the prospective employer. This goes beyond knowing when the company was first founded or the name of the current CEO. Find out what the work culture is like, what initiatives the organization has spearheaded, and what some of the current goals are. LinkedIn is one of the best resources for digging deeper when it comes to doing your homework on a company.

Follow the guidelines . Sometimes we can get wrapped up in the overall picture and overlook the small details. When it comes to applying for a job , you want to ensure that you are following the instructions exactly as they are given. If the internship or job posting asks for the cover letter to be saved in a certain format for email or be addressed to a specific person, make sure to follow the guidelines.

Provide up-to-date contact details. Make sure that you give the hiring manager your current contact information. This is a more common issue when the same cover letter template is reused, but this also is another reason why tailoring your letter is important. Clearly articulate to the hiring manager that they can reach you at any of the provided contact methods.

Confirm the recipient’s contact information. We already covered including the hiring manager’s contact information at the top of your letter but want to reiterate that you should verify these details. You should also confirm the email address when submitting electronically. If you send your resume and cover letter to the wrong recipient, you will miss out on the opportunity. You can always find the proper contact information within the job listing.

Add a subject line. This is a tip specifically for emailing your college cover letter. Every proper email needs a subject line that informs the intended recipient of what the message will be regarding. For your subject line, keep it simple with the position or internship that you are applying for, and your name.

Perfect your cover letter. Look at your cover letter and make sure that you have covered all of the basic structural elements . Did you start with a strong introduction to who you are? Did you highlight your education and how it has prepared you for the position? Will the reader be able to see your passion for their organization? Ask yourself if the hiring manager can get a definite sense of why you would be the best fit for the job.

It is always a good idea to reread your cover letter several times and have at least one other person look it over. Many students and alumni will have access to career service professionals or counselors who can assist with feedback. If not, having a trusted friend or family member with a strong sense of detail is also an excellent option.

Remember to show gratitude. It’s important to show your gratitude at the end of your letter. It shows that you are professional and appreciative of the hiring manager’s time.

Do college students need a cover letter?

Yes, college students should write a cover letter because it can be just as important as your resume. Your cover letter should address the recipient and show off your academic achievements. It’s also a great way to introduce yourself to potential employers.

What is a college student’s cover letter?

A college student’s cover letter is a cover letter that accompanies your resume when you apply for positions. This is similar to a regular cover letter, but you will include any academic achievements, GPA, or extracurriculars you are involved in that would be relevant to the job.

Harvard Extension School – Resume and Cover Letters

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Caitlin Mazur is a freelance writer at Zippia. Caitlin is passionate about helping Zippia’s readers land the jobs of their dreams by offering content that discusses job-seeking advice based on experience and extensive research. Caitlin holds a degree in English from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA.

Matt Warzel a President of a resume writing firm (MJW Careers, LLC) with 15+ years of recruitment, outplacement, career coaching and resume writing experience. Matt is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing Focus) from John Carroll University.

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StandOut CV

Student cover letter examples

Andrew Fennell photo

Getting a job while you’re a student can be a great way to earn extra cash. The trouble is, you often have little experience behind you, which can make your CV look rather sparse.

That’s where your cover letter comes in. This gives you a chance to go into more detail about your interests, studies and what makes you a good fit for the role.

Find out how to write a persuasive and engaging application, no matter how much experience you have, with our step-by-step guide and student cover letter examples below.

CV templates 

Student cover letter example 1

Student cover letter 1

Student cover letter example 2

Student cover letter 2

Student cover letter example 3

Student cover letter 3

The example cover letters here should give you a good general idea on how your Student cover letter should be formatted and written.

The rest of this guide gives more specific guidance on how to create your own cover letter in this format, and even includes some templates you can copy and paste.

How to write a Student cover letter

A simple step-by-step guide to writing your very own winning cover letter.

How to write a cover letter

Write your cover letter in the body of an email/message

When you send a cover letter with a job application, you should always write your message into the body of your email – or the body of the messaging system if you are sending via a job website.

Why do this?

Simply because you want to get your message seen as soon as the recruiter opens your application.

If you attach the cover letter as a separate item, this means the recipient will have to open it before they can read it – slowing down the process and potentially causing frustration along the way.

So, write your cover note in the body of your email/message to ensure you make an instant connection with the reader.

Write cover letter in body of email

Start with a friendly greeting

Cover letter address

To kick your cover letter off, start with a friendly greeting to build rapport with the recruiter instantly.

Your greeting should be personable but professional. Not too casual, but not too formal either

Go with something like…

  • Hi [insert recruiter name]
  • Hi [insert department/team name]

Avoid old-fashioned greetings like “Dear sir/madam ” unless applying to very formal companies.

How to find the contact’s name?

Addressing the recruitment contact by name is an excellent way to start building a strong relationship. If it is not listed in the job advert, try these methods to find it.

  • Check out the company website and look at their  About page. If you see a hiring manager, HR person or internal recruiter, use their name. You could also try to figure out who would be your manager in the role and use their name.
  • Head to LinkedIn , search for the company and scan through the list of employees. Most professionals are on LinkedIn these days, so this is a good bet.

Identify the role you are applying for

Once you’ve opened up the cover letter with a warm greeting to start building a relationship, it is time to identify which role you want to apply for.

Recruiters are often managing multiple vacancies, so you need to ensure you apply to the correct one.

Be very specific and use a reference number if you can find one.

  • I am interested in applying for the position of *Student job* with your company.
  • I would like to apply for the role of Sales assistant (Ref: 406f57393)
  • I would like to express my interest in the customer service vacancy within your retail department
  • I saw your advert for a junior project manager on Reed and would like to apply for the role.

See also: CV examples – how to write a CV – CV profiles

Highlight your suitability

The sole objective of your cover letter is to motivate recruiters into to opening your CV. And you achieve this by quickly explaining your suitability to the roles you are applying for.

Take a look at the job descriptions you are applying to, and make note of the most important skills and qualifications being asked for.

Then, when crafting your cover letter, make your suitability the central focus.

Explain why you are the best qualified candidate, and why you are so well suited to carry out the job.

This will give recruiters all the encouragement they need to open your CV and consider you for the job.

Cover letter tips

Keep it short and sharp

It is best to keep your cover letter brief if you want to ensure you hold the attention of busy recruiters and hiring managers. A lengthy cover letter will probably not get read in full, so keep yours to around 3-6 sentences and save the real detail for your CV.

Remember the purpose of your cover letter is to quickly get recruiters to notice you and encourage them to open your CV, so it only needs to include the highlights of your experience.

Sign off professionally

To finish off your cover note, add a professional signature to the bottom, stating your important contact details and information.

This not only provides recruiters with multiple means of contacting you, but it also adds a nice professional appearance to the cover letter, which shows that you know how to conduct yourself in the workplace.

Include the following points;

  • A friendly sign off – e.g. “Warm regards”
  • Your full name
  • Phone number (one you can answer quickly)
  • Email address
  • Profession title
  • Professional social network – e.g. LinkedIn

Here is an example signature;

Warm regards,

Aaron Smith Customer service professional 075557437373 [email protected] LinkedIn

Quick tip : To save yourself from having to write your signature every time you send a job application, you can save it within your email drafts, or on a separate document that you could copy in.

Email signatures

What to include in your Student cover letter

Here’s what kind of content you should include in your Student cover letter…

The exact info will obviously depend on your industry and experience level, but these are the essentials.

  • Your relevant experience – Where have you worked and what type of jobs have you held?
  • Your qualifications – Let recruiters know about your highest level of qualification to show them you have the credentials for the job.
  • The impact you have made – Show how your actions have made a positive impact on previous employers; perhaps you’ve saved them money or helped them to acquire new customers?
  • Your reasons for moving – Hiring managers will want to know why you are leaving your current or previous role, so give them a brief explanation.
  • Your availability – When can you start a new job ? Recruiters will want to know how soon they can get you on board.

Don’t forget to tailor these points to the requirements of the job advert for best results.

Student cover letter templates

Copy and paste these Student cover letter templates to get a head start on your own.

Good morning, Jon

I would like to submit my application for the Finance internship at CF Finance, where I believe my skills in financial analysis and investment strategies can make a valuable contribution.

As a highly driven Finance undergraduate student at Bristol University, I possess a strong track record of analysing complex financial data and making informed recommendations, evident from my selection for the prestigious JPMorgan 2-week intensive programme. In my current part time job at Lloyds TSB, I have honed my attention to detail, ensuring a 99% accuracy rate in cash balancing and implementing a new cash management system that reduced discrepancies by 30% within the first quarter.

Additionally, my experience working with the team at JPMorgan allowed me to develop financial models and reports, leading to the implementation of an automated financial reporting system that reduced reporting time by 5%.

I am eager to continue learning and to have the opportunity to work alongside the team at CF Finance. I am available for an interview at your convenience to further discuss my qualifications. Thank you for considering my application.

Kind regards,

Shana Johnson

I am an enthusiastic student in my first year of sixth form with excellent time management skills, seeking to apply for the retail assistant job at White Stuff.

In my current role as a Shop Assistant at Clarkson Newsagents, I serve up to 50 customers per shift and my proactive problem-solving approach has garnered 40 named positive feedbacks in the last six months, reflecting my dedication to exceptional customer service. Balancing academic responsibilities with work commitments, I have maintained excellent grades and actively participate in school fundraisers and community service projects. Organising events such as quiz nights and completing a sponsored half marathon showcase my passion for teamwork and strong work ethic.

I am excited to contribute my customer service skills and attention to detail to your retail team. I am available for an interview from 22nd March, and I am eager to discuss how my skills can benefit your shop’s success.

Thank you for considering my application.

Rachel Blake

I hope you are well. I am a highly motivated and detail-oriented Chemistry student at the University of Newcastle, specialising in organic synthesis with technical expertise in using HPLC and GC-MS for quality checking and chemical identification, and I am writing to express my interest in your master’s program.

With a proven track record of streamlining laboratory workflows during group projects, I am passionate about delivering accurate and efficient results in my research. During my time as a Peer Tutor at UNSU, I took on the responsibility of assisting freshman chemistry students, providing one-on-one tutoring and conducting revision workshops. Through these efforts, I successfully elevated the average test scores by an impressive 15% within just two years, showcasing my ability to effectively communicate complex concepts and support students in their academic journey. I am keen to further hone my analytical skills and contribute to cutting-edge research projects, and the research topics and innovative environment of your university laboratory aligns perfectly with my career aspirations.

I sincerely appreciate your consideration of my application and I am available for an interview at your earliest convenience.

All the best,

Fraser Bleaker

Writing a strong attention-grabbing cover letter is a vital step in landing a good Student job.

Use the tips, strategies and examples above to get more responses from you job applications and start lining job interview up.

Good luck with your job search!

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Student Cover Letter Samples & Examples That Worked in 2024

Martin Poduška — Editor in Chief / Resume Writer

Unlocking the doors to your dream job as a student? It's time to unleash the power of a stellar cover letter!

While your resume showcases your qualifications, a well-crafted cover letter adds that extra punch of personality and passion. Don't let your student cover letter be an afterthought—let it be your secret weapon to make employers go "Wow!"

Software Engineering Intern Cover Letter Example

In this guide, we'll show you how to captivate employers, land interviews, and prove that even as a student, you've got what it takes to make a lasting impression. 

And so, whether you’re at the beginning or nearing the end of your academic journey, a great student cover letter presents the ideal introduction and an extended interpretation of your experience.

1. Start your student cover letter with a proper greeting

A cover letter should always include a heading that contains your name, address, professional websites or portfolios, and date in a similar format as other professional letters.

Most LinkedIn job posts will include the name of the hiring manager to whom the letter should be addressed to, so make sure you obtain this information from the get-go.

Here are 2 examples of personalized student cover letter greetings

  • Dear Mr. Jack Green,
  • Dear Hiring Manager Joe Johnson,

If a name is not provided, start your letter with Dear Hiring Manager , or Dear Sir or Madam .

In this day and age, the outdated To Whom It May Concern phrasing is no longer acceptable, so make sure to do your research!

2. Open your student cover letter with a strong introduction

Your introduction should be strong and captivating in as little as one to three sentences.

Express your enthusiasm for the role and why you would be an ideal candidate. Some companies may have multiple job postings at a time, so make sure to address the specific position you are applying to within the first sentence.

As a good rule of thumb, make sure to submit an original, tailored-made cover letter to each job you are applying to.

