College Cover Letter Examples in 2023

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If you’re still studying or have just finished your degree, but have no professional experience, looking for a job can be daunting. Thankfully, there are many high growth industries that hire young people aged 16-24. A strong cover letter can help you get noticed by a hiring manager so you can start building your career.

If you’re not sure where to start when writing a cover letter, try downloading one of our college cover letter templates. There are examples for college graduates with some work experience and those looking for their first job. You can also find extra tips on how to use the most important sections of your cover letter to make a bigger impact.

Downloadable Cover Letter Examples


College Cover Letter Examples (Text Format)

Years of experience.

Lia Pearce Teaching Graduate | [email protected] | (765) 432-1098 | 456 My Avenue, Wilmington, DE 54321

April 23, 2021

Nathan Rose Principal Lombardy Elementary School (876) 543-2109 [email protected]

Dear Mr. Rose,

During my practicum placement in my final year at Wilmington University, I received the highest possible grade for teaching and learning in my last observation. My assessor praised my careful task differentiation and engaging delivery. I hope to provide similarly effective lessons as a third-grade teacher at Lombardy Elementary School.

As a diligent new graduate with a passion for tailoring teaching to reflect students’ cultures and interests, Lombardy Elementary School’s reputation for celebrating diversity excites me. I believe that I have the creativity and sound pedagogical knowledge to help your students meet their educational potential. My most significant achievements include:

I look forward to meeting with you to discuss how I can become a valuable and enthusiastic member of your school’s community. Please feel free to contact me to set up an interview.

P.S. I would like to tell you how I helped a fourth-grade student overcome her anxiety around speaking in class last year.

Candice Suarez Business Administration Graduate | [email protected] | (887) 766-5544 | 432 My Road, Anchorage, AK 10203

Megan Hendrix Senior Hiring Manager Moffatt & Nichol (432) 109-8765 [email protected]

Dear Ms. Hendrix,

During my undergraduate study at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, I was named the top-performing student for my resource management project. My professors mentioned my outstanding strategic thinking and strong organizational skills as justification for this achievement. I am excited to demonstrate my abilities as an office administrator at Moffatt and Nichol.

As an ambitious new graduate, the chance to start my career at a fast-growing company like Moffatt and Nicholl is compelling. I believe that my strong academic background in business administration and two years of experience as a part-time hotel receptionist have furnished me with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel. My recent achievements include:

I look forward to discussing how my abilities and qualities can help me provide outstanding administrative support to your organization. Please get in touch to schedule an interview.

Candice Suarez

P.S. I would love to tell you how I resolved a complex billing issue at my workplace last month.

Fredrick Dowling Music Therapist | [email protected] | (239) 111-0000 | 432 Somewhere Ave., Naples, FL 34110

January 1, 2021

Ms. Ana-Alicia Lopez Clinical Director The House of Music Therapy (123) 456-7890 [email protected]

Dear Ms. Lopez,

During my Music Therapy clinicals at Tallahassee Memorial, my Internship Director commended me for demonstrating exceptional passion and empathy. I am confident that I can meet your need for a dedicated Music Therapist at the House of Music Therapy.

I’ve enjoyed playing the piano and acoustic guitar since childhood. FSU’s Master of Medical Music Therapy program and my recent work in Tallahassee helped me fine-tune my musicianship, communication skills, and ability to apply music theory and behavioral management principles in a variety of settings. All this has empowered me to:

My enclosed resume can give you further insight into my education and experience. Please contact me at your earliest convenience to discuss how I can contribute to your team. I look forward to communicating with you soon.

Fredrick Dowling

P.S. Please let me share with you how my internship inspired a young patient to pursue a career as a Music Therapist.

College Cover Letter Checklist

The best college cover letters have five main elements:

1. Heading. This is where you list your name, title, and contact details. It should also include the addressee’s details and the date the letter was written. Use a professional template, so the information stands out.

2. Salutation. Whenever possible, greet the hiring manager by name. Use Mr. or Ms. and their last name. If you can’t find that information, “Dear Hiring Manager,” is the best option.

3. Introduction. Your opening paragraph should capture the hiring manager’s interest while introducing yourself and your interest in the position.

4. Body paragraphs. The main part of your cover letter should contain two paragraphs detailing your skills, experience, and education. Make sure you only include relevant details and consider adding a bulleted list to break up blocks of text.

5. Closing section. Use the final part of your letter to invite the hiring manager to arrange an interview with you. A postscript is a clever addition that can highlight one final achievement and leave a lasting impression.


Your first paragraph needs to make an impact so that the hiring manager keeps reading. It should also express your interest in the position. The best way to do this is to choose one of your biggest achievements and build your introduction around it. Pick something that shows you’re qualified for the job, and try to find an accomplishment that’s quantifiable. Avoid generic facts, as these can easily be found in your resume.

Taking the lead in designing the student vegetable plot in a community garden was one of my greatest achievements during my time pursuing a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree. The plot is now both educational and productive, and I hope to bring the same level of creativity to Liana Landscaping as a junior landscape architect.

My name is Lily Jackson, and I’m currently completing my Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. I believe the skills and knowledge I have learned during my study make me the perfect candidate for your junior landscape architect position.

Body Paragraphs

Start the body of your cover letter by expressing admiration for the organization that’s advertising, as well as your interest in the position. Include specific details so the hiring manager can see you’re not sending a generic cover letter.

In the next paragraph, list your relevant achievements. These can include educational degrees, successful projects, and transferable skills. Think about the experience you gained while studying for your degree, such as during internships or a part-time job. Include positive outcomes for all your examples, so the hiring manager can visualize the success you’ll bring to their company.

With three internships over the course of my degree, I’m drawn to Liana Landscaping’s reputation for creating striking and sustainable landscapes. Liana’s emphasis on bringing beauty to urban areas is the ideal fit for my innovative design style.

I’m excited to help the Liana Landscaping team continue to achieve success. Some of my accomplishments during my internships and study include:

Your job advertisement mentions that you’re looking for a recent university graduate. I will be graduating very soon and would love to work for Liana Landscaping.

Over the course of my studies, I have gained the following experience:

The best closing paragraphs encourage the hiring manager to take action by scheduling an interview. If you just thank the hiring manager for their time and attention, they may not take the next step.

If you want your college cover letter to get extra credit, add a postscript to feature one final achievement you want the hiring manager to know about. This helps leave a lasting impression.

I’d like the opportunity to discuss how my skills and knowledge can help Liana Landscaping continue to build a reputation for stunning design. Please feel free to contact me to arrange an interview at a time that suits your schedule.

Best regards,

Lily Jackson

Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. If I can clarify any points, or provide further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Other Resume & Cover Letter Examples

Dear Recent College Grads, Here's How to Write a Great Cover Letter

Hot jobs on the muse.

person sitting on a couch working on a laptop

A job search can quickly become a full-time job on its own. As a recent graduate looking for your next step, you might be tempted to attach your resume and click apply without bothering to send an accompanying cover letter. But taking the time to write one is worth the effort. This is the only place where you have free rein to explain why you’re interested in the job and how exactly you’re a good match. A compelling letter makes it so much easier for the reader to think, “ Yes! Let’s interview them!”

In my experience as a hiring manager, a cover letter can make or break my interest in moving forward with a candidate. If an application doesn’t include one, I’m almost certain to pass unless the resume is pretty much a perfect match. Admittedly, there are other recruiters and hiring managers who don’t look at the cover letter at all—but it’s best to assume that they will (it certainly beats wondering if you didn’t make the cut just because you didn’t send one!). And even if they don’t read it, you’re still ahead of the game in your preparation if you get called for an interview.

The basics of a cover letter boil down to this outline:

Four paragraphs should be a breeze—I bet you’ve written plenty of assignments longer than that to earn your degree! So how can you leverage your letter to effectively win over the recruiter or hiring manager even as a new grad who doesn’t have much experience?