Here are a few examples of strong student cover letter introductions

  • As a motivated and ambitious student with a passion for [field of interest], I am thrilled to apply for the [position] at [company]. With a strong academic foundation and a drive to learn and grow, I am confident in my ability to contribute to the success of your team.
  • As a highly motivated student with over 3 years of experience in the digital arts, I am excited to apply to [insert role name].
  • As a third-year undergraduate student with an extensive background in accounting, I am eager to pursue the [insert role name] at your organization.

Create your cover letter fast with artificial intelligence.

3. mention what attracted you to the role.

Before applying to a job, it is best practice to commit some time to researching the company or organization you are applying to.

What is their mission? Do their values align with yours? What attracts you to their particular industry? Is there something you admire about their line of work?

This information will offer a bit of insight into your interests and will help recruiters determine if you fit into their company culture . Include this information within your introductory paragraph.

Here’s an example to get you started

I am eager to take part in your company’s mission to provide high quality products while advancing sustainable, eco-friendly home solutions.

4. Detail your previous work and academic experience in a student cover letter

The second paragraph of your cover letter should be devoted to explaining what makes you a great candidate for the role .

Detail the relevant experience that you’ve gained from previous jobs, internships, or volunteer positions concisely. Don’t be modest. Even that three-month administrative internship at your local library taught you an array of customer service and organizational skills.

Detail your most recent, and most impressive accomplishments first and avoid being redundant.

Tailor your responses to the specific skills and experience the recruiter is looking for in any specific job post.

Here are a few examples of how to detail your previous experience

  • During my summer internship at [Company Name], I had the opportunity to work closely with a cross-functional team, where I developed strong problem-solving and communication skills. I contributed to various projects, including [specific project], where I successfully implemented [specific task], resulting in [positive outcome]. This experience taught me the value of collaboration and adaptability in a professional setting.
  • As a volunteer at [Organization Name], I honed my leadership skills by organizing and leading fundraising events for local charities. Through my involvement, I developed exceptional event planning and coordination abilities, managing a team of volunteers and ensuring seamless execution of initiatives. This experience not only deepened my commitment to community service but also strengthened my organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • At my previous sales associate role, I leveraged customer service skills and time management to help achieve our daily sales goals.
  • At my previous role of editor for the student-run newspaper, I gained valuable skills in writing, proofreading, time management and communication.

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5. Highlight your best hard and soft skills in a student cover letter

Think of hard skills as your trusty toolbox, filled with technical expertise and knowledge, ready to tackle any challenge.

But hold on, don't forget about the secret sauce: your soft skills ! These are the magical ingredients that add flavor and finesse to your professional recipe. From communication sorcery to problem-solving wizardry, your unique blend of hard and soft skills will impress any potential employer.

Here are a few examples of hard skills to mention in your student cover letter

  • Graphic design
  • Deep knowledge of utilizing scientific equipment
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Technical skills in programming languages (e.g., Java, Python, HTML)
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Research and analytical skills
  • Knowledge of project management methodologies

On the other hand, soft skills are those that come naturally and can vary by individual.

Here are a few examples of soft skills to mention in your student cover letter

  • Excellent communication skills (both verbal and written)
  • Strong problem-solving abilities
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Leadership and decision-making
  • Time management and organizational skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Positive attitude and willingness to learn

Make sure to add a little bit of both to your second paragraph as a means to enhance your range and versatility.

Feeling stuck? It’s always good practice to refer to the original job post to see pinpoint the specifics skills required for the role and highlight those you already possess.

6. End your student cover letter with a strong concluding statement

The concluding paragraph is almost as important as the introductory paragraph. The goal is to leave a memorable impression that stands out from other applicants.

In a few sentences, summarize your experience and enthusiasm for the role and remind them why they should consider you for the role.

Don’t be afraid to ask for an interview and make sure to thank the recruiter for their time and consideration. Include the best way for the recruiter to contact you, whether it be your phone number, email address, or both.

At the end, use a professional sign-off phrase like “ Sincerely ” or “ Best Regards .”

Here’s an example of an effective concluding statement for your student cover letter

Finally, I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss my qualifications in further detail. I can be reached at 555-555-55555 or via email at [email protected]. Thank you for your time and consideration and I look forward to speaking with you in the near future.

[Applicant Name]

student cover letter conclusion tips

7. Job hunting resources for students

For students entering the job market, leveraging the right resources can pave the way to a bright career. Here are some key resources that can offer a valuable boost to your job search:

  • University career services: Utilize your college or university's career services which often offer job placement assistance, resume writing workshops, mock interviews, and career fairs. They also provide guidance on internships and co-op opportunities that can provide invaluable experience.
  • Online job platforms: Websites like Indeed , GlassDoor , LinkedIn , and Handshake are excellent platforms for job searching. These sites allow you to create a profile, upload your resume, and search for jobs by location, industry, and job function.
  • Internship search platforms: Websites like Internmatch , Chegg Internships , and YouTern are dedicated to helping students find valuable internship opportunities to gain industry experience before graduation.
  • Professional networking sites: Networking is crucial when looking for a job and sites like LinkedIn can be invaluable. Connect with alumni, professors, and potential employers in your field of interest.
  • Online skill improvement platforms: Sites like Coursera , Khan Academy , and edX offer courses on an array of subjects, helping you upgrade your skills and knowledge that can add weight to your resume.
  • Career-specific student associations: Organizations like the American Marketing Association (AMA) for marketing students, or the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) for architecture students, offer excellent networking opportunities, job postings, and professional development resources.
  • Company websites: Don't overlook the career pages of companies you're interested in. Many companies post job vacancies, internships, and graduate programs on their websites directly.

Remember, the job hunting process might be challenging, but with these resources, determination, and resilience, you're well on your way to landing a rewarding opportunity.

Student Cover Letter FAQ

Yes, it's advisable. A cover letter allows you to highlight your skills, experiences, and why you are a good fit for the role. It's an opportunity to make a compelling case for yourself beyond what's in your resume.

It's advisable to tailor your cover letter to each job application. Employers can often tell a generic cover letter from a personalized one. Adapting your letter to each position demonstrates a genuine interest in the job and company.

A balanced approach is best. Academic achievements show your knowledge and dedication, while extracurricular involvement illustrates transferable skills like teamwork and leadership. Tailor the focus based on the job you're applying for.

As a rule of thumb, your cover letter should not exceed one page. Keep it concise and focused, highlighting only the most relevant information.

Highlight any relevant skills and experiences you have acquired through volunteering, school projects, clubs, or sports. Discuss how these experiences and the skills gained make you a suitable candidate for the job.

Martin Poduška — Editor in Chief / Resume Writer

Martin Poduška

Martin is a resume expert and career advice writer at Kickresume. In his five years at Kickresume, he has written hundreds of in-depth, painstakingly researched resume advice articles and, as chief editor, he has also edited and revised every single article on this website. Tens of thousands of job seekers read Martin’s resume advice every month. He holds a degree in English from the University of St Andrews and a degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Amsterdam .

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Cover Letter Examples for Students and Recent Graduates

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  • Cover Letters
  • Skills & Keywords
  • Salary & Benefits
  • Letters & Emails
  • Job Listings
  • Job Interviews
  • Career Advice
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What to Include in Your Cover Letter

College graduate cover letter example, student / recent graduate cover letter templates, student and recent graduate cover letter samples, how to write a cover letter, cover letter format and presentation tips.

If you're a student or a new grad, you may not have much experience in the workforce. This can make building a resume and writing a cover letter challenging. After all, if you haven't worked previously, what information can you include in these two documents?

Fortunately, on-the-job experience is not the only thing that shows your abilities. Here's guidance on what to include in your resume and cover letter, along with cover letter examples and cover letter templates are designed especially for high school students, as well as for college students and recent graduates seeking employment.

Academic Achievements and Extracurricular Activities

You can mention volunteer work, academic achievements, participation in clubs or activities (particularly those in which you held leadership roles), and internships. Your academic background is also an asset. Include details that are relevant to the position you want (use the job description as your guide to the qualities and training the employer seeks).

GPA and Honors

If you are an honors student with a GPA higher than 3.5, it is a good idea to mention this on a cover letter as well, along with any honors societies you have been inducted into.

Skills and Abilities

Other things you can mention are soft skills—interpersonal “people” skills like creative thinking, communication, teamwork, or time management that will help you to adapt easily to the people and clients or customers you will be working with.

Your goal in this cover letter is to show how you would be an asset to the company, describing the skills you bring that would allow you to perform well in the position.

Below, you'll find a list of student cover letters, listed by position and level of experience, to help you develop your own cover letter. 

Watch Now: 7 Tips for Finding Your First Job

You can use this sample as a model to write a college graduate cover letter. Download the template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online), or read the text version below.

College Graduate Cover Letter Example (Text Version)

Lucy Applicant 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345

555-555-5555 lucy.applicant@email.com

October 18, 2021

Eric Lee Media Director Kansai Collaborative Arts 123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321

Dear Mr. Lee:

I am writing to you to express interest in the graphic design position as advertised on Indeed.com. As a recent graduate with experience in 3-D animation software and the Adobe suite of software, I believe I am a strong candidate for a position at Kansai Collaborative Arts.

 During my time at the University of Northern State, I was awarded the top prize in the student design competition for my version of an app that would allow students to learn Japanese characters on their own time.

In addition to graduating with a 3.75 GPA, I spent a semester at a university in Japan, and I have strong conversational skills in the Japanese language. I believe this would be an asset, as I know your studio does a lot of collaborations with major design studios in Japan.

 Although I am a recent college graduate, my maturity, artistic skills, ability to work with others, and knowledge of the Japanese language and culture will make me an asset to your studio.

 I have enclosed my resume and will email you within the next week to see if we can arrange a time to speak further. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Signature  (hard copy letter)

Before you can begin writing your cover letter, it's important to know the guidelines governing these letters. Unlike a casual email to a friend, there are set standards for how to greet recipients, organize the letter's content, and much more. That's where templates can help: they allow you to know what information to put where, and they help you format your letter correctly. Review the templates below: 

  • Cover Letter Format
  • Cover Letter Template
  • Email Cover Letter Template
  • Email Cover Letter Sample
  • Cover Letter Sample: General
  • Cover Letter Sample: Block Format
  • Microsoft Word Cover Letter Templates

These lists of cover letters include both general examples that will help you format your letter, as well as sample cover letters used to apply for specific positions, such as roles as a nanny or a marketing assistant.

Do not copy these sample letters—instead, use them as a guide to help you know what kind of information to include, and how to format your letter. 

Entry-Level Cover Letters

Have a look at these samples to see how best to present your experience when applying for an entry-level job.

  • Entry Level Inquiry Letter
  • Cover Letter Sample: Entry-Level

Student Cover Letters

As a student, the information you should emphasize in your cover letter will vary depending upon your level of education. Here are examples of effective cover letters created for students at the high school, college, and graduate levels.

  • Recent College Graduate Sample #1
  • Recent College Graduate Sample #2
  • Response to Job Posting
  • College Senior
  • Graduate Student
  • Networking Letter

Job-Specific Cover Letters

These cover letter samples target specific career fields. They demonstrate how to incorporate industry-specific keywords into your narrative.

  • Email Cover Letter - Psychology Job
  • Internship Cover Letter
  • Finance Internship Program
  • Entry Level Marketing

Cover Letters for Summer and Part-Time Jobs

Being able to write an enthusiastic and informative cover letter will set you apart from your competition when you apply for summer or part-time jobs while you’re still in school.

Make sure you send your cover letter and resume as soon as possible after a job is announced—these opportunities are snatched up quickly.

These samples can be modified to both summer and part-time work.

  • Part-Time Job
  • Summer Assistant Job
  • Email Summer Job
  • Summer Job #1
  • Summer Job #2
  • Summer Job Email Message
  • Camp Counselor
  • Email Editorial Assistant
  • Sales Associate
  • Summer Camp

This guide to writing a cover letter will walk you through everything you need to know to write a cover letter, including what to include in the letter, how to write it, and the proper cover letter format. Plus, find out about how to write a targeted cover letter and browse through additional cover letter samples and examples.

Here are cover letter tips and techniques for writing top-notch cover letters to send with your resume, including information about cover letter format and presentation, choosing a type of cover letter, writing custom cover letters, and cover letter examples and templates.

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Academic Cover Letters

What is this handout about.

The long list of application materials required for many academic teaching jobs can be daunting. This handout will help you tackle one of the most important components: the cover letter or letter of interest. Here you will learn about writing and revising cover letters for academic teaching jobs in the United States of America.

What is an academic cover letter?

An academic cover letter describes your experiences and interest as a candidate for a specific position. It introduces you to the hiring committee and demonstrates how your academic background fits with the description of the position.

What do cover letters for academic teaching jobs typically contain?

At their most basic level, academic cover letters accomplish three things: one, they express your interest in the job; two, they provide a brief synopsis of your research and teaching; and three, they summarize your past experiences and achievements to illustrate your competence for the job. For early-career scholars, cover letters are typically no more than two pages (up to four pages for senior scholars). Occasionally, a third page may make sense for an early-career scholar if the application does not require a separate teaching statement and/or research statement. Digital versions of cover letters often contain hyperlinks to your CV or portfolio page. For some fields, cover letters may also include examples of your work, including music, popular articles, and other multimedia related to your research, service, or teaching available online. Typically, letters appear on departmental or university letterhead and include your signature. Above all, a strong cover letter presents your accomplishments and your familiarity with the institution and with the position.

How should I prepare to write my academic cover letter?

Like all writing, composing a cover letter is a process. The process may be as short as a few hours or as long as several weeks, but at the end the letter should present you as a strong candidate for the job. The following section has tips and questions for thinking through each stage of this writing process. You don’t need to answer all of these questions to write the letter; they are meant to help you brainstorm ideas.

Before you begin writing your cover letter, consider researching the institution, the department, and the student population. Incorporating all three aspects in your letter will help convey your interest in the position.

Get to know the institution. When crafting your cover letter, be aware of the type of institution to which you are applying. Knowing how the institution presents itself can help you tailor your letter and make it more specific.

  • Where is the institution located?
  • Is it on a quarter-system or semester-system?
  • What type of institution is it? Is it an R1? Is it an R2? Is it a liberal arts college? Is it an HBCU? Is it a community college? A private high school?
  • What is the institution’s culture? Is it teaching-focused or research-focused? Does it privilege experiential learning? Does it value faculty involvement outside the classroom? Is it affiliated with a specific religious tradition?
  • Does it have any specific institutional commitments?
  • How does the institution advocate for involvement in its local community?
  • What are the professional development opportunities for new and junior faculty?

Learn about the department. Knowing the specific culture and needs of the department can help you reach your audience: the department members who will be reading your documents and vetting you as a candidate.

  • Who is on the search committee? Who is the search committee chair?
  • What is the official name of the department?
  • Which different subfields make up the department?
  • Is it a dual appointment or a position in a dual department?
  • How does the department participate in specific types of student outreach?
  • Does the department have graduate students? Does it offer a terminal Master’s degree, Ph.D., or both? How large are the cohorts? How are they funded?
  • Does the department encourage or engage in interdisciplinary work?
  • Does the majority of the department favor certain theoretical or methodological approaches?
  • Does the department have partnerships with local institutions? If so, which ones?
  • Is the department attempting to fill a specific vacancy, or is it an entirely new position?
  • What are the typical course offerings in the department? Which courses might you be expected to teach? What courses might you be able to provide that are not currently available?

Consider the students. The search committee will often consider how you approach instructing and mentoring the student body. Sometimes committees will even reserve a position for a student or solicit student feedback on a candidate:

  • What populations constitute the majority of the undergraduate population?
  • Have there been any shifts in the student population recently?
  • Do students largely come from in-state or out-of-state?
  • Is there an international student population? If so, from which countries?
  • Is the university recruiting students from traditionally underrepresented populations?
  • Are students particularly active on campus? If so, how?

Many answers to these questions can be found both in the job description and on the institution’s website. If possible, consider contacting someone you know at the institution to ask about the culture directly. You can also use the institution’s course catalog, recruitment materials, alumni magazine, and other materials to get answers to these questions. The key is to understand the sort of institution to which you are applying, its immediate needs, and its future trajectory.

Remember, there is a resource that can help you with all three aspects—people. Reach out to your advisor, committee members, faculty mentors, and other contacts for insight into the prospective department’s culture and faculty. They might even help you revise your letter based on their expertise. Think of your job search as an opportunity to cultivate these relationships.

After you have done some initial research, think about how your experiences have prepared you for the job and identify the ones that seem the most relevant. Consider your previous research, internships, graduate teaching, and summer experiences. Here are some topics and questions to get you started thinking about what you might include.

Research Experiences. Consider how your research has prepared you for an academic career. Since the letter is a relatively short document, select examples of your research that really highlight who you are as a scholar, the direction you see your work going, and how your scholarship will contribute to the institution’s research community.

  • What are your current research interests?
  • What topics would you like to examine in the future?
  • How have you pursued those research interests?
  • Have you traveled for your research?
  • Have you published any of your research? Have you presented it at a conference, symposium, or elsewhere?
  • Have you worked or collaborated with scholars at different institutions on projects? If so, what did these collaborations produce?
  • Have you made your research accessible to your local community?
  • Have you received funding or merit-based fellowships for your research?
  • What other research contributions have you made? This may include opinion articles, book chapters, or participating as a journal reviewer.
  • How do your research interests relate to those of other faculty in the department or fill a gap?

Teaching Experience. Think about any teaching experience you may have. Perhaps you led recitations as a teaching assistant, taught your own course, or guest lectured. Pick a few experiences to discuss in your letter that demonstrate something about your teaching style or your interest in teaching.

  • What courses are you interested in teaching for the department? What courses have you taught that discussed similar topics or themes?
  • What new courses can you imagine offering the department that align with their aim and mission?
  • Have you used specific strategies that were helpful in your instruction?
  • What sort of resources do you typically use in the classroom?
  • Do you have anecdotes that demonstrate your teaching style?
  • What is your teaching philosophy?
  • When have you successfully navigated a difficult concept or topic in the classroom, and what did you learn?
  • What other opportunities could you provide to students?

Internships/Summer/Other Experiences. Brainstorm a list of any conferences, colloquiums, and workshops you have attended, as well as any ways you have served your department, university, or local community. This section will highlight how you participate in your university and scholarly community. Here are some examples of things you might discuss:

  • Professional development opportunities you may have pursued over the summer or during your studies
  • International travel for research or presentations
  • Any research you’ve done in a non-academic setting
  • Presentations at conferences
  • Participation in symposia, reading groups, working groups, etc.
  • Internships in which you may have implemented your research or practical skills related to your discipline
  • Participation in community engagement projects
  • Participation in or leadership of any scholarly and/or university organizations

In answering these questions, create a list of the experiences that you think best reflect you as a scholar and teacher. In choosing which experiences to highlight, consider your audience and what they would find valuable or relevant. Taking the time to really think about your reader will help you present yourself as an applicant well-qualified for the position.

Writing a draft

Remember that the job letter is an opportunity to introduce yourself and your accomplishments and to communicate why you would be a good fit for the position. Typically, search committees will want to know whether you are a capable job candidate, familiar with the institution, and a great future addition to the department’s faculty. As such, be aware of how the letter’s structure and content reflect your preparedness for the position.

The structure of your cover letter should reflect the typical standards for letter writing in the country in which the position is located (the list below reflects the standards for US letter writing). This usually includes a salutation, body, and closing, as well as proper contact information. If you are affiliated with a department, institution, or organization, the letter should be on letterhead.

  • Use a simple, readable font in a standard size, such as 10-12pt. Some examples of fonts that may be conventional in your field include Arial, Garamond, Times New Roman, and Verdana, among other similar fonts.
  • Do not indent paragraphs.
  • Separate all paragraphs by a line and justify them to the left.
  • Make sure that any included hyperlinks work.
  • Include your signature in the closing.

Before you send in your letter, make sure you proofread and look for formatting mistakes. You’ll read more about proofreading and revising later in this handout!

The second most important aspect of your letter is its content. Since the letter is the first chance to provide an in-depth introduction, it should expand on who you are as a scholar and possible faculty member. Below are some elements to consider including when composing your letter.

Identify the position you are applying to and introduce yourself. Traditionally, the first sentence of a job letter includes the full name of the position and where you discovered the job posting. This is also the place to introduce yourself and describe why you are applying for this position. Since the goal of a job letter is to persuade the search committee to include you on the list of candidates for further review, you may want to include an initial claim as to why you are a strong candidate for the position. Some questions you might consider:

  • What is your current status (ABD, assistant professor, post-doc, etc.)?
  • If you are ABD, have you defended your dissertation? If not, when will you defend?
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • Why are you a strong candidate for this position?

Describe your research experience and interests. For research-centered positions, such as positions at R1 or other types of research-centered universities, include information about your research experience and current work early in the letter. For many applicants, current work will be the dissertation project. If this is the case, some suggest calling your “dissertation research” your “current project” or “work,” as this may help you present yourself as an emerging scholar rather than a graduate student. Some questions about your research that you might consider:

  • What research experiences have you had?
  • What does your current project investigate?
  • What are some of the important methods you applied?
  • Have you collaborated with others in your research?
  • Have you acquired specific skills that will be useful for the future?
  • Have you received special funding? If so, what kind?
  • Has your research received any accolades or rewards?
  • What does your current project contribute to the field?
  • Where have you presented your research?
  • Have you published your research? If so, where? Or are you working on publishing your work?
  • How does your current project fit the job description?

Present your plans for future research. This section presents your research agenda and usually includes a description of your plans for future projects and research publications. Detailing your future research demonstrates to the search committee that you’ve thought about a research trajectory and can work independently. If you are applying to a teaching-intensive position, you may want to minimize this section and/or consider including a sentence or two on how this research connects to undergraduate and/or graduate research opportunities. Some questions to get you started:

  • What is your next research project/s?
  • How does this connect to your current and past work?
  • What major theories/methods will you use?
  • How will this project contribute to the field?
  • Where do you see your specialty area or subfield going in the next ten years and how does your research contribute to or reflect this?
  • Will you be collaborating with anyone? If so, with whom?
  • How will this future project encourage academic discourse?
  • Do you already have funding? If so, from whom? If not, what plans do you have for obtaining funding?
  • How does your future research expand upon the department’s strengths while simultaneously diversifying the university’s research portfolio? (For example, does your future research involve emerging research fields, state-of-the-art technologies, or novel applications?)

Describe your teaching experience and highlight teaching strategies. This section allows you to describe your teaching philosophy and how you apply this philosophy in your classroom. Start by briefly addressing your teaching goals and values. Here, you can provide specific examples of your teaching methods by describing activities and projects you assign students. Try to link your teaching and research together. For example, if you research the rise of feminism in the 19th century, consider how you bring either the methodology or the content of your research into the classroom. For a teaching-centered institution, such as a small liberal arts college or community college, you may want to emphasize your teaching more than your research. If you do not have any teaching experience, you could describe a training, mentoring, or coaching situation that was similar to teaching and how you would apply what you learned in a classroom.

  • What is your teaching philosophy? How is your philosophy a good fit for the department in which you are applying to work?
  • What sort of teaching strategies do you use in the classroom?
  • What is your teaching style? Do you lecture? Do you emphasize discussion? Do you use specific forms of interactive learning?
  • What courses have you taught?
  • What departmental courses are you prepared to teach?
  • Will you be able to fill in any gaps in the departmental course offerings?
  • What important teaching and/or mentoring experiences have you had?
  • How would you describe yourself in the classroom?
  • What type of feedback have you gotten from students?
  • Have you received any awards or recognition for your teaching?

Talk about your service work. Service is often an important component of an academic job description. This can include things like serving on committees or funding panels, providing reviews, and doing community outreach. The cover letter gives you an opportunity to explain how you have involved yourself in university life outside the classroom. For instance, you could include descriptions of volunteer work, participation in initiatives, or your role in professional organizations. This section should demonstrate ways in which you have served your department, university, and/or scholarly community. Here are some additional examples you could discuss:

  • Participating in graduate student or junior faculty governance
  • Sitting on committees, departmental or university-wide
  • Partnerships with other university offices or departments
  • Participating in community-partnerships
  • Participating in public scholarship initiatives
  • Founding or participating in any university initiatives or programs
  • Creating extra-curricular resources or presentations

Present yourself as a future faculty member. This section demonstrates who you will be as a colleague. It gives you the opportunity to explain how you will collaborate with faculty members with similar interests; take part in departmental and/or institution wide initiatives or centers; and participate in departmental service. This shows your familiarity with the role of faculty outside the classroom and your ability to add to the departmental and/or institutional strengths or fill in any gaps.