Here are seven tips along with an example of what a recent college graduate cover letter could look like.

1. Tell Them Who You Are

Right off the bat, the person reading your letter is going to want to know some basic information in the introductory paragraph—like a quick synopsis of who you are, what you’re applying for, and why you’re interested in this opportunity. Sharing up front that you’re a recent grad signals that you’re likely able to be onboarded quickly, which is great if they need an expedited hiring process (or if they’re looking to train new talent). Here’s what a quick opening might look like:

Dear Mr. Fortman,

I am excited to submit my application for the UX Designer opening at CompanyDesign. As a recent graduate with a software engineering degree from Big State University, I am confident I could contribute to the success of your team.

2. Highlight Why This Company

Once you introduce yourself, it’s time to tell the reader why you’re trying to land a job at this specific organization. Showing them clearly and explicitly why you’re interested, excited, or passionate about the work they do and explaining how you’re connected to it can help convince them to add you to their interview list.

If you have some sort of contact at the company—someone at the company referred you, you spoke to a recruiter at your college’s career fair or info session, or you have a friend who interned there—mention what you learned from them and how what they shared makes you feel this would be an exciting opportunity and a good fit. Be specific where you can. If you were applying for that UX design role, you might say:

In February, I had the pleasure of speaking with Allison Ro from the product team at a career panel on campus. After learning about the company’s focus on human-centered design and your multidisciplinary team approach to creating products that improve the world, I knew CompanyDesign was where I wanted to work.

If you don’t have any “ins” at the company or first-hand information like this, don’t worry! You can do a bit of sleuthing and research in other ways. What can you find on their website or Muse profile about their work that excites you? Do they have values that are top priorities for you—like sustainability? Check out their mission page to find out! Is their work culture the type of environment where you can thrive and contribute? Have they been in the news recently for innovation or a new product? Find some nuggets of information that resonate with you and weave those specifics into answering the all-important “ Why this company? ” question. 

No matter where you got your information, you want to show you understand the company and what you can add as a new hire. Conveying an interest and excitement for working specifically for this job at this company—rather than a desire to get any job at any company that’ll pay you a salary—can go a long way. After all, it can be easier to hire someone who is super into the work you do and needs a bit of training over someone with all the skills who doesn’t care about the work or mesh with the team.

3. Identify Their Needs for This Role

Once you’ve connected at a higher level with the company, the next two paragraphs can help you stand out as a top candidate if you align yourself and your skills closely with what the company needs. Unlike cover letters you may have written when applying to internships , where it may make sense to talk about being excited for the learning opportunity, your focus as a new grad seeking full-time employment should shift to how you can meet the company’s needs. It’s all about how you can contribute to their success rather than the other way around.

The best way to do this is to identify the top skills and qualities for the role and explicitly match those with what you have to offer. Use the job description as your blueprint. Typically, the most important attributes of the role will be mentioned higher up in the description. Pay attention to themes that are repeated throughout, too. If they mention design skills, or aspects of design, in multiple spots that’s an area you should highlight. If they mention collaboration, teamwork, and communication, that’s another clue for a theme you should address.

Unfortunately, not all job descriptions are detailed. If you need more information to figure out what recruiters and hiring managers are looking for, see if you can find a person currently (or previously) in this role—or a similar role—at the company by searching on LinkedIn. You’re likely to get some good insights from their experience entries or the recommendations their colleagues or clients wrote for them. If you have any connections at the company you may be able to get a better sense of what they look for through an informational interview . However, be mindful not to wait too long to get your application in!

4. Demonstrate Your Value—Show, Don’t Tell

Once you’ve done some reconnaissance, pick three or four of the main themes you identified that correlate to the skills, strengths, and attributes you have. Your goal in the next couple of paragraphs of your cover letter will be to share a few stories that demonstrate how you’ll bring those skills, strengths, and attributes to the position.

Having recently graduated, you may be applying to your very first full-time job or trying to get your foot in the door in a role or field you don’t have direct experience in. That’s OK! College classes, internships, research experiences, part-time jobs, work-study programs, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and personal projects can all be used as examples to back up and show your value to the employer. And you can always highlight transferable and additive skills .

If you’re applying to a marketing job and you didn’t land a marketing internship before you graduated, for example, you may have had a relevant class project or gained experience using a similar skill set when you advertised events as a Resident Assistant. Maybe you had a work-study job at the campus bookstore and you maintained its social media pages, or you were in charge of recruiting new students to your student club and increased the membership. Perhaps you had a job where you had to be a data whiz in a fast-paced and collaborative environment and that could be an added benefit to this employer. Find the connections between some of the skills you used in these situations—advertising, telling a story to reach your audience, increasing engagement, and making data-informed decisions—and explain how they can transfer into what was outlined in the job description.

One common pitfall to avoid as a new grad is highlighting things you don’t specifically have yet. If you’re leading with a negative like, “Although I don’t have…”—skip it! Jump right to what you were going to say next. So instead of saying:

Although I don’t have experience with Tableau, I have experience leveraging analytics to make data informed decisions using Looker.

You should just say:

I have experience leveraging analytics to make data informed decisions using Looker.

Remember, with these paragraphs you want to tell a compelling story. Don’t just reiterate the facts on your resume. Take time to highlight the theme(s) you’re focusing on at the beginning of the paragraph. Next, show you have these qualities instead of just saying you have them with nothing to back it up. Share an example that highlights the value you added and connects back to the job opportunity. So if you’re applying for a data analyst role, your paragraph might look like this:

I have experience using business intelligence software and leveraging analytics to make data-informed decisions. While interning at Startup, I used Looker to analyze customer service ratings and identified trends that correlated with high satisfaction ratings. I presented the data to my team along with three key recommendations that I predicted could increase overall customer service ratings by 10%. I discovered that I most enjoy trying to understand the “why” behind the data and translating that into strategies for improvement. I would be thrilled to apply this same motivation to help A-Company manage and gain insights from their data to drive innovation.

5. Show Off Those Soft Skills

When reviewing the job and deciding what to highlight, remember that soft skills , like collaboration and communication, are often highly sought after as well. Technical skills are no use to an employer if you can’t communicate with a client or lead a project to completion. If these skills frequently show up in a job description you may choose to highlight them in a separate paragraph. You can also demonstrate them within stories that showcase your technical themes.

Group projects for internships or classes are prime experiences that can help you highlight many interpersonal skills . Collaborative work, like being on athletic teams or in student clubs, are also gold mines to draw upon as examples.

A word of caution: I often see new grads relay the entire story from the group “we” perspective, which can be detrimental as the employer doesn’t know what you did. It’s important to give context about the makeup of the team, and certainly give credit where credit is due, but then it’s most useful to transition and describe what responsibilities you had, how you contributed to the overall project, and what the outcome was. Here’s an example of how to set up that transition:

Through my Business Insights class, I was part of a team of four students tasked with developing and pitching a new business idea. Once we landed on an idea for a new food delivery service targeting college students, I led our efforts on market analysis...

6. Keep Connecting Back to the Company

Instead of calling it quits after highlighting relevant past experiences and demonstrating your skills and qualities, be sure to tell the reader how what you’re sharing matches with the role and company. This takes the guesswork out of how or if you might be a fit. Don’t assume they’ll make the connections themselves. Spell them out and make them impossible to miss! 

You might be noticing a theme here: You should keep looping back to the specific role and company you’re applying for at every turn. From the intro to the experience paragraphs to the closing, you can only strengthen your cover letter by directly aligning yourself with this opportunity.

7. Watch Your Formatting

The content of your letter is most important, but here are some helpful formatting tips for traditional cover letters if you’re new to writing them.

The top of your document should include the following information:

If you’re writing the cover letter directly in an email, then you can skip those details at the top. But either way, try to include the name of the person to whom you are writing in your greeting. It’s always best if you can find the recruiter or the supervisor for the position so you can address your cover letter to them. If you can’t, then go with something more general like, “ Dear Hiring Manager,” or “ Dear Editorial Team .” Just stay far away from, “ To Whom It May Concern ”!

A few additional pointers:

What Does a Good Recent Grad Cover Letter Look Like?

So what does all of this actually look like in practice? Below is a sample cover letter for an entry-level job. Anything in bold directly aligns this candidate with the job description.

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am excited to apply for the Content Specialist (Req. #04321) opening at Consumer P. Company. As a recent graduate from Local College with a communications major and a digital media concentration, I have a passion for elevating consumer products that change the world . After speaking with Tanya Jones at our spring career fair and learning about CPC’s fast-paced environment, collaborative spirit, and goal to reach its audience in creative ways, I knew this role would be perfect. I admire CPC’s mission to design five-star products that make life easier and believe my knowledge and experiences would allow me to add value to the marketing team.

Through my internship at ContentCo I gained hands-on experience in understanding consumer insights, building partnerships with influencers , and developing content strategies . Working on a tight deadline prior to a new product launch, my fellow intern and I gathered early user testimonials, stories, and media . I also developed a short video mockup for a social media campaign that I’m proud to say was selected to be part of the launch. I would be eager to bring these same skills and passion for storytelling to CPC’s brand and world-class products.

During my time at Local College I also gained experience interpreting data and leading social media campaigns. As part of a semester-long project, my group collaborated with a local bakery on their marketing strategies . I led our efforts to launch a new Instagram account and was responsible for data collection and interpretation . Our client implement ed several of our recommendations, which resulted in an increase in social media traffic and purchases. I was particularly motivated by the bakery’s commitment to the community—donating daily to local food pantries—and am excited to know CPC similarly values giving back to the community.

Through my internship and academic experiences in communications, along with my involvement in our college chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), where I learned new trends for innovation in design , I have developed a strong skill set to add value as a CPC Content Specialist. I would be thrilled to speak with you further about how I can contribute to the marketing team. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Patrick Lai

what to include in a cover letter for college

College Senior Cover Letter Sample and Writing Tips

Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.

what to include in a cover letter for college

Cover Letter Challenges for College Seniors

Example job description, analyze and respond to the job description, how to structure your cover letter, sample cover letter for a college senior.

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A cover letter for your first professional position after graduation should highlight both your academic experiences and your past work experience if you have it.

Include your academic concentration, especially if it's relevant to the position you're applying for, along with your personal experience. If you have held leadership roles in college, volunteer, or community organizations, these should also be mentioned since they will help to demonstrate your self-motivation, work ethic, team-building talents , and organizational skills.

Key Takeaways

How do you build a convincing cover letter when you have little or no work experience? The trick is to first list the qualifications and/or requirements that are defined in the description of the job you’re applying for. Take, for example, a job description like this example for an entry-level position in an art gallery. As you read a job description, bold-face the most essential skills it lists. You’ll want to respond directly to these in your cover letter.

“We are seeking an entry-level Gallery / Marketing Assistant to provide world-class customer service to our patrons at our gallery shop in Saratoga Springs’ dynamic Beekman Street Art District. You must also be willing to perform basic administrative tasks as warranted.

RESPONSIBILITIES: This full time (40 hour a week) role, M–F 9 AM–5:00 PM, will include the following duties and responsibilities:


After analyzing the description, it’s time to list examples of how you meet these qualifications and requirements. From the text of this description, it’s clear that this will be a customer-facing position, so you’ll have to demonstrate in your cover letter that you’re a “people person” and “team player” who has experience communicating one-on-one with strangers.

You’ll also need to describe any web content/blogging and clerical/administrative experience you have. If you have no professional work experience, then think of examples where you have used these skills as a community volunteer, a club member, or during your academic training.

1. Opening paragraph : Introduce yourself, specify the job you're applying for, state how you learned about it, and mention whether a personal connection referred you.

2. Second paragraph:  Establish an immediate connection between yourself and the employer by proving that you’ve taken the time to research their organization in depth. Read the company's blog posts; research their social media presence and news releases. Then use this information in a statement or two that shows you’ve done your homework and expresses your enthusiasm for the organization.

3. Third paragraph:  State how your personal traits and experiences meet the specific job requirements, using short anecdotes and examples to illustrate the special expertise that will distinguish you from your competition.

Quantifying achievements or previous work examples with numbers or percentages can make your cover letter stand out.

4. Fourth paragraph: Thank the hiring manager for their consideration, reiterate your enthusiasm for the job, and ask that they respond to your application.

This is an example of a cover letter for a college senior. Download the college senior cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.

Sample Cover Letter for a College Senior (Text Version)

Harper Applicant 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 555-555-5555

September 1, 2018

Paul Lee Director, Human Resources New Age Gallery 123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321

Dear Mr. Lee,

As a graduating senior from ABC University’s Museum Studies Department (with a minor in Marketing), I was excited to discover your May 25 th posting on for a Gallery / Marketing Assistant at New Age Gallery.

Saratoga Springs’ Beekman Street art scene is one of the most exciting venues in New York – several our artists in residence at ABC University have shown there, and Amy Renoir in particular speaks highly of her experience coordinating her well-received “Memories in Black” exhibition at New Age Gallery in 20xx. My goal in gaining my degree in Museum Studies has always been to promote the contemporary art scene, and I can think of no place better to launch my career than at New Age Gallery.

Academically, my extensive coursework as an honors student in Museum Studies has enabled me to gain an understanding of how exhibits are coordinated and marketed. As part of my capstone Arts Management course, I worked as an intern for the ABC University Museum. My responsibilities in this role included conducting gallery tours, manning the reception desk and answering phones, creating effective promotions (within a tight deadline) for an upcoming exhibition, and changing out art descriptions on their website. I also coordinated a “meet and greet” happy hour with local artists Mike Angelo, R. M. Brandt, and Hal Bein that raised more than $8000 for our “Friends of the Museum” fund.

Eager to learn more about your gallery operations, I would welcome the opportunity for a personal interview. Please let me know if there is any other information I can offer to support my candidacy for the Gallery / Marketing Assistant position; I hope to hear from you soon.

Harper Applicant

Resume Example and Tips: Resume Sample for a College Senior

More Sample Cover Letters Here you will find cover letter samples for a variety of career fields and employment levels, including an internship cover letter sample and entry-level, targeted, and email cover letters.

How long should it take to write a college cover letter?

Writing a cover letter from scratch should take about 20 to 30 minutes, according to career coaches. If you're applying for similar jobs, you may be able to repurpose a previously used cover letter to save time, but each should be distinguishable.

How do you end a college cover letter?

The last paragraph of your cover letter should thank the company for considering you for the position and reiterate your excitement about the position. Any business closings are appropriate to sign off.

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North Central College. " Writing a Recent Graduate Cover Letter. "

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Ask A Manager. " How Long Should You Spend Writing a Cover Letter ?"

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Click here to directly go to the complete college student cover letter sample

How to write a cover letter for college student?

A college is probably your first exposure to the job market.

If you are a college grad student, you probably do not have much experience in the workforce. And, this makes the task of writing a cover letter for college student with no experience more challenging.

In the USA, the job market is fiercely competitive. According to , around 4 million college students graduate every year.

That means you have to compete with 4 million other candidates to get a job.

In this fierce competition, how will you get noticed?

With your cover letter for college students.

In this Cover letter for college students blog, we will tell you everything about

Why Do You Need a Cover Letter for a College Student?

You will probably start searching for a job in college, and a cover letter is a professional letter that will accompany your resume and talk about your academic achievements and how you think you will benefit the company.

When you are a grad student, you probably will not have a ton of experience to show in your cover letter when applying for a job. But you can show a variety of other skills and achievements in your college student cover letter.