  • What excites you about this job?
  • What faculty would you like to collaborate with and why? (This answer may be slightly tricky. See the section on name dropping below.)
  • Are there any partnerships in the university or outside of it that you wish to participate in?
  • Are there any centers associated with the university or in the community that you want to be involved in?
  • Are there faculty initiatives that you are passionate about?
  • Do you have experience collaborating across various departments or within your own department?
  • In what areas will you be able to contribute?
  • Why would you make an excellent addition to the faculty at this institution?

Compose a strong closing. This short section should acknowledge that you have sent in all other application documents and include a brief thank you for the reader’s time and/or consideration. It should also state your willingness to forward additional materials and indicate what you would like to see as next steps (e.g., a statement that you look forward to speaking with the search committee). End with a professional closing such as “Sincerely” or “Kind Regards” followed by your full name.

If you are finding it difficult to write the different sections of your cover letter, consider composing the other academic job application documents (the research statement, teaching philosophy, and diversity statement) first and then summarizing them in your job letter.

Different kinds of letters may be required for different types of jobs. For example, some jobs may focus on research. In this case, emphasize your research experiences and current project/s. Other jobs may be more focused on teaching. In this case, highlight your teaching background and skills. Below are two models for how you could change your letter’s organization based on the job description and the institution. The models offer a guide for you to consider how changing the order of information and the amount of space dedicated to a particular topic changes the emphasis of the letter.

Research-Based Position Job Letter Example:

Teaching-based position job letter example:.

Remember your first draft does not have to be your last. Try to get feedback from different readers, especially if it is one of your first applications. It is not uncommon to go through several stages of revisions. Check out the Writing Center’s handout on editing and proofreading and video on proofreading to help with this last stage of writing.

Potential pitfalls

Using the word dissertation. Some search committee members may see the word “dissertation” as a red flag that an applicant is too focused on their role as a graduate student rather than as a prospective faculty member. It may be advantageous, then, to describe your dissertation as current research, a current research project, current work, or some other phrase that demonstrates you are aware that your dissertation is the beginning of a larger scholarly career.

Too much jargon. While you may be writing to a specific department, people on the search committee might be unfamiliar with the details of your subfield. In fact, many committees have at least one member from outside their department. Use terminology that can easily be understood by non-experts. If you want to use a specific term that is crucial to your research, then you should define it. Aim for clarity for your reader, which may mean simplification in lieu of complete precision.

Overselling yourself. While your job letter should sell you as a great candidate, saying so (e.g., “I’m the ideal candidate”) in your letter may come off to some search committee members as presumptuous. Remember that although you have an idea about the type of colleague a department is searching for, ultimately you do not know exactly what they want. Try to avoid phrases or sentences where you state you are the ideal or the only candidate right for the position.

Paying too much attention to the job description. Job descriptions are the result of a lot of debate and compromise. If you have skills or research interests outside the job description, consider including them in your letter. It may be that your extra research interests; your outside skills; and/or your extracurricular involvements make you an attractive candidate. For example, if you are a Latin Americanist who also happens to be well-versed in the Spanish Revolution, it could be worth mentioning the expanse of your research interests because a department might find you could fill in other gaps in the curriculum or add an additional or complementary perspective to the department.

Improper sendoff. The closing of your letter is just as important as the beginning. The end of the letter should reflect the professionalism of the document. There should be a thank-you and the word sincerely or a formal equivalent. Remember, it is the very last place in your letter where you present yourself as a capable future colleague.

Small oversights. Make sure to proofread your letter not just for grammar but also for content. For example, if you use material from another letter, make sure you do not include the names of another school, department, or unassociated faculty! Or, if the school is in Chicago, make sure you do not accidentally reference it as located in the Twin Cities.

Name dropping. You rarely know the internal politics of the department or institution to which you are applying. So be cautious about the names you insert in your cover letters. You do not want to unintentionally insert yourself into a departmental squabble or add fire to an interdepartmental conflict. Instead, focus on the actions you will undertake and the initiatives you are passionate about.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Ball, Cheryl E. 2013. “Understanding Cover Letters.” Inside Higher Ed , November 3, 2013. https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2013/11/04/essay-cover-letter-academic-jobs .

Borchardt, John. 2014. “Writing a Winning Cover Letter.” Science Magazine , August 6, 2014. https://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2014/08/writing-winning-cover-letter# .

Helmreich, William. 2013. “Your First Academic Job.” Inside Higher Ed , June 17, 2013. https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2013/06/17/essay-how-land-first-academic-job .

Kelsky, Karen. 2013. “How To Write a Journal Article Submission Cover Letter.” The Professor Is In (blog), April 26, 2013. https://theprofessorisin.com/2013/04/26/how-to-write-a-journal-article-submission-cover-letter/ .

Tomaska, Lubomir, and Josef Nosek. 2008. “Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Cover Letter to Accompany a Job Application for an Academic Position.” PLoS Computational Biology 14(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006132 .

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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How to Write a Cover Letter for Students

Smiling Asian teen girl sits on floor with laptop writing cover letter

You’ve found a dream job posting and worked hard to create a polished resume. But before you submit your application, you need to write a cover letter. It’s an essential written document that accompanies your resume and showcases how your skills and work experience match up with the key requirements listed in the job description.

Of course, writing the thing is easier said than done, especially when it comes to creating a cover letter for students. Luckily, we’ve talked to the pros and got the 411 on cover letters. This article will cover how to address a cover letter to striking the right professional cover letter format to how to write a cover letter with no experience. Dive in and learn how you make the best first impression to a prospective employer.

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a one-page written introduction to a prospective employer, which is submitted with your job application. Consider it the sidekick to your resume : it briefly explains why you’re applying for the position and gives you a chance to sell your skills.

“It sends out a call for action for them to call you for an interview,” says Christine VandeGraaf, General Manager of Employment, Training and Settlement Services at the YMCA of Hamilton. 

These days, debates rage about whether the cover letter is dead , and the jury is still out on the verdict. While it’s true that some employers are phasing it out, a cover letter can nonetheless give you a leg up in the job application process. 

“The potential employer is seeing dozens of other resumes along with yours,” says Cheyene Shuart and Abby Russell from the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario. “So your cover letter is your chance to start a conversation with the employer and show them who you really are and why you would be a good fit for the position.”

Do you need a cover letter as a teenager?

The unanimous answer from the experts is… yes! Teenagers should always include a cover letter with their resume, even if a job posting doesn’t explicitly state that one is required. Consider it a best practice that can help you stand out above the rest, and if yo u have limited work experience, the experts say it can especially give you a competitive edge. 

“It can be intimidating to find work when you haven’t had much (or any) work experience, especially when most positions are looking for previous experience,” says Shuart. “Sometimes resumes aren’t enough to prove to the employer that you would be a good fit for the position,” adds Russell. 

“Cover letters are meant to highlight a little bit of your experience and skills, but they are mostly used to explain how that experience and skills relate to this exact position, which is what matters the most to potential employers.” 

Read more: 14 best part-time jobs for teens . 

teen boy looks thoughtfully at laptop writing cover letter for job

What should a high school cover letter include?

Whatever you do, don’t draft a saga of all the things you’ve ever done in your life and why it makes you great. When it comes to writing a cover letter, brevity is your BFF: Recruiters generally spend six seconds reviewing the average candidate . Make every word count! Here’s what should make the cut in your cover letter, including how to address a cover letter.

Your contact information

Your contact information should appear first. Typically, this section sits in the left-hand corner at the top of the page and includes your name, address, email address, website, LinkedIn URL, and phone number in a listicle format.

By the way, now is the time to create a professional email address. Keep it simple: use your name ([email protected]) or create a generic address ([email protected]). 

Hit the enter button twice and write the date in full [DAY/MONTH/YEAR].

The employer’s contact information

Next, include all the employer’s contact information two lines after the date. List the hiring manager/employer’s name, company name, company address, and any other contact information pulled from the job posting.

Start with a polite greeting, such as “Dear [Ms./Mr./Dr./Professor/etc.] [LAST NAME].” If you aren’t sure of the hiring manager’s gender or wish to avoid gendered greetings altogether, you can enter their full name (“Dear FIRST NAME/LAST NAME”).

Avoid using “To whom it may concern” if you can, as some experts say this greeting is starting to feel a little tired .

First paragraph: Introduce yourself 

Right off the bat, the first paragraph should cover the basics: who you are, what position you’re applying for, how you heard about the position, why it interests you, and what makes you an ideal candidate.

 “This should be no more than three or four sentences and should just be a quick snapshot to capture the reader’s attention,” says Shuart and Russell.

Second paragraph: Your qualifications 

The next paragraph should describe your credentials as it relates to the job description. Specifically, describe how your relevant education, work/volunteer, and skills or training experience make you a good fit for the job. But keep it short: Focus on how your accomplishments match the job requirements and leave the nitty-gritty details for your resume. This section should be no more than five to seven sentences. 

“When writing sentences about your skills and how they apply to the job, always explain when you used the skill, how you used it, and what the end result was,” says Shuart and Russell. “This shows the employer that you did your homework on what they are looking for and helps to illustrate why you would be a good fit.”

For example, if the job posting is asking for “excellent communication skills,” you could talk about your experience as a student council representative: “As student council secretary, I am responsible for producing an online newsletter that is distributed monthly to over 700 students—an experience that has given me the opportunity to build and apply my excellent communication skills.” 

Depending on the job, you may also want to highlight other strengths or “selling features” that could help get you onto the interview list.

“For a young person, it may include phrases such as availability (evenings/days/weekends) driver’s license and access to a car, WHMIS certifications, or how the experience will fit into their future career goals,” says VandeGraaf. 

The bottom line: Explain how your qualifications directly relate to the position and use concrete examples.

Closing paragraph: Wrap up and thank you 

In your final paragraph (around three to five sentences), wrap up with a brief conclusion about why the skills you highlighted make you a good fit for the job. Shuart and Russell also say to “be bold” and include a call to action—such as requesting a job interview —as well as restate how you can be contacted (“I can be reached by mobile phone or email”). Last but not least, don’t forget to thank the employer for their time and consideration. 

“They have lots of resumes to get through, so a little appreciation can help them remember you better!” they add.

End on a professional note: “Finish strong with a polite, formal closing, such as “Sincerely, [YOUR FULL NAME]”.

Learn more: Job interview questions for teens and sample answers .

Tips for writing a cover letter for a student with no work experience 

No work experience under your belt? You’ve got this! Here are a few tips for how to write a cover letter with no experience. 

Read the job posting

“The job posting tells you what skills and experience the employer is looking for, so you should show the employer how you measure up to their needs,” says Shuart and Russell. It also gives away keywords to use in your cover letter and resume.  

Prove your skills

Make a list of the key skills required for the position (e.g., excellent communication, time management, problem-solving abilities). Then, think of examples of when you accomplished something using those desired skills. “Whether it was work, volunteer, or academic experience, the most important part is proving you have the skill,” says Shuart and Russell. “You also can relate it to the position: ‘My communication skills would help me build a strong rapport with customers.’” If you’re struggling to make the connection, ask a friend or family member to help you brainstorm. 

Group of three teens wearing green t-shirts that says "volunteer"

Think outside the box

If you’ve never had a job, draw on your lived experience to illustrate putting your skills into practice. Were you a volunteer tennis coach for kids last summer? Did you organize a climate justice rally that 500 people attended? Did you teach your grandma how to use Microsoft Office on a weekend? “Any experience is good experience!” says Shuart and Russell. “You don’t have to have previous work experience to have good communication. Can you use a volunteering or academic example?”

Use keywords

If the job is asking for “excellent customer service skills,” include that phrase somewhere in your cover letter. “Some employers use software that searches for the keywords they are looking for, so your cover letter could be screened out if you don’t have the keywords noted in the job posting,” says Shuart and Russell. “The other benefit of using these keywords is showing the employer you read carefully through their job posting. It’s a great, subtle way to show you pay attention to details as well!”

Use “action” words to paint a picture

Use descriptive language to showcase your skills and experience, as well as your accomplishments. Instead of simply saying you did something, use “action” verbs such as led, researched, created, managed, delivered, resolved, founded, developed, tracked, collaborated, grew, or promoted. Put your thesaurus to work! 