For starters, if you are a grad student and have a GPA over 3.5, you can proudly highlight that in your cover letter. In addition to that, you can include internships, volunteer work, academic achievements, participation in extracurricular activities, leadership roles you have taken in your college.

One of the best things you can highlight in your cover letter for college students is soft skills. It will help the recruiters gauge your competency and how well you will fit in the organization. Here are some soft skills that you can include in your cover letter for college student with no experience:

Sample cover letter for college student

[ Back to Table of Content ]

Here is a sample cover letter for college students:

How to Write a Cover Letter for College Students: Step by Step Guide

If you see any professional cover letter, you will notice that all the professional cover letters follow similar formatting.

Cover Letter for College Students - Header

Like any other professional cover letters, you need to include all the necessary information in your cover letter header. Here is a list of things you need to include in your cover letter header:

Here is an cover letter example college student - header section:


Cover Letter College Student - Address

Most of the college students make the mistake of sending the cover letter with a generic salutation like " To whom it may concern " or simply "Dear Hiring Manager" . Some college students go one step further and address the cover informally like this: " Hi Hiring Manager ,"

The first thing you need to do when addressing your cover letter is trying to find the hiring manager's name. You can easily do it by a quick Linkedin search. If you don't find the hiring manager's name online, try calling the company office and ask for the hiring manager's name.

Even then, if you don't get the hiring manager's name, use a generic salutation. But do not use "To whom it may concern". It's an old salutation and doesn't attract the hiring manager's attention anymore.

You can further personalize the generic salutation by addressing the cover letter to the department you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a job in the marketing department, address like this: "Dear Marketing Hiring Manager,"

If the hiring manager has an academic or professional title, do not forget to include that in the salutation,

Cover letter examples for college students - Salutation:

Cover Letter College Student - Introduction

We always say that start your cover letter with a powerful opening paragraph highlighting your experience or skills, But when you are in college, you do not have any experience to show.

But, that should not restrain you from highlighting your skills in the cover letter first paragraph.

Note: Don't just mention skills randomly; instead, read the job description carefully and mention the relevant skills for the job you are applying for.

Two ways to create a perfect cover letter for college students first paragraph:

Highlighting Your Achievements

Sure, you don't have any tangible professional experience, but you must have done other activities in your college days such as internships, volunteer work, independent research, etc. You can mention those in the first paragraph of your cover letter as achievements.

Cover letter example college student - Introduction

Tell the Hiring Manager You are Excited About the Opportunity

This will probably be your first job, and you are genuinely enthusiastic about this opportunity. Don't shy away from showing your enthusiasm in the cover letter.

Note : These are only examples. There are multiple other ways to write your cover letter introduction. A rule of thumb is to try and make your college cover letter introduction as personalized as possible. For instance:

No matter what you do, make sure that your college cover letter introduction is highly personalized and specific.

Cover Letter College Student - Main Body

Well done! You have successfully hooked the hiring manager.

Now you have come to one of the essential parts of your resume- the main body.

In this section, you have to describe your experience and achievements relevant to the job you are applying for, followed by another section where you say why you want to join the organization.

Let us see some examples of College Student Cover Letter - Main Body.

Owing to the values and the passion for excellence that ABC Technologies have showcased to date has been nothing short of extraordinary. Therefore, I consider ABC Technologies to be my most preferred employer.

Note : See, this is a perfect example of a college student cover letter main body. It accurately describes all your skills and achievements in the first paragraph and shows why you want to work with the organization.

I want to work with ABC Technologies because I am always interested in data analysis and I believe my experience will benefit the organization and help me grow as a person.

Note : This example does not show any tangible achievements and does not impress the hiring manager.

The passion for excellence that Lemon Media House has showcased to date has been nothing short of extraordinary. I am awed by its relentless commitment to helping small and medium businesses grow with the help of online media. Owing to such values, I consider Lemon Media House to be my most preferred employer.

Note : Notice that the candidate is showing his/her achievements with the first paragraph.

I believe my interest and work experience as a digital marketing associate makes me an ideal candidate for the Digital Marketing Assistant position in Lemon Media House.

Note :The candidate is not quantifying their achievements. And it sounds cheesy.

Cover Letter for College Students - Closure

You now have one last job to create a near-perfect college student cover letter.

You need to write a powerful closing statement for your cover letter and include a call to action to get invited for an interview.

Do not write CTAs like this:

Instead, be professional in the call to action and give the hiring manager a little something to look forward to.

I have enclosed my resume for your consideration. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss my suitability and qualifications with you on call or in person.

Sincerely, John Doe

Enclosure: Resume

Thank you for considering my application. I have attached my resume below. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss my qualifications and experience for the position.

Cheers, John Doe

Note : "Cheers" is not at all formal. The hiring manager is not your friend. It might work if you know the hiring manager personally, but if not, avoid using any informal closing in your college cover letter.

College Student Cover Letter- Formal Closing Salutation

There is not one, but many formal closing salutations you can use on your cover letter

Avoid informal closing salutation such as,

Cover letter for college students - Correct Formatting

Writing a perfect college student cover letter is not the end of the story.

If your cover letter content is top-notch and it is presented poorly, you will not get any interview in the end.

So, make sure that your cover letter is professionally formatted, readable, and error-free before sending it to the recruiter.

Tips to format a college student cover letter for internship or job:

Your college student cover letter should not be more than one page and should only consist of 3 to 4 paragraphs. There is no ideal word count for cover letters, but it should wrap up within 500 words.

Cover Letter Font

The college student's cover letter's presentation is as important as the content of the cover letter. So, make sure to use a clear and simple font to write your cover letter. These fonts are easy to read and look clean.

Apart from that, many cover letters go through application tracking systems before reaching the hiring managers. And these application tracking systems work best with clean and simple fonts.

Fonts you can use:

Note : Make sure to set the font size to 12-14 points.

Cover Letter Margin

Speaking of business letter format, ideally, your cover letter margins should be 1". But if the cover letter is exceeding the 1-page mark, then you can try to reduce the margins to ¾" or ½."

But avoid reducing even further. Then your cover letter won't look good.

Cover Letter Whitespace

Make sure to leave plenty of whitespace at the start of the cover letter, between the paragraphs, and after closure. The more whitespace, the easier it is to read the cover letter.

You do not want to send a cover letter full of grammatical errors. So take your time to proofread your cover letter a couple of times before sending it to the hiring manager.

File Format

Do not send your cover letter in .DOCX format. Instead, send your cover letter in PDF format. It will keep the cover letter layout intact.

Cover Letter for College Students - Checklist

This checklist will guide you to write a cover letter for yourself Cover letter header including your name, contact information, location

Tips for Writing a Cover Letter for College Student

Go beyond your resume.

Your college student cover letter should not be an exact copy of your resume. Instead, it should elaborate what skills you can bring to the organization.

For your cover letter, pick two or three relevant skills that you want to highlight and demonstrate how you have successfully helped others with your skills.

As a college student, highlight transferable skills in your cover letter, such as team management, leadership skills, communication skills, etc. And give examples of your skills with your volunteer work, internships, project works etc.

Customize Your College Student Cover Letter for Every Job

Hiring managers are experienced enough to tell if you have provided them with a generic cover letter or not.

It is one of the most common mistakes college students make to apply for multiple jobs quickly. It is also the most common reason why candidates do not get a reply from the hiring manager.

Instead of sending a generic cover letter to everyone, put some effort into researching the company and write the cover letter targeted to the specific job you are applying for.

Do Not Come off as Over-excited or Apologetic

Nobody likes a passive person. The biggest mistake you can make in your college student cover letter is coming off as apologetic for your lack of experience or over-enthusiast for getting into the workforce.

Your approach should be bold and strong. Instead of apologizing, describe your skills you have gathered in your college experience.

Avoid Generic Soft Skills

Show Some Personality

Cover letters are not just a place to describe your qualifications; it's also a place to show your personality.

So, keep your cover letter professional but avoid using unnatural language like "I would like to express my sincere gratitude for considering my application." Instead, write the way you talk.

Additionally, you can add some comments on how much you love the company culture or the job you are applying for.

Key Takeaways

With that, we have come to the end of this blog. Now, let us check out some of the key takeaways from the college student cover letter blog:

If you want to create a college student cover letter, go to Hiration Cover Letter Builder and choose from 20+ templates to create a professional cover letter for yourself.

Go to Hiration career platform which has 24/7 chat support and get professional assistance with all your job & career-related queries. You can also write to us at [email protected] and we will make sure to reach out to you as soon as possible.

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what to include in a cover letter for college

Academic Cover Letter Sample

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When you're applying for a faculty position with a college or university, the cover letter is your first chance to make a strong impression as a promising researcher and teacher. Below you'll find some strategies for presenting your qualifications effectively in an academic context.

November 2, 1998

Dr. Naomi Sellers Chair, English Search Committee Box 58 Baxter College Arcadia, WV 24803

Dear Dr. Sellers:

I am writing to apply for the position as assistant professor of English with an emphasis in rhetoric and composition that you advertised in the October MLA Job Information List. I am a graduate student at Prestigious University working on a dissertation under the direction of Professor Prominent Figure. Currently revising the third of five chapters, I expect to complete all work for the Ph.D. by May of 1999. I believe that my teaching and tutoring experience combined with my course work and research background in rhetoric and composition theory make me a strong candidate for the position outlined in your notice.

As my curriculum vitae shows, I have had excellent opportunities to teach a variety of writing courses during my graduate studies, including developmental writing, first-year writing for both native speakers and second language students, advanced writing, and business writing. I have also worked as a teaching mentor for new graduate students, a position that involved instruction in methods of composition teaching, development of course materials, and evaluation of new graduate instructors. Among the most satisfying experiences for me as a teacher has been instructing students on an individual basis as a tutor in our university Writing Lab. Even as a classroom instructor, I find that I always look forward to the individual conferences that I hold with my students several times during the semester because I believe this kind of one-on-one interaction to be essential to their development as writers.

My work in the composition classroom has provided me with the inspiration as well as a kind of laboratory for my dissertation research. My project, The I Has It: Applications of Recent Models of Subjectivity in Composition Theory, examines the shift since the 1960s from expressive models of writing toward now-dominant postmodern conceptions of decentered subjectivity and self-construction through writing. I argue that these more recent theoretical models, while promising, cannot have the liberating effects that are claimed for them without a concomitant reconception of writing pedagogy and the dynamics of the writing classroom. I relate critical readings of theoretical texts to my own pedagogical experiments as a writing teacher, using narratives of classroom successes and failures as the bases for critical reflection on postmodern composition theory. After developing my dissertation into a book manuscript, I plan to continue my work in current composition theory through a critical examination of the rhetoric of technological advancement in the computer-mediated writing classroom.

My interest in the computer classroom has grown out of recent experience teaching composition in that environment. In these courses my students have used computers for writing and turning in notes and essays, communicating with one another and with me, conducting library catalogue research and web research, and creating websites. I have encouraged my students to think and write critically about their experiences with technology, both in my class and elsewhere, even as we have used technology to facilitate our work in the course. Syllabi and other materials for my writing courses can be viewed at my website: In all of my writing courses I encourage students to become critical readers, thinkers, and writers; my goal is always not only to promote their intellectual engagement with cultural texts of all kinds but also to help them become more discerning readers of and forceful writers about the world around them.

I have included my curriculum vitae and would be happy to send you additional materials such as a dossier of letters of reference, writing samples, teaching evaluations, and past and proposed course syllabi. I will be available to meet with you for an interview at either the MLA or the CCCC convention, or elsewhere at your convenience. I can be reached at my home phone number before December 19; between then and the start of the MLA convention, you can reach me at (123) 456-7890. I thank you for your consideration and look forward to hearing from you.

First Lastname

Points to Remember

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College Application Letters: Cover Letters & Letters of Continued Interest

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College Application Letters

College application cover letters support your college applications, college resume, and college application essay prompts. In combination with the other elements of your college applications, particularly your college entrance essay, college application letters help establish your “why.” In short, a college application letter is a cover letter for your college applications that describes your background, skills, and interest in the school. When looking at college application cover letter examples, pay attention to the values that they express. College application letters and college entrance essays are similar in that they are exercises in personal branding. When reading college application cover letter examples, pay attention to the messages they convey. 

If you’re wondering how to write a college application letter, has advisors who can walk you through every part of the process. If your goal is to get into top colleges, can help. We’ll analyze examples of college application letters and discuss the letter of continued interest to help you craft successful applications. 

In this guide, we’ll break down the different kinds of college application letters you may encounter when completing your college applications. We’ll discuss the college application letter and the letter of continued interest, as well as teacher recommendation letters.

If you want to read college application cover letter samples, you’ve come to the right place!

What is a college application letter?

To learn how to write a college application letter, you must first understand its purpose. Do this by checking out college application cover letter examples. College application letters and college resumes serve as introductions for your college applications. Unlike college application essay prompts, there are no specific questions to answer in your cover letter. Instead, include the essential elements of university application letters: your background, what makes you unique, and your reasons for wanting to attend that particular college. In short, what makes you, you .

As you’ll see when reading example college application letters, college application cover letters are not all that different from what you would write in a cover letter when applying for a job or graduate school. The purpose of college application cover letters, college entrance essays, and college resumes is to persuade colleges that you are the strongest candidate for admissions. 

College application cover letters are not the time to be shy, but they’re not the time to be pretentious either. When reading college application cover letter examples, you’ll see that there’s a fine line. Your tone matters. In your university application letters, show your experiences and accomplishments while portraying character traits that colleges value. To get into top colleges, find a balance between being proud of your accomplishments and being humble.

College application letters – Who requires them?

Unlike college entrance essays, college application letters are required by very few colleges. However, the skills you’ll develop by writing university application letters will serve you well as you approach your college application essay prompts. When researching college application examples, you’ll notice that there are optional materials to submit. If you’re serious about your college applications, submit university application letters to show your interest. 

College application cover letters are particularly effective if the college does not have college application essay prompts that ask you to explain why you want to attend the school and/or why you want to study your major. They are even more strongly recommended when applying to colleges that don’t have any supplemental essays. You’ll see many college application cover letter examples that focus primarily on academics, but you can include so much more.

Though university application letters are rarely required, they provide an ideal way to introduce yourself. After all, you’ll notice when reading college application cover letter samples that the goal is to help the admissions committee get to know you as a person. You are more than just your grades and scores.

If you want to get into top colleges that don’t allow you to submit a college resume or don’t provide interviews, you need to take extra steps to earn acceptance. Often, you can repurpose content from college application essay prompts that ask why you want to study your major! The college application essay format differs from that of a college application letter, but they serve a very similar purpose.

What is a letter of continued interest?

A letter of continued interest (LOCI) is a letter you send to a college when you are deferred or placed on the waitlist. So, not everyone will need to write a college application letter of continued interest.

Your letter of continued interest has three primary goals: 

In this guide on how to write a college application letter, we discuss all forms of college application letters in detail. We’ll expand on the above goals to explain the strategies for writing effective letters.

Explaining teacher recommendation letters 

In addition to submitting a college application cover letter and, potentially, a letter of continued interest, your application will also include recommendation letters . These letters enhance your college application entrance essay and build on answers to supplemental college application essay prompts. 

Due to the shift away from standardized testing, other parts of your college applications are inevitably getting more attention in the evaluation process. When assessing your college applications, admissions committees will often rely on letters from your teachers and counselor in place of interviews.

When reading sample college application letters of recommendation, you’ll observe that some are better than others. But, it can be a bit harder to find example teacher recommendations than it is to find college application cover letter examples. To ensure high-quality letters, create a plan well in advance of your senior year. You’ll want to ask teachers to write your recommendations who know you best beyond your grades. The strongest sample college application letters of recommendation speak to both your personal and academic strengths. 