Keep it simple

A cover letter should be easy-to-read and not cluttered with text. Keep it simple and don’t bedazzle it with fancy colours and graphics. “Most employers prefer to see simple, easy-to-follow applications,” say Shuart and Russell. “Keep most of your text left-aligned and keep it professional-looking.”

Run a spelling and grammar check. Read your cover letter out loud to catch any long-winded sentences or awkward transitions. Get a parent or friend to proofread for typos. Double-check that the hiring manager’s name is spelled correctly. Your cover letter should be as clean as a whistle before you hit send.

Learn more: Best summer jobs for teens in Canada .

Sample cover letter or high school student

Need inspo to write a killer cover letter? Here’s a sample cover letter for high school students.

Teen girl holding pile of books and working at library

Jennifer McGee

1000 Fairyland Blvd

Toronto, Ontario

(416) 111-4444

[email protected]

January 1, 2023

Theresa Wright

Head Librarian

Toronto Public Library – Palmerston Branch

560 Palmerston Ave

Toronto, ON M6G 2P7 

Dear Ms. Wright,

Please accept my application for the position of Library Page at the Toronto Public Library, Palmerston Branch. As an avid reader and regular library patron, I was very excited to learn about the available position, which is currently posted on your organization’s website. My professionalism, work ethic, and understanding and appreciation for public service make me an ideal candidate for this position. 

As student council secretary, I am responsible for producing an online newsletter that is distributed bi-weekly to over 700 students—an experience that has given me the opportunity to apply my excellent communication skills in action. Most recently, I completed a twelve-week co-op experience at FoodShare Toronto, where I worked in the community garden and supported food literacy workshops in schools. The experience gave me an opportunity to interact with the public in a professional manner, as well as complete tasks independently and part of a team. My values for hard work and continuous learning allowed me to complete the co-op with a grade of 95%. My time management skills were also demonstrated when I had to juggle three essays and two exams during last semester. I used my superior organizational skills to ensure that I prioritize my school work based on difficulty level and deadline, while balancing my hobbies of tennis and piano. As a result of my efforts, I achieved Honour Roll status and a good work-life balance. 

The Toronto Public Library values teamwork and public service, both of which align with my skills, experience, and values. I also get enormous satisfaction in serving the public and have a passion for promoting literacy. Based on my qualifications, I believe I would be a strong member of the team at the Palmerston Branch. I would love to discuss my candidacy further in an interview with you. I can be reached by phone or email. Thank you so much for your time and for considering my application. 

Sincerely, 

Last word about how to write a cover letter like a pro 

The task of writing a cover letter can feel daunting when you’re facing a blank screen. But there’s only one way to overcome that hurdle: start writing! Using these expert tips, kick off your letter by formally introducing yourself and then outlining how your skills and experience make you suited to the job. Use concrete examples that are action- and results-oriented, showing (not just telling!) how you’re a great candidate. 

If you’ve never had a job, remember that your lived experience is equally valuable, and no employer expects you to have a plethora of job experience at this stage in your life. Avoid padding your cover letter with overblown achievements, and focus on sharing what you have to offer. 

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This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

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How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

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After weeks of heavy job search, you’re almost there!

You’ve perfected your resume. 

You’ve short-listed the coolest jobs you want to apply for.

You’ve even had a friend train you for every single interview question out there.

But then, before you can send your application and call it a day, you remember that the job ad requires a cover letter.

Now you’re stuck wondering how to write a cover letter ...

Don’t panic! We’ve got you covered. Writing a cover letter is a lot simpler than you might think. 

In this guide, we’re going to teach you how to write a cover letter that gets you the job you deserve.

  • What’s a cover letter & why it’s important for your job search
  • How to write a convincing cover letter that gets you the job (step-by-step!)
  • How to perfect your cover letter with the Novoresume free checklist
  • What excellent cover letter examples look like

New to cover letter writing? Give our resumes 101 video a watch before diving into the article!

So, let’s get started with the basics!

What is a Cover Letter? (and Why It’s Important)

A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application (alongside your CV or Resume). 

Its purpose is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, your cover letter should be from 250 to 400 words long .

A good cover letter can spark the HR manager’s interest and get them to read your resume. 

A bad cover letter, on the other hand, might mean that your application is going directly to the paper shredder. So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.

How does a good cover letter look, you might ask. Well, here’s an example:

how to write cover letter

Keep in mind, though, that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement. Meaning, you don’t just repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume.

If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time, writing all this might seem pretty tough. After all, you’re probably not a professional writer.

The thing is, though, you don’t need to be creative, or even any good at writing. All you have to do is follow a tried-and-tested format:

  • Header - Input contact information
  • Greeting the hiring manager
  • Opening paragraph - Grab the reader’s attention with 2-3 of your top achievements
  • Second paragraph - Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job
  • Third paragraph - Explain why you’re a good match for the company
  • Formal closing

Or, here’s what this looks like in practice:

structure of a cover letter

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter (And Get Hired!)

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, we’re going to guide you through the process of writing a cover letter step by step. 

Step #1 - Pick the Right Cover Letter Template

A good cover letter is all about leaving the right first impression.

So, what’s a better way to leave a good impression than a well-formatted, visual template?

cover letter templates

You can simply pick one of our hand-picked cover letter templates , and you’ll be all set in a jiffy!

As a bonus, our AI will even give you suggestions on how to improve your cover letter on the go.

Step #2 - Start the Cover Letter with a Header

As with a resume, it’s important to start your cover letter with a Contact Information section:

contact information on a cover letter

Here, you want to include all essential information, including:

  • Phone Number
  • Name of the hiring manager / their professional title
  • Name of the company you’re applying to

In certain cases, you might also consider adding:

  • Social Media Profiles - Any type of profile that’s relevant to your field. Social Profiles on websites like LinkedIn, GitHub (for developers), Medium (for writers), etc.
  • Personal Website - If you have a personal website that somehow adds value to your application, you can mention it. Let’s say you’re a professional writer. In that case, you’d want to link to your blog.

And here’s what you shouldn’t mention in your header:

  • Your Full Address 
  • Unprofessional Email - Make sure your email is presentable. It’s pretty hard for a hiring manager to take you seriously if your email address is “[email protected].” Whenever applying for jobs, stick to the “[first name] + [last name] @ email provider.com” format.

matching resume and cover letter

Step #3 - Greet the Hiring Manager

Once you’ve properly listed your contact information, you need to start writing the cover letter contents.

The first thing to do here is to address the cover letter to the hiring manager .

That’s right, the hiring manager! Not the overly popular “Dear Sir or Madam.” You want to show your future boss that you did your research and are really passionate about working with their team.

No one wants to hire a job seeker who just spams 20+ companies and hopes to get hired in any of them.

So, how do you find out who’s the hiring manager? There are several ways to do this. 

The simplest option is to look up the head of the relevant department on LinkedIn. Let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Communication Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably Head of Communications or Chief Communications Office.

So, you do a quick lookup on LinkedIn:

linkedin search cco

And voila! You have your hiring manager.

Or let’s say you’re applying for the position of a server. In that case, you’d be looking for the “restaurant manager.”

If this doesn’t work, you can also check out the “Team” page on the company website; there’s a good chance you’ll at least find the right person there.

Here are several other greetings you could use:

  • Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • To whom it may concern
  • Dear [Department] Team

Step #4 - Write an Attention-Grabbing Introduction

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your job search.

Recruiters get hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of applications. Chances are, they’re not going to be reading every single cover letter end-to-end.

So, it’s essential to catch their attention from the very first paragraph .

The #1 problem we see with most cover letter opening paragraphs is that they’re usually extremely generic. Most of them look something like this..

  • Hey, my name is Jonathan and I’d like to work as a Sales Manager at XYZ Inc. I’ve worked as a sales manager at MadeUpCompany Inc. for 5+ years, so I believe that I’d be a good fit for the position.

See the issue here? This opening paragraph doesn’t say pretty much anything except the fact that you’ve worked the job before.

Do you know who else has similar work experience? All the other applicants you’re competing with.

Instead, you want to start off with 2-3 of your top achievements to really grab the reader’s attention. Preferably, the achievements should be as relevant as possible to the position.

So now, let’s make our previous example shine:

My name’s Michael and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed their sales goals as a Sales Manager. I’ve worked with Company X, a fin-tech company, for 3+ years. As a Sales Representative, I generated an average of $30,000+ in sales per month (beating the KPIs by around 40%). I believe that my previous industry experience, as well as excellence in sales, makes me the right candidate for the job.

See the difference between the two examples? If you were the hiring manager, which sales manager would you hire, Jonathan or Michael?

Now that we’ve covered the introduction, let’s talk about the body of your cover letter. This part is split into two paragraphs: the first is for explaining why you’re the perfect person for the job, and the latter is for proving that you’re a good fit for the company.

So, let’s get started...

Step #5 - Explain why you’re the perfect person for the job

This is where you show off your professional skills and convince the HR manager that you’re a better fit for the job than all the other applicants.

But first things first - before you even write anything, you need to learn what the most important requirements for the role are. So, open up the job ad and identify which of the responsibilities are the most critical.

For the sake of the example, let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Facebook Advertiser. You scan the job ad and see that the top requirements are:

  • Experience managing a Facebook ad budget of $10,000+ / month
  • Some skills in advertising on other platforms (Google Search + Twitter)
  • Excellent copywriting skills

Now, in this section, you need to discuss how you fulfill these requirements. So, here’s how that would look for our example:

In my previous role as a Facebook Marketing Expert at XYZ Inc. I handled customer acquisition through ads, managing a monthly Facebook ad budget of $20,000+ . As the sole digital marketer at the company, I managed the ad creation & management process end-to-end. Meaning, I created the ad copy , images, picked the targeting, ran optimization trials, and so on.

Other than Facebook advertising, I’ve also delved into other online PPC channels, including:

  • Google Search

Are you a student applying for your first internship? You probably don’t have a lot of work experience to show off in this section. Learn how to write an internship cover letter here.

Step #6 - Explain why you’re a good fit for the company

Once you’ve written the last paragraph, you might be thinking - I’m a shoo-in for the job! What else do I need to write? I’ll just wrap up the cover letter and hit that sweet SEND button.

Well, no. You’re not quite there yet.

The HR manager doesn’t only look at whether you’ll be good at the job or not. They’re looking for someone that’s also a good fit for the company culture.

After all, employees that don’t fit in are bound to quit, sooner or later. This ends up costing the company a ton of money, up to 50% of the employee’s annual salary . 

Meaning, you also need to convince the HR manager that you’re really passionate about working with them.

How do you do this? Well, as a start, you want to do some research about the company. You want to know things like:

  • What’s the company’s business model?
  • What’s the company product or service? Have you used it?
  • What’s the culture like? Will someone micro-manage your work, or will you have autonomy on how you get things done?

So, get to Googling. Chances are, you’ll find all the information you need either on the company website or somewhere around the web.

Then, you need to figure out what you like about the company and turn that into text.

Let’s say, for example, you’re passionate about their product and you like the culture of innovation / independent work in the organization.

You’d write something like:

I’ve personally used the XYZ Smartphone, and I believe that it’s the most innovative tech I’ve used in years. The features such as Made-Up-Feature #1 and Made-Up-Feature #2 were real game changers for the device. 

I really admire how Company XYZ thrives for excellence for all its product lines, creating market-leading tech. As someone that thrives in a self-driven environment, I truly believe that I and Company XYZ will be a great match.

What you don’t want to do here is be super generic for the sake of having something to write. Most job seekers tend to mess this one up. Let’s take a look at a very common example we tend to see (way too often):

I’d love to work for Company XYZ because of its culture of innovation. I believe that since I’m super creative, I’d be a good fit for the company. The company values of integrity and transparency really vibe with me.

See what’s wrong here? The example doesn’t really say anything about the company. “Culture of Innovation” is something most companies claim to have. 

The same goes for “values of integrity and transparency” - the writer just googled what the values for the organization are, and said that they like them.

Any hiring manager that reads this will see through the fluff.

So, make sure to do a lot of research and come up with good reasons why you're applying.

Step #7 - Wrap up with a call to action

Finally, it’s time to finish up your cover letter and write the conclusion.

In the final paragraph, you want to:

  • Wrap up any points you couldn't in the previous paragraphs. Do you have anything left to say? Any other information that could help the hiring manager make their decision? Mention it here.
  • Thank the hiring manager for their time. It never hurts to be courteous, as long as you don’t come off as too needy.
  • Finish the cover letter with a call to action. The very last sentence in your cover letter should be a call to action. You should ask the hiring manager to take some sort of action.

And now, let’s turn this into a practical example:

So to wrap it all up, thanks for looking into my application. I hope I can help Company X make the most out of their Facebook marketing initiatives. I'd love to further discuss how my previous success at XYZ Inc. can help you achieve your facebook marketing goals.

Step #8 - Use the right formal closing

Once you’re done with the final paragraph, all you have to do is write down a formal “goodbye” and you’re good to go.

Feel free to use one of the most popular conclusions to a cover letter:

  • Best Regards,
  • Kind Regards,

And we’re finally done! Before sending off the cover letter, make sure to proofread it with software like Grammarly, or maybe even get a friend to review it for you.

Does your cover letter heading include all essential information?

  • Professional email
  • Relevant Social Media Profiles

Do you address the right person? I.e. hiring manager in the company / your future direct supervisor

Does your introductory paragraph grab the reader's attention?

  • Did you mention 2-3 of your top achievements?
  • Did you use numbers and facts to back up your experience?

Do you successfully convey that you’re the right pro for the job?

  • Did you identify the core requirements?
  • Did you successfully convey how your experiences help you fit the requirements perfectly?

Do you convince the hiring manager that you’re passionate about the company you’re applying to?

  • Did you identify the top 3 things that you like about the company?
  • Did you avoid generic reasons for explaining your interest in the company?

Did you finalize the conclusion with a call to action?

Did you use the right formal closure for the cover letter?

5+ Cover Letter Examples

Need some inspiration? Read on to learn about some of the best cover letter examples we’ve seen (for different fields).

College Student Cover Letter Example

college or student cover letter example

Middle Management Cover Letter Example

Middle Management Cover Letter

Career Change Cover Letter Example

Career Change Cover Letter

Management Cover Letter Example

Management Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Want to discover more examples AND learn what makes them stand out? Check out our guide to cover letter examples .

Next Steps in Your Job Search - Creating a Killer Resume

Your cover letter is only as good as your resume. If either one is weak, your entire application is for naught. 

After all, a cover letter is just an introduction. Imagine going through all this effort to leave an amazing first impression, but flopping at the end because of a mediocre resume.

...But don’t you worry, we’ve got you covered on that end, too.

If you want to learn more about Resumes & CVs, we have a dedicated FREE guide for that. Check out our complete guide on how to make a resume , as well as how to write a CV - our experts will teach you everything you need to know in order to land your dream job.

Or, if you’re already an expert, just pick one of our resume templates and get started.

resume examples for cover letter

Key Takeaways

Now that we’ve walked you through all the steps of writing a cover letter, let’s summarize everything we’ve learned:

  • A cover letter is a 250 - 400 word document that convinces the hiring manager of your competence
  • A cover letter goes in your job application alongside your resume
  • Your introduction to the cover letter should grab the hiring manager’s attention and keep it all the way until the conclusion
  • There are 2 main topics you need to include in your cover letter: why you’re the perfect candidate for the job & why you’re passionate about working in the company you’re applying to
  • Most of the content of your cover letter should be factual , without any fluff or generalizations

At Novorésumé, we’re committed to helping you get the job you deserve, every step of the way! Follow our blog to stay up to date with the industry-leading advice. Or, check out some of our top guides…

  • How to Write a Motivational Letter
  • How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience
  • Most Common Interview Questions and Answers

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Tips for Grads: How to write a good cover letter

By Foram Gathia, PhD student

Writing a compelling cover letter is essential for making a positive impression on potential employers. Here’s a guide to crafting a strong cover letter:

  • Start with a Strong Introduction: Address the hiring manager by name if possible and mention the specific position you are applying for. Engage the reader with a captivating opening sentence that highlights your enthusiasm and sets the tone for the letter.
  • Highlight Your Relevant Skills and Experience: Tailor your cover letter to the job description by emphasizing the skills and experiences that make you a strong candidate. Provide specific examples of past achievements that demonstrate your qualifications for the role.
  • Showcase Your Personality and Passion: Use the cover letter as an opportunity to showcase your personality and passion for the industry or company. Share insights into what motivates you and why you are excited about the opportunity.
  • Demonstrate Your Knowledge of the Company: Research the company and mention specific aspects that appeal to you or align with your values. This demonstrates your genuine interest and initiative.
  • Close with a Strong Call to Action: End the cover letter with a confident closing statement expressing your eagerness to further discuss your qualifications in an interview. Thank the employer for considering your application and include your contact information.

Remember to keep the cover letter concise, focusing on quality over quantity, and proofread carefully for grammar and spelling errors. A well-crafted cover letter can significantly enhance your job application and increase your chances of landing an interview.

These tips are based on the Beyond Graduate School cover letter webinar as well as the Harvard Business Review article “ How to Write a Cover Letter ”.

Tips for Grads is a professional and academic advice column written by graduate students for graduate students at UW­–Madison. It is published in the student newsletter, GradConnections Weekly.

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How to Write an Internship Cover Letter: 9 Tips (+ Examples)

A strong cover letter can get you noticed when applying for an internship. Find out how to craft a standout cover letter today.

[Featured Image]:  A woman wearing a brown sweater, is sitting at a desk, working on her cover letter.

You’ve found an internship, and it’s the opportunity you’ve been looking for to put you on the path to your dream job. However, the internship application requires you to send a cover letter .

Cover letters give you space to contextualise how your previous work experience and relevant skills make you a good fit for the position. They expand on your resume meaningfully, grabbing a hiring manager’s attention and demonstrating why you’re undeniably the right person for the internship. 

In this article, you will learn how to put your best foot forward with nine tips for your internship cover letter. You will also find examples alongside each tip and a cover letter template to help you compose your own. Whether you’re a high school student, recent college graduate or career switcher looking to start a new path, these tips are for you. 

Internship cover letters: Why you need one

Cover letters provide hiring managers insight into applicants' experience, skills, and aspirations. As a result, cover letters benefit early-career seekers applying for internships because they provide a more detailed picture of their backgrounds than their resumes might. 

Whether a job description asks for a cover letter or not, sending a unique resume to each internship you apply to is wise. Adding a cover letter can sometimes be the difference between landing the internship or not. 

Research conducted by ResumeGo between 2019 and 2020 found that cover letters can have a positive impact on how applications are interpreted by hiring managers. Among their many findings, the researchers found that [ 1 ]: 

87% of hiring managers said they read cover letters. 

65% of hiring managers said cover letters influence their hiring decisions. 

81% of hiring managers valued cover letters tailored to a specific position over generic ones. 

78% of hiring managers said it was easy to tell when a cover letter was generic. 

These statistics suggest both the impact a cover letter can have when applying for an internship and the importance of crafting one that speaks directly to the position. One thing is clear: cover letters matter. 

How to write a cover letter for an internship 

A cover letter is your chance to stand out from the crowded applicant pool. In this section, you’ll learn nine high-impact tips to help you craft a cover letter highlighting your professionalism, aspirations, and qualifications. 

1. Properly format your cover letter.

Proper formatting helps hiring managers quickly scan your cover letter for key information, such as your contact information and skills, and conveys your professionalism. From top to bottom, your cover letter should have the following elements: 

Keep to one page only : Your cover letter should be only one page. This will keep it focused, impactful, and easily scannable for hiring managers.  

Header at the top: Include your contact information so hiring managers can easily contact you. 

Greetings: Open with a greeting to the hiring manager. This is a formality that makes your letter more personal. 

Intro: Include a brief introduction that describes who you are, what you are applying for and your key qualifications. 

Body: The body of your cover letter is where you detail your experience, skills, and education. 

Conclusion/Call to action: Include a call to action that encourages your reader to contact you. 

Salutations: Finally, you want to leave the reader with a good impression by including a formal greeting followed by your full name. This conveys a sense of professionalism and friendliness. 

In the following tips, you will learn more about handling each of these parts of your resume to make them as impactful as possible. 

2. Use a professional email address.

The header of your cover letter is where you include your contact information, full name, phone number, and email address. 

While it may seem insignificant, one of the most important things you can do in your header is to include a professional-sounding email address. In this instance, the simpler the email address, the better. Create an email address that is a simple variant of your name with a standard free email provider, such as Gmail. 

3. Personalise your greeting. 

While many cover letters are addressed 'to whom it may concern', a more impactful way to catch a hiring manager’s attention is by addressing them by name directly. 

In addition to making your cover letter more personal, this tactic highlights that you’ve researched and created a job-specific cover letter rather than sending a generic one. This can positively impact how a hiring manager views your resume and cover letter. 

You can find out who the hiring manager is by doing some straightforward research online. Some job descriptions will instruct you to email a specific person. In other cases, you might need to visit the organisation’s website and see if you can identify the person who heads their internship or hiring efforts. 

If this doesn't work, you can also reach out to the organisation directly by either email or phone to see if they can give the name of the hiring manager who will be looking at internship applications. Let them know that you are applying for the specific internship and would like to address the hiring manager directly in your application. 

If you cannot learn the hiring manager's name, don’t worry—your application likely won’t be penalised for a common, courteous greeting.

4. Include key information in the intro.

Your cover letter should include a short introduction that immediately identifies the specific internship position you are applying for and the key background information relevant to the position. Ideally, keep your introduction to only a few sentences, making sure to stay within four. 

Much like a thesis statement in a school paper, the introduction of your cover letter helps the reader understand your purpose for writing and the qualifications that make you ideal for the position. 

‘Dear Ms Angelou, 

I am writing to apply for the editorial assistant internship position at Little House Publishing. An avid reader since I first played Grimm’s (macabre) Fairy tales as a five-year-old, I have made storytelling my personal and professional calling. As an English major at the University of Delhi, I have been an editor of our school’s literary magazine for three years, brought two theatre productions to life as dramaturgs, and taught reading and writing to countless middle schoolers.’ 

5. Show how you and the internship are a perfect match. 

The key aim of your cover letter is to demonstrate to the hiring manager why you and the internship are a perfect match for one another. 

As a result, you should craft your letter to emphasise how your skill set and experience have prepared you for the position and why it can help you achieve your professional aims. Remember, an internship is as much an educational opportunity as a work experience, so don’t be afraid to note what the internship offers you and what you offer the internship. 

To identify how you and the internship are a good match for one another, do the following: 

Read through the job description and identify the skills and experience you possess. 

Identify what experience, skills, or understanding you will gain from the internship.

Include these points in your cover letter. 

'After studying Python for the last two years, IBM’s data science internship will finally allow me to see programming at work in the real world. Throughout high school, I’ve spent hours combing through data, creating visualisations, and posing questions to data big and small all by myself. At IBM, I will be a part of a community that takes data seriously, contributing to projects but learning even more.' 

6. Emphasise your education and extracurriculars.

While most jobs require relevant work experience, most internships typically expect applicants to have little or none. This is particularly true for internships geared towards secondary school and college students. 

If you’re a student without much (or any) relevant work experience, then you should emphasise your education and extracurricular activities. You’ll be able to highlight your skills, interests, and concrete achievements for hiring managers as much as previous work experience would allow you to do. 

'As a computer science student, I have taken advanced courses on machine learning and programming data structures, achieving top grades in both. Later, I used these skills in the AI club when I taught a machine to recognise different hand gestures visually.’

7. Use active language and note concrete outcomes. 

One of the key ways to create impactful writing is to use active language that shows the reader how you achieved concrete outcomes. This method will help your reader fully comprehend what you have done and what you have ultimately achieved. 

Active language (also known as active voice) is when the subject of a sentence acts upon an object rather than the object being acted upon by an object. For example, consider the chart below: 

In the first sentence, the emphasis is on the woman (the subject) doing an action ('programming') on the computer (the object). Meanwhile, the second sentence emphasises the computer rather than the action performed by the subject (the woman). Focusing on the action, the first sentence highlights the woman’s work and keeps the sentence shorter. 

Using active language that clearly describes how you accomplished a specific result will keep the attention on you and what you can do.  

'As a writing tutor, I taught middle schoolers how to write in the active voice to help them articulate themselves with impact. To do this, I analysed sentences on the blackboard, edited essays live, and reinforced concepts week to week.  Our results spoke for themselves: test scores improved by 78 per cent in just two months.'

8. Consider using a bulleted list to highlight your technical skills. 

To make it more scannable, consider including a bullet point list of your relevant skills in the body of your cover letter. This technique helps readers catch important skills that you possess that help you stand out from the applicant pool. 