College application sample recommendation letters with the biggest impact typically come from teachers from your core junior year courses – math, science, English, and social studies. If there’s a teacher from your junior year who taught you during your sophomore or senior year too, even better! Teachers who know you through multiple environments – clubs, classes, sports, or other areas – can often do the best job speaking to your growth and achievement over time. 

Choose teachers who know you best

Ultimately, the most effective sample college application letters of recommendation are written by the teachers who know you best. Pay attention to the college application requirements for each school on your list. Note when reading example college application letters of recommendation who the intended audience is. Some schools require math or science teachers for STEM and business majors , while others require English or social studies teachers for humanities majors .

For example, when looking at college application sample requirements, MIT writes “One recommendation should be from a math or science teacher, and one should be from a humanities, social science, or language teacher.” Caltech also requires one math or science teacher evaluation and one humanities or social sciences teacher evaluation. 

Some applicants are tempted to send more letters than the college applications require. However, aim for quality over quantity. If you want to ask another teacher to write a recommendation letter for you, ask yourself what perspective they will bring to your college applications that isn’t already covered in your college entrance essay or other recommendation letters. 

Don’t hesitate to provide materials to help your teachers and guidance counselor write their letters of recommendation for you. In fact, you should! When reading college application sample letters of recommendation, you’ll note that they are specific and provide examples where possible. Some teachers will even have you fill out a standard form to gather information from you. So, by having additional information already prepared, you are helping them tremendously. 

Here are some materials you can provide to help your recommendations augment your college applications:

When preparing materials to give to teachers, read the instructions given to recommenders by MIT. Even if you aren’t applying to MIT, the information can still be helpful to know. By understanding the process of writing recommendation letters on the teacher’s side, you can see what information will help them write a strong letter for you. 

Don’t wait until you’re submitting your college applications to ask your teachers for recommendations. Some teachers limit the number that they will write, and you want them to have plenty of time to write a quality recommendation. To make sure you have the best recommendations , ask teachers late in your junior year or early in your senior year.

The College Application Letter

As we’ve mentioned, a college application letter is a cover letter for your college applications. It describes your background, skills, and interest in the school. It’s different from both the college application essay format and the letter of continued interest. When reviewing college application samples, you’ll see that your cover letter works together with your college resume and college entrance essay to help admissions officers get to know you. 

Below, we’ll discuss how to write a college application letter and walk through a sample college application letter. But remember, you want your letter to be original! Don’t feel limited by what’s in any examples of college application letters.

Do all schools require a college application letter?

No — few schools actually require college application letters. However, learning to write a strong college application letter can help you in other aspects of the college admissions process. Reading college application cover letter examples can also help you learn how to write for the admissions committee audience. 

One of the ways to learn how to write a college application letter is to read sample college application letters. For instance, the same skills that help you write a strong and concise college application letter will help you in the college essay format, too.

The college application letter – What should I include?

So, you know the purpose of college application letters, but what should you include in them? Reading college application cover letter samples can help you determine this. While the college application essay format lends itself to focusing on one topic or story, college application cover letter examples highlight the importance of covering several different topics.

College application letters should contain the following elements: 

1. school name and address.

You college application letter should follow formal letter formatting guidelines, which include writing the full name of the college or university you are applying to in the upper left hand corner of the letter. Try to be as specific as possible with the address you choose to use.

2. Salutation

A standard salutation is suitable for your college application letter. However, it is a great idea to do your research and use the full name of the admissions officer assigned to your region.

3. Introduction

The best examples of college application letters open strong. Thank the admissions committee for reviewing your application, and introduce yourself. Do you have a unique connection to the school? Can you hook the reader in some way to make them want to keep reading?

4. Explanation of academic interests

Your primary purpose in college is to earn a degree, so notice that in example college application letters most of the space is often devoted to discussing academic plans. Include your intended major and career path, as well as interdisciplinary interests.

5. Discussion of extracurricular interests

The college application essay format may be a place for you to discuss extracurricular involvement, so use this space to elaborate or discuss additional interests. These could be connected to your academic plans, but they don’t have to be.

6. Conclusion

Express your interest in the school! Impactful example college application letters have a clear and brief conclusion that reaffirms your desire to attend and enthusiasm for the opportunity to join the next class of undergraduates. Point to specific classes, professors, programs, organizations, and aspects of the college that pique your interest. No one is going to hold you to your plan, but colleges want to see that you have one.

8. Complimentary Close

Lastly, every good college application letter should include an expression of gratitude alongside your close and your signature.

college application letter

In the example of a college application letter above, there are a few key details to highlight. The letter is essentially a five-paragraph essay, with one paragraph for each of the five elements. This differs significantly from the college application essay format. In this college application example, the college application letter has clear and distinct sections, and this is very common in college application cover letter samples.

Depending on your interests and plans, you could take a more integrated approach. You’ll read some examples of college application letters that center around a theme or broad plan rather than separated into individual paragraphs.

This sample college application letter is a narrative. The applicant’s goal is to tell her story to the admissions committee. The best sample college application letters paint a picture for the reader and draw the reader into the storyline. Though it can feel like being vivid and descriptive is a waste of your space, “showing instead of telling makes for stronger college applications.

How to format your college application letter?

When reading sample college application letters, you’ll observe that they are formatted very similarly to professional cover letters. Your university application letters should be one page single-spaced. The heading should also be consistent across college application letters. 

Then, open your letter with a salutation. Many examples of college application letters open with “Dear” and are addressed to the admission officer. If you cannot find your regional admissions officer, it is fine to address the letter to the admissions office as was done in the sample college application letter above. Once you write the body of your letter, don’t forget your closing salutation – “Sincerely,” and then your name. 

Once you read several sample college application letters, you’ll understand the best practices. After writing a university application letter for one school, you don’t need to start from scratch for additional schools. Adapt what you have to fit the next college’s context and your specific interests on their campus. 

Being concise is key. Your university application letter should not be redundant. If it exceeds one page, see where information you mention is repeated elsewhere in your application. In your cover letter, focus on the content that makes you as original and unique as possible. Most importantly, don’t forget to proofread your university application letters! 

Can a college application letter help me with other parts of my application?

Think of the college application cover letter as the glue that holds your college applications together. When writing it, think about it as your opportunity to show your best self. After brainstorming the content, you’ll be better equipped to craft your candidate profile into a cohesive narrative and articulate why you want to attend the college.

Though many parts of your college applications will be out of your control by the time you reach your senior fall, the college application cover letter is one that you can control. Use it to elevate your college applications, show interest in your top schools , and make yourself stand out among other applicants!

college application letters

The Letter of Continued Interest

Another form of college application letter is a letter of continued interest . In sample college application letters of continued interest, you’ll see that the primary purpose is to reaffirm your candidacy for a spot in the next incoming class of undergraduates. 

Though it can feel like a waiting game, the waitlist should not be passive. As soon as you are waitlisted or deferred, begin crafting a letter of continued interest. The best college application sample LOCIs are submitted promptly. Put in the effort to show you’re serious about attending. 

College application example LOCIs should focus on recent updates. Likely, a lot has happened since you submitted your application, particularly if you applied by the early deadlines. Strong college application sample LOCIs convey accomplishments and experiences that either add to previously mentioned ones or provide another dimension to your application. 

Letter of continued interest – When and where to submit?

Learn as much as you can by reading college application example LOCIs, but know that each school’s process for when and how to submit them is different. Additionally, the process may vary based on whether you were deferred to the regular decision round of admissions or waitlisted after the regular decision round. It’s important to follow each university’s directions.

Many schools will request that you upload your letter of continued interest to a portal. Some will request that you email it to an address – typically the admissions office. Others won’t allow you to submit any additional materials. If you’re in doubt, call or email the admissions office and ask. 

What to include in your letter of continued interest?

You’ll notice common trends when reading college application sample LOCIs. Effective college application example LOCIs convey a tone of sincerity, gratitude, and enthusiasm for an opportunity to attend. A strong sample college application letter of continued interest includes four elements. 

First, reaffirm your interest in attending the school if offered the chance to matriculate. Then, discuss relevant developments to your application, such as additional extracurricular accolades and continued academic successes. Sometimes, you’ll see a sample college application letter of continued interest that mentions how a student improved a lower mid-year grade or discusses a new leadership role. 

When reading a sample college application letter of continued interest, remember that colleges are looking for reasons to admit you, so don’t be shy! Offer to answer any questions they have and provide additional info in the conclusion of your letter. 

It’s important to back up your claims with supporting evidence. Strong college application sample LOCIs provide examples and specific details, just as you would in a cover letter or essay. Be vivid and descriptive as you share your story!

However, college application example LOCIs that include overly emotional appeals or merely complement the university are unlikely to be effective. Your letter of continued interest should be all about you. Though it can be difficult to realize this when reading college application example LOCIs, recognize that the content of your letter should fit within the context of the rest of your application. 

The many types of college application letters – Final Thoughts

In this guide, we covered several types of letters associated with your college process – college application cover letters, teacher recommendation letters, and letters of continued interest. Reading sample college application letters, whether they are college application cover letter samples or LOCIs, can help you do your best work. But, remember that every applicant’s college application process is unique. 

Our final tips for writing college application letters: can help guide you through every step of the college application process. Check out our blog , webinars , or register with today. Good luck!

college application letters

This guide to college application letters and letters of continued interest was written by Caroline Marapese, Notre Dame ‘22. At CollegeAdvisor, we have built our  reputation  by providing comprehensive information that offers real assistance to students. If you want to get help with your college applications from  Admissions Experts , click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how can support you in the college application process.

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How to Write a Cover Letter

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what to include in a cover letter for college

In my last post, I wrote all about professional communication. One topic I didn’t cover, however, was the dreaded cover letter. This was on purpose. The cover letter is such a common and essential part of the job application process that it deserves its own post.

And so I bring you today’s article: how to write a cover letter.

I’ll go over everything you need to know to write a killer cover letter or personal statement for any part-time job , internship, or future career path. Let’s get started!

What Is a Cover Letter?

Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book? It took me years to write, will you take a look? – The Beatles, “Paperback Writer”

In a world of emails and text messages and Snapchats, we don’t write many letters. Indeed, the only people I write letters to these days are my grandma and Members of Congress, as well as the occasional handwritten holiday card. So it’s no wonder that writing a cover letter feels hard–it’s not something we get to practice much.

So what is a cover letter, anyway? What’s the point? Doesn’t your resume just speak for itself? Well, yes and no. Your resume  is  important, and we’ll have a full post on writing one soon. In the meantime, check out our post on 5 Resume Mistakes to Avoid and Thomas’s interview with a hiring director who read over 10,000 resumes .

But while a well-crafted resume tells a prospective employer a lot about you, it can’t convey the following things:

A cover letter lets you display all of the above and more. And that’s the way you should think of it: a cover letter isn’t a boring chore to “get through”. It’s an opportunity to show your prospective employer that you’re more than just a number. Because you’re not going to stand out just by having good grades or a cool internship (though those don’t hurt).

People hire others based on their qualifications, naturally, but they also want to hire people who will fit with their company culture and who are, well, interesting. If you do it right, you can convey all of this in your cover letter and have your prospective employer excited to interview you.

person taking notes in an interview

One final note: lots of jobs these ask for cover letters without calling them that. I’ve talked to several friends who had jobs or internships that asked for “personal statements.”

For the purposes of a job application, a personal statement is the same as a cover letter. In fact, thinking of a cover letter as a personal statement will help you avoid several of the common cover letter mistakes that we’ll cover in the following section.

Even if the job application just asks for you to send an email with your resume attached, what you write in the body of that email is still a kind of “cover letter”.

As the saying goes, any interaction you have with a prospective employer is an interview. This applies just as much to any written communication–even if it’s just an email.

So how do you write a cover letter, anyway? Read on to find out.

hands typing on laptop

I can’t cover every possible cover letter scenario, but I can give you some advice that applies no matter what job you’re applying for.

Here are some general principles for writing a winning cover letter:

1. Don’t summarize your resume.

As I already said (and will reiterate throughout this article), the point of a cover letter is to s how your prospective employer things they  can’t  learn from reading your resume. It’s tempting to make your cover letter a “letter” version of your resume, but don’t do it. You’re showing that you’re lazy and uncreative, as well as missing out on a chance to show off your writing skills and personality.

In the same vein, never use the phrase “as you’ll see in my resume” or “as my resume shows”. This is obnoxious (the person has obviously read your resume) and redundant.

2. Keep it short.

Please, please, please keep your cover letter short. The point of a job application is to get you an interview. Therefore, the fewer obstacles you put in the way of getting an interview, the better.

Remember, the hiring manager isn’t reading just your application. They’re reading hundreds or in some cases  thousands  of others. When you’re dealing with that scale of material, you do everything you can to optimize your workflow.

One of the quickest optimizations? Ignoring (or only reading part of) long resumes and cover letters. Imagine how you’d feel if you’d already read 500 applications and came to one that included a three-page cover letter. My response would be to either a) scream or b) maybe read the first page and then toss it into the “no” pile.

Your cover letter should be three paragraphs and a maximum of one page. Don’t make it longer or harder than it has to be. No matter how fascinating your life may have been, if you’ve just graduated college you do not have enough material to justify a multi-page cover letter or resume.

Besides, being concise demonstrates your ability to condense lots of information into an easily digestible format, which is a valuable skill in any employee.

3. Include the hiring manager’s name if possible.

You won’t always know who will be reading your application. But if you can find the name of the hiring manager or other person that will be reviewing it, include it in the letter’s salutation (the “Dear PERSON’S NAME” part at the beginning).

It’s a nice touch that shows you can do research and are personable. As Dale Carnegie put it, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language”.

4. Include your signature at the end.

fountain pen on notepad

In the unlikely event that you’re mailing your cover letter, you can sign it with a pen. More likely, however, you’ll be submitting it electronically. In that case, include a digital copy of your signature.

It’s a small touch, but it shows professionalism and attention to detail. Check out this guide from How to Geek on how to add a digital signature on both Mac and PC .

5. Use the appropriate tone.

Take a look at how the company presents themselves in the job posting and on their website/social media. What themes stand out? Do they give off a hip, youthful vibe? Or more of a traditional, dependable one?

I’m not saying that you should be fake, but you should try to mirror the company’s general “attitude” in your cover letter. This shows the hiring manager (even if it’s on a subconscious level) that you “get” what the company is about.

For example, take a look at the About Us page for work chat app Slack:

Slack app about page

This page shows that Slack helps companies get things done but is still whimsical and creative (just look at the illustration under the text). They emphasize their broad user base and fast growth, as well as their commitment to simplicity and productivity.

So if you were applying to a job at Slack, it would be wise to show how you could help maintain this commitment to simplicity while also embracing the rapid pace that comes from a fast-growing company.

In contrast, have a look at the About Us page for management consulting firm McKinsey & Company:

McKinsey and Co about page

Notice the immediate contrast in design. McKinsey wants to project authority and experience. They show this through the statistics at the bottom of the page, which emphasize their global reach and influence. Note, however, that they also mention how they have continued to evolve (“73% of our work today represents new capabilities, compared to 15 years ago”).

If you were applying to a job at McKinsey, you’d write a very different cover letter than for a job at Slack. You’d tailor your letter to the specific duties of the position, but you’d also want to generally show that you appreciate McKinsey’s long history while still embracing innovation.