'Throughout my education and extracurriculars, I have improved many skills relevant to the internship, including: 

Collaboration

Problem-solving

9. Include a call to action and salutation at the end of the letter. 

Your cover letter should leave the hiring manager wanting to reach out to you and a good picture of you. To leave them wanting to hear more from you, end the cover letter with a brief statement about your desire to speak more about the role soon and close with a professional salutation, such as 'sincerely'.

'I look forward to talking soon about how I can contribute to the team this summer. Thank you for the opportunity, time, and consideration.

Sincerely, 

Abraham Lincoln'

Landing an internship can help you start your career. To ensure you’re ready for that first day on the job, you might consider taking an online course or gaining a Professional Certificate in data science , project management , or social media marketing . 

Article sources

Resume Go. “ Cover Letters: Just How Important Are They? , https://www.resumego.net/research/cover-letters/.” Accessed January 1, 2024. 

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How to Write a Cover Letter for Scholarship

Learn how to showcase your skills and personality in your scholarship cover letter and increase your chance of becoming a top applicant by reading our guide!

How to write a cover letter for scholarship

Article highlights

A scholarship cover letter is a crucial part of most scholarship applications. A well-written cover letter can have a significant impact in the decision-making process as it is your chance to showcase your unique experience and personality. In this article, we'll go over everything you need to know to write a great scholarship cover letter.

What is a scholarship cover letter?

A scholarship cover letter, also called a letter of motivation, is a letter you write to the scholarship committee to request their consideration for a grant and persuade them that you are a deserving candidate for the scholarship. The main intention is to highlight your academic accomplishments and academic record .

In this letter, you should showcase your strengths and skills in a way that explains why you are a great candidate for the scholarship. Also, this is your chance to provide a more detailed overview of your academic and extracurricular achievements and interests that may not be covered in a CV or resume .

3 reasons to write a scholarship cover letter

1. it can help make your application stand out.

Academic scholarships are extremely competitive so you need to make sure you do everything in your power to be considered. Here's where a scholarship cover letter steps in. Scholarship committees receive numerous applications from students with straight A's, extensive lists of extracurriculars, and high exam grades. Use your cover letter to stand out and explain why you should win the grant .

2. It allows you to communicate your future plans

For institutions and foundations, a scholarship is an investment, thus naturally they want to be confident that it will pay off. That's why outlining how a particular grant aligns with your future research or work plans can make you a top applicant.

3. It can demonstrate your level of English

The majority of scholarships for international students expect the applicants to have high English proficiency . Most of the time, they require you to attach a certificate to your application. But even then, seeing your level of language skills in a scholarship cover letter can win you some additional points. However, it's important not to go overboard - remember this isn't an artistic essay.

Different forms of scholarship cover letters

Students discussing something they see on the laptop

Apart from the standard scholarship cover letter, particular scholarships may require you to submit information about yourself in a different form. It can be:

  • a personal statement , which is meant to tell who you are as a person, your interests and motivations;
  • a motivation letter , which communicates why you chose a particular program or scholarship, as well as how you fulfill the requirements;
  • an essay , which typically answers one specific question about you;
  • a form or a document with a few questions , where you'll have to answer specific questions (which may or may not cover the information you'd usually provide in a cover letter).

How to write a cover letter for scholarship: step-by-step guide

The main purpose of a scholarship cover letter is to showcase your strengths and goals and why those make you a great match for the grant. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you write a cover letter for scholarship:

Review the scholarship’s application requirements

Before writing your cover letter for a scholarship, always check the application requirements . Every scholarship can have different expectations, some applications even have specific questions they want you to answer, so make sure to do thorough research to tailor your cover letter to a specific grant .

This can give you a better idea of what to include in your application and highlight the experiences and skills that are not included in your resume but may increase your chances of being the winner.

Write an introduction

The introduction is where you can make a positive first impression on the scholarship committee and let them get to know you. In the introductory paragraph, you should cover:

  • who you are,
  • how you learned about the scholarship,
  • why it sparked your interest.

Avoid using generic phrases and templates, and adjust your introduction to better fit the specific scholarship you are applying for.

Highlight your professional experience and internships

In the first body paragraph, you should highlight relevant skills and achievements and your professional experience and internships . Depending on the scholarship requirements, choose suitable experiences from your previous education and explain how they allowed you to gain knowledge and skills related to a particular field. This can demonstrate your learning style and commitment to personal growth.

Share your academic ambitions and interests

Describe your academic interests and ambitions in the next body paragraph. Generally, scholarships search for potential and want to help promising students to pursue their interest in academia. So keep in mind that scholarship committees may look for candidates with academic aspirations and ambitions .

Talk about your aspirations post-graduation

It is also important to talk about your post-graduation aspirations and long-term goals. Whether you want to continue your education or enter the industry, show the reviewing committee how this scholarship is a good investment in your future. Highlight how this funding could impact your career post-graduation.

Summarize your goals and credentials with a conclusion

Restate your interest in the scholarship and why you are a great candidate in the last paragraph of your scholarship cover letter. You can include your contact information and encourage the reviewing committee to reach out to you. This is also a good place to express gratitude for considering your application.

Proof-read and update your cover letter

Always check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes at least twice as they can point to a lack of attention to detail. Consider asking someone else , ideally, a professor, to review it and provide their insights and feedback . This way you can avoid missing any errors and adjust your tone and writing style .

Tips for writing a scholarship cover letter

Here are some other important things you should keep in mind while writing a scholarship cover letter:

Make your cover letter unique and personal to your interests and achievements

The reviewing committee has gone through many cover letters, having seen those generic templates and patterns numerous times. This is a chance for you to make your cover letter personal and unique . Describe your specific goals, showcase your personality, and provide all relevant information that can help you stand out.

Format your letter in a professional manner and check for errors

Match your letter to the recommended formatting to make it look more professional:

  • use a simple font and an appropriate size
  • check the margins on the sides of the pages
  • check the spacing between the lines
  • try to make it one page long (unless a different length is specified)

Always double- or triple-check for spelling mistakes . According to Forbes , typos and grammar mistakes are among the top 5 reasons why many students have their applications rejected.

Include quantifiable accomplishments

Choose quantifiable achievements that reflect the criteria related to applicants' skills and accomplishments. It helps the reviewing committee determine how you compare to other candidates . Consider including your grade average, your most notable project, and numerical data that demonstrates your performance in relevant academic and extracurricular activities.

Don’t forget to provide evidence to back up your points

It is helpful to refer to evidence to support your points. For example, you may consider mentioning the specific source of your skills or situations where you have successfully applied them. It's best to avoid including any information that cannot be backed up .

Here's a piece of advice from Swedish Institute Scholarship recipient Suci Ariyanti :

Be honest. Never give false information, or exaggerate things. Not only will the SISGP committee do random checks on applicants, but it is also important to keep your integrity intact.

a photo and a quote from a Bachelor's in USA winner

New scholarships from Educations.com

Women scholarship for international students 2024.

Application deadline: 25 August 2024 at 12:00 CEST

Women Schtuolarship for Internationarship for International Students logo

This $5,000 Women scholarship for international students will be awarded to globally-minded female students beginning their undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate studies in the Fall 2024 semester or after. The award is meant to help cover your tuition fees and share your unique story as a woman with the world!

Undergraduate in STEM Scholarship 2024

Application deadline: 13 October 2024 at 12:00 CEST

Undergraduate in STEM Scholarship logo

Our STEM degree scholarship will be awarded to students starting their STEM studies in the Fall 2024 semester or later and is worth up to $5,000 . Students from all countries who will be studying for an undergraduate STEM degree abroad at a college or university can apply for this scholarship. We believe that students who study abroad become the next generation of globally-minded adventurers – so we want to help more of you reach your potential.

Graduate Study in the USA Scholarship 2024

Application deadline: 22 September 2024 at 12:00 CEST

Graduate study in the USA scholarship logo

Graduate Study in the USA scholarship is our first ever Master's degree scholarship . Students beginning their studies in the Fall 2024 semester or later can be awarded up to $5,000. It's open to international students from any country outside the USA who will be pursuing a Master's degree abroad at a college or university in the USA. It can be used to help cover tuition fees and get you one step closer to your next great adventure, in the USA.

More scholarships:

  • Study a Master's in Europe Scholarship 2024
  • Go Global MBA Scholarship 2024
  • Study Abroad Scholarship Directory 2024

A scholarship cover letter gives you an opportunity to highlight your academic accomplishments and academic record and persuade the reviewing committee that you are a great candidate for the scholarship. Providing more information about you lets them get to know your personality and adds details to your application.

Make sure to spend enough time on this cover letter since it's a very important evaluation point during the decision-making process. Thoroughly research the requirements and tailor your letter to a specific scholarship . And don't forget that transparency is key , the selection committee aims to choose you for who you truly are!

how to make cover letter for student

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Your cover letter is an important component of the application process. It serves as a way for you to summarize your qualifications, state your interest in a position, and stand out from other applicants.

Cover letters typically accompany each resume you submit, unless otherwise specified. It is customized to each opportunity you are pursuing.

Tips for Writing Your Cover Letter

How to ensure your content is concise, relevant, and appealing to potential employers.

  • While every cover letter is different, effective cover letters demonstrate you are a good fit for the position.
  • Convey your enthusiasm for the position and knowledge of the company.
  • Provide support and examples that showcase the skills and competencies that are being sought.
  • Focus on your accomplishments and measurable results.
  • Address your cover letter to a specific person whenever possible. It may take some resourcefulness on your part to identify the appropriate person, but the letter will be better received.  
  • Write clearly and concisely.
  • Use proper grammar and check for misspelled words.
  • Limit your letter to one page.
  • Be sure to include the date, an appropriate salutation, and close with your signature.
  • Mass produced cover letters are a common mistake, and easy to detect. Be sure to relate your specific skills and experiences to each individual position.   
  • Incorporate information that reflects your knowledge of the company, the industry, or the position. 
  • Consider that employers are seeking to fill specific roles and are looking for applicants that have the skills and qualities to succeed in that role. 

Structuring Your Cover Letter

Paragraph 1: capture attention .

  • In your first paragraph, capture the reader's attention.
  • Indicate the position you are applying for and how you learned of the vacancy, i.e. Did someone tell you about it?  Did you see an ad or website? 
  • Outline the specific reasons why you are ideal for the position.  
  • Sell yourself in paragraph 1. Do not wait until the second paragraph to articulate why you are well qualified for the position.

Paragraph 2 & 3: Create Desire 

  • Describe yourself as a serious candidate and one worth inviting for an interview. State the hard details including your specific skills, history of responsibility, success, etc. 
  • Think about ways to reinforce an image of yourself that includes as many of the desired qualities as possible. 
  • Show, don’t tell. Remember, your goal is to set yourself apart from other applicants. Do not just tell the employer you have a skill, provide evidence. For example, do not just state you are “detail oriented”. Give the reader an example of something in your work history that proves that you are detail oriented. 
  • Refer to your resume, but do not simply list the contents of it. 
  • Emphasize how your variety of experiences are connected to the position and will benefit the company. 

Paragraph 4: Call for Action 

  • Use a few lines to express your strong interest in the position and your desire to discuss your application further in an interview. 
  • Give a brief summary of the key points in the letter, but avoid repetition.

Title Related Resources

  • Resume/Cover Letter/LinkedIn Review Services
  • Sample Cover Letter (pdf)

The Cut

How to Write a Cover Letter That Will Get You a Job

I ’ve read thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of cover letters in my career. If you’re thinking that sounds like really boring reading, you’re right. What I can tell you from enduring that experience is that most cover letters are terrible — and not only that, but squandered opportunities. When a cover letter is done well, it can significantly increase your chances of getting an interview, but the vast majority fail that test.

So let’s talk about how to do cover letters right.

First, understand the point of a cover letter.

The whole idea of a cover letter is that it can help the employer see you as more than just your résumé. Managers generally aren’t hiring based solely on your work history; your experience is crucial, yes, but they’re also looking for someone who will be easy to work with, shows good judgment, communicates well, possesses strong critical thinking skills and a drive to get things done, complements their current team, and all the other things you yourself probably want from your co-workers. It’s tough to learn much about those things from job history alone, and that’s where your cover letter comes in.

Because of that …

Whatever you do, don’t just summarize your résumé.

The No. 1 mistake people make with cover letters is that they simply use them to summarize their résumé. This makes no sense — hiring managers don’t need a summary of your résumé! It’s on the very next page! They’re about to see it as soon as they scroll down. And if you think about it, your entire application is only a few pages (in most cases, a one- or two-page résumé and a one-page cover letter) — why would you squander one of those pages by repeating the content of the others? And yet, probably 95 percent of the cover letters I see don’t add anything new beyond the résumé itself (and that’s a conservative estimate).

Instead, your cover letter should go beyond your work history to talk about things that make you especially well-suited for the job. For example, if you’re applying for an assistant job that requires being highly organized and you neurotically track your household finances in a detailed, color-coded spreadsheet, most hiring managers would love to know that because it says something about the kind of attention to detail you’d bring to the job. That’s not something you could put on your résumé, but it can go in your cover letter.

Or maybe your last boss told you that you were the most accurate data processor she’d ever seen, or came to rely on you as her go-to person whenever a lightning-fast rewrite was needed. Maybe your co-workers called you “the client whisperer” because of your skill in calming upset clients. Maybe you’re regularly sought out by more senior staff to help problem-solve, or you find immense satisfaction in bringing order to chaos. Those sorts of details illustrate what you bring to the job in a different way than your résumé does, and they belong in your cover letter.

If you’re still stumped, pretend you’re writing an email to a friend about why you’d be great at the job. You probably wouldn’t do that by stiffly reciting your work history, right? You’d talk about what you’re good at and how you’d approach the work. That’s what you want here.

You don’t need a creative opening line.

If you think you need to open the letter with something creative or catchy, I am here to tell you that you don’t. Just be simple and straightforward:

• “I’m writing to apply for your X position.”

• “I’d love to be considered for your X position.”

• “I’m interested in your X position because …”

• “I’m excited to apply for your X position.”

That’s it! Straightforward is fine — better, even, if the alternative is sounding like an aggressive salesperson.

Show, don’t tell.

A lot of cover letters assert that the person who wrote it would excel at the job or announce that the applicant is a skillful engineer or a great communicator or all sorts of other subjective superlatives. That’s wasted space — the hiring manager has no reason to believe it, and so many candidates claim those things about themselves that most managers ignore that sort of self-assessment entirely. So instead of simply declaring that you’re great at X (whatever X is), your letter should demonstrate that. And the way you do that is by describing accomplishments and experiences that illustrate it.

Here’s a concrete example taken from one extraordinarily effective cover-letter makeover that I saw. The candidate had originally written, “I offer exceptional attention to detail, highly developed communication skills, and a talent for managing complex projects with a demonstrated ability to prioritize and multitask.” That’s pretty boring and not especially convincing, right? (This is also exactly how most people’s cover letters read.)

In her revised version, she wrote this instead:

“In addition to being flexible and responsive, I’m also a fanatic for details — particularly when it comes to presentation. One of my recent projects involved coordinating a 200-page grant proposal: I proofed and edited the narratives provided by the division head, formatted spreadsheets, and generally made sure that every line was letter-perfect and that the entire finished product conformed to the specific guidelines of the RFP. (The result? A five-year, $1.5 million grant award.) I believe in applying this same level of attention to detail to tasks as visible as prepping the materials for a top-level meeting and as mundane as making sure the copier never runs out of paper.”

That second version is so much more compelling and interesting — and makes me believe that she really is great with details.

If there’s anything unusual or confusing about your candidacy, address it in the letter.

Your cover letter is your chance to provide context for things that otherwise might seem confusing or less than ideal to a hiring manager. For example, if you’re overqualified for the position but are excited about it anyway, or if you’re a bit underqualified but have reason to think you could excel at the job, address that up front. Or if your background is in a different field but you’re actively working to move into this one, say so, talk about why, and explain how your experience will translate. Or if you’re applying for a job across the country from where you live because you’re hoping to relocate to be closer to your family, let them know that.

If you don’t provide that kind of context, it’s too easy for a hiring manager to decide you’re the wrong fit or applying to everything you see or don’t understand the job description and put you in the “no” pile. A cover letter gives you a chance to say, “No, wait — here’s why this could be a good match.”

Keep the tone warm and conversational.

While there are some industries that prize formal-sounding cover letters — like law — in most fields, yours will stand out if it’s warm and conversational. Aim for the tone you’d use if you were writing to a co-worker whom you liked a lot but didn’t know especially well. It’s okay to show some personality or even use humor; as long as you don’t go overboard, your letter will be stronger for it.

Don’t use a form letter.

You don’t need to write every cover letter completely from scratch, but if you’re not customizing it to each job, you’re doing it wrong. Form letters tend to read like form letters, and they waste the chance to speak to the specifics of what this employer is looking for and what it will take to thrive in this particular job.

If you’re applying for a lot of similar jobs, of course you’ll end up reusing language from one letter to the next. But you shouldn’t have a single cover letter that you wrote once and then use every time you apply; whatever you send should sound like you wrote it with the nuances of this one job in mind.

A good litmus test is this: Could you imagine other applicants for this job sending in the same letter? If so, that’s a sign that you haven’t made it individualized enough to you and are probably leaning too heavily on reciting your work history.

No, you don’t need to hunt down the hiring manager’s name.

If you read much job-search advice, at some point you’ll come across the idea that you need to do Woodward and Bernstein–level research to hunt down the hiring manager’s name in order to open your letter with “Dear Matilda Jones.” You don’t need to do this; no reasonable hiring manager will care. If the name is easily available, by all means, feel free to use it, but otherwise “Dear Hiring Manager” is absolutely fine. Take the hour you just freed up and do something more enjoyable with it.

Keep it under one page.

If your cover letters are longer than a page, you’re writing too much, and you risk annoying hiring managers who are likely sifting through hundreds of applications and don’t have time to read lengthy tomes. On the other hand, if you only write one paragraph, it’s unlikely that you’re making a compelling case for yourself as a candidate — not impossible, but unlikely. For most people, something close to a page is about right.

Don’t agonize over the small details.

What matters most about your cover letter is its content. You should of course ensure that it’s well-written and thoroughly proofread, but many job seekers agonize over elements of the letter that really don’t matter. I get tons of  questions from job seekers  about whether they should attach their cover letter or put it in the body of the email (answer: No one cares, but attaching it makes it easier to share and will preserve your formatting), or what to name the file (again, no one really cares as long as it’s reasonably professional, but when people are dealing with hundreds of files named “resume,” it’s courteous to name it with your full name).

Approaching your cover letter like this can make a huge difference in your job search. It can be the thing that moves your application from the “maybe” pile (or even the “no” pile) to the “yes” pile. Of course, writing cover letters like this will take more time than sending out the same templated letter summarizing your résumé — but 10 personalized, compelling cover letters are likely to get you more  interview invitations  than 50 generic ones will.

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by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

Write an outstanding cover letter with Microsoft Create and Copilot

february 29, 2024

A smiling woman with blonde hair, glasses, and a leopard print cardigan poses with her hands on her hips in front of an olive green background.

by Deb Ashby

My colleague Pam has been part of my team for eight years, but she recently decided to start pursuing new career opportunities. Even though I’ll miss her, I happily agreed to help her revamp her cover letter to help her job applications stand out.

The problem? Despite her robust resume, Pam faced continuous rejections from every job she applied for! So, Pam and I embarked on a mission to uplevel her cover letter, leveraging Microsoft Copilot’s powerful AI features along the way.

The challenge: A lackluster cover letter

When I reviewed Pam’s cover letter, the root of the problem was obvious: the letter failed to showcase Pam’s unique skills and vibrant personality.

A screenshot of Pamela's lackluster cover letter

On top of that, the overall presentation of the cover letter was uninspiring. It would be easy for a letter like this to get lost in a pile of applications.

The solution: A makeover using Microsoft Create and Copilot

Eager to turn things around, we headed to Microsoft Create , an innovative platform designed to fuel creativity and efficiency. Our first step was to find a suitable Word template for cover letters that could serve as a solid foundation for Pam's letter.

With a plethora of options at our fingertips, we selected a design that aligned with Pam's professional persona, ensuring we had a head start with a visually appealing layout.

A picture of the "Simple bold cover letter" template

Next, we turned to Copilot for assistance with the wording. Using Microsoft Edge, we launched Copilot for Bing and wrote a prompt detailing what Pam wanted to convey in her cover letter.

The suggestions provided by Copilot were impressive, offering the blend of professionalism and personality that Pam's original draft was missing. We copied the suggested content and seamlessly integrated it into our chosen template. Pam then customized the letter a bit further to her liking.

The outcome: A cover letter that stands out

The transformation was remarkable! In just a few minutes, Pam's cover letter went from mundane to magnificent.

Pamela's new cover letter

The new cover letter radiates Pam’s professional strengths and dynamic character.

Best of all, Pam’s newfound confidence in her application materials has opened doors to more interviews and opportunities. That’s the difference a well-crafted cover letter can make.

Express yourself with Microsoft Create and Copilot

In today's competitive job market, it's not just about what you say—it's all about how you present it. With the right tools and a dash of creativity, you can craft a letter that captures your essence and gets attention from potential employers.

If you're looking to elevate your own application materials, I encourage you to explore the templates and resources available through Microsoft Create and Copilot. With the right design and a boost from AI, there’s no stopping you from making a lasting impression in all your professional endeavors!

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    You can follow these steps to write your college student cover letter: 1. Do some research Start by finding out what the employer is looking for. Read the job description carefully to identify the qualities the employer wants in a candidate. Among your set of skills, write down the ones that are relevant for the position.

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    The cover letter should include a few paragraphs that introduce who you are and explain why you are the best person for the role. If you have job experience, you can reference it here, but the cover letter should focus on qualifications that don't fit in on your resume. This can include many different activities and experiences, including:

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    View Example High School Student Cover Letter View Example Cover Letter for Internship View Example Stay at Home Mom Cover Letter Sections Sections College student cover letter tips Text format College Student Cover Letter Template (Text Format) FIRST AND LAST NAME Email: [email protected] Phone: (123) 456-7891 Address: Street, City, State

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    When writing a cover letter as a college student, you should start by greeting the recipient of the letter by name and give an achievement-driven introduction. The formatting for both a resume and a cover letter is quite similar. Here is an overview of how to lay out your letter: Add your contact information in a header.

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    Yes! They do. But no worries, we'll help you write a college student cover letter that proves you're a great candidate. This guide will show you: A college student cover letter example better than 9 of 10 others. Best tips on how to write a college student cover letter step-by-step.

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    How Do You Create a Student Cover Letter? Many hiring managers understand the unique challenges of looking for a job as a student and are ready to take on new graduates. According to a recent study, more than 50% of the hiring managers surveyed say they plan to increase hiring efforts for entry-level candidates.

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    How To Write a Student Cover Letter. Your student cover letter should usually have five sections, in this order: 1. Heading. At the top of the page, include: Your name and contact information. The date. The recipient's name, title, company, and contact information (when available) (Note: Feel free to omit this section if you send your letter ...

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    Examples Student Written by Anna Muckerman Student Cover Letter Example Use this Student cover letter example to finish your application and get hired fast - no frustration, no guesswork. This cover letter example is specifically designed for Student positions in 2024.

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    1. Study the position description Study the description of the job, internship, scholarship, or program you're applying for so you can tailor your cover letter to it. Note important details, including: The name of the position The requirements to apply The qualifications of an ideal candidate The responsibilities of the role

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    Hi [insert recruiter name] Hi [insert department/team name] Avoid old-fashioned greetings like "Dear sir/madam " unless applying to very formal companies. How to find the contact's name? Addressing the recruitment contact by name is an excellent way to start building a strong relationship.

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    Download the Word Template College Graduate Cover Letter Example (Text Version) Lucy Applicant 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 555-555-5555 [email protected]

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  19. How to Write a Cover Letter for Students

    Keep it simple: use your name ([email protected]) or create a generic address ([email protected]). The date Hit the enter button twice and write the date in full [DAY/MONTH/YEAR].

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    1. Include your personal details The first step is to put your personal details and contact information at the top of the cover letter. It's a good idea to make this section clear and easy to read. This ensures the hiring manager has your contact information. For an emailed cover letter, include your email address, phone number and full name.

  23. How To Write a Cover Letter (With Examples and Tips)

    Jennifer Herrity Updated July 14, 2023 While cover letters are not always required, many hiring managers still rely on them to gauge an applicant's skills, experience and background. The key to writing an effective cover letter is to clearly show how your professional experience fits the needs of the open role and the culture of the hiring company.

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