6. Proofread and edit.

First, run the letter through Grammarly  to catch spelling and grammar errors. Then, put it through Hemingway to help you tighten up the language. After that, read it out loud and fix any sentences or words that sound awkward, pretentious, or confusing.

Finally, give the letter to some trusted friends and mentors for editing. If you have someone in your network who already works in the same field or a similar job, then that’s ideal.

But if not, just get someone who has experience with business writing or whose editing skills you trust. Your college’s career center and writing center are also helpful resources in this process.

What to Discuss in Your Cover Letter

hand writing on a paper with coffee cup

So now that you have some general principles, what should you actually write in your cover letter? Sometimes, the job posting will include a specific prompt for you to answer. If that’s the case, then by all means use that as a starting point.

But most job postings are not as clear, simply asking you to “attach a cover letter”.

I think that any good cover letter should include the following elements:

1. Why this job and company interest you.

Even if this isn’t your dream job, presumably something about this company made you choose them out of all the others out there. Include this information in the letter.

As I said earlier, companies want to hire people that will fit with their culture. One good way to test this is to see if the applicant understands what the company is about. If you don’t even mention the company in your letter, it could look like you didn’t read the job application or research the company.

2. How your previous experience has prepared you for the job.

This one can be tricky. There’s no way that you’ve had the  exact  same experience this job will give you. Instead, think about how you’ve faced similar challenges in your other job (or volunteer work or whatever relevant experience you have). Tell the story of those, and then tie them into the position you’re applying for.

3. A catchy opening sentence. 

Remember how I said that hiring managers have to read mountains of job applications? This gets really boring, as you can imagine. So if you can write a cover letter that has a catchy opening line to “hook” the person reading it, then you’re already on your way to making their day better.

To get inspiration, don’t read other cover letters; read great stories or journalistic articles. This list of 100 Best First Lines from Novels is a good place to start.

You don’t have to have a crazy story to come up with an intriguing first line. It’s all about how you present the stories you do have. It’s the difference between  I’ve always wanted to work as an accountant  (boring and doubtful) and  I’ll never forget the day I discovered my passion for numbers  (this leaves the reader wanting to learn more. When was this day? What happened?).

4. A polite, positive conclusion.

Now that you’ve written a superb cover letter, don’t screw it up with an off-putting conclusion.

The main things to avoid in your conclusion are presumptuous statements such as “Looking forward to your response” or “Thanking you in advance”. Both sound tacky and fake.

Just briefly summarize what you’ve talked about in the rest of the letter and close with “Thank you” followed by your name and signature. That’s all it needs to be.

Putting It Into Practice

Taken all together, here’s the basic outline of a successful cover letter:

Dear HIRING MANAGER OR COMPANY’S NAME, Paragraph 1: Catchy opening sentence followed by an explanation of why the job/company interest you. Paragraph 2: Explain why you’re qualified for the job. Tell a story that illustrates how you’ve overcome similar challenges in your previous jobs/volunteer work/internships/life experience. Paragraph 3:  Wrap things up. Summarize what you talked about (but don’t repeat it word for word). Keep it positive and short. Thank you, YOUR NAME YOUR SIGNATURE

typewriter keys close up

Cover letters don’t have to be scary. As long as you follow the principles outlined in this article, you’ll be sitting down for the interview in no time.

Remember: a human being is on the other end of that job application–write a cover letter that shows that you are also human, and you’ll be on your way.

What questions do you have about cover letters? Share them in the comments below or start a discussion in the College Info Geek Community .

Image Credits: featured , interview , typing hands , signature , hand writing , typewriter keys

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Home Cover Letter Help How to Write a Cover Letter for a Scholarship (+ Examples)

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Scholarship (With Examples)

Corissa Peterson

A compelling cover letter will impress scholarship committees and go a long way towards convincing them that you’re worth the investment. Learn how to write a great cover letter for a scholarship with our helpful tips and examples!

A cover letter for a scholarship.

While cover letters are mostly used for job applications, they’re also commonly requested as part of scholarship applications.

Scholarship committees and organizations want to see that you’re dedicated to your studies and are serious about getting the most out of a college education. A great scholarship cover letter is the perfect opportunity to highlight your passion and show them that you’re deserving of their financial support.

Use our tips and examples below to write a great scholarship letter and set yourself apart from other applicants:

Why write a scholarship cover letter?

Scholarship committees get plenty of applicants with great grades, numerous extracurriculars , and high SAT scores. Applicants that don’t stand out will have a hard time getting noticed.

Writing a scholarship cover letter gives you an opportunity to highlight your dedication, goals, and passion to the committee or organization granting the scholarship, greatly improving your chance of convincing them that you’re the best candidate to receive their assistance.

Use your cover letter to explain some of your motivations, challenges in life, or accomplishments.

Tips for writing a scholarship application cover letter

Not sure where to start? No problem. Here are some tips for writing a compelling cover letter for a scholarship:

While scholarship committees want insight into your life and motivations, that doesn’t mean they want your whole life story. Your scholarship application cover letter should be focused, to the point, and cover all the information that needs to be included on a cover letter.

For example, here’s the primary information that you need to include in your scholarship cover letter. If you’re ultimately not providing scholarship committees with this information, your cover letter is probably not focused enough:

Give the scholarship committee an overview of who you are. Demonstrate your qualifications and why you deserve the scholarship. Convey your interest and enthusiasm for the scholarship. State how you intend to use the scholarship. Structure your scholarship cover letter.

Structure your scholarship cover letter

It can be difficult to know how to sell yourself to a committee you’ve never met. If you’re having trouble knowing where to start or how to write your cover letter , it can be helpful to make an outline for yourself first.

Knowing how to format your cover letter is the first step. A cover letter’s basic structure can be broken down into five main components:

Once you’ve got the personal information and salutation locked in, turn your attention to the most important part: writing tailored paragraphs. Like every piece of writing, your scholarship letter should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. The template below outlines the purpose for each paragraph, and what it should include:

Your Name [Your phone number] [Your email address] [Your mailing address]

[Date] [Scholarship organization name] [Organization address] [Organization phone number]

Dear [Mr./Ms./Mx. Recipient’s name] / [Scholarship Committee],

Start with an opening paragraph that briefly introduces who you are, and your relevant experience, how you learned about the scholarship, and why you are interested in applying. If writing multiple cover letters, take care to customize this paragraph to target a specific scholarship.

Next come your body paragraphs , which highlight your academic accomplishments as well as any related skills and experience. Depending on the scholarship application requirements, you may need just one body paragraph or several (always check the length requirement first). The question you are really addressing in this section is what makes you deserving of this particular scholarship, so make sure that everything you include bolsters your case.

End with a closing paragraph that restates your interest in the scholarship and why you should be a recipient. Include a call to action to inspire the committee to reach out to you – by saying you’d love the opportunity to schedule a call or a meeting, for instance.

[Sincerely / Best / Best regards],

[Your name]

Customize your scholarship cover letters

When writing cover letters, it’s the little touches that make all the difference.

Once you’ve read a stack of cover letters (like the scholarship committee has), it becomes pretty easy to judge which ones are generic cover letters and which ones have been tailored to an individual scholarship.

The easiest way to customize your cover letters is to use the introductory paragraph to include information specific to that particular scholarship.

The basis for granting scholarships varies widely. Some organizations look at academic performance, while others look at financial need or other special circumstances.

Before writing your cover letter (or application), carefully consider what the scholarship committee is looking for and make addressing this the focal point of your letter.

Scholarship cover letter example

Here’s an example of a strong scholarships letter sample that you can use to inspire your own scholarship cover letter:

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Corissa Peterson

Written by Corissa Peterson

Corissa is a Career Advisor and Staff Writer at Resume Genius, where she loves equipping others with the tools they need to pursue their dreams. She graduated from the... more

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How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship

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Looking for an internship, and receiving an offer, can feel like an almost insurmountable feat. With so many applicants, how can you find a way to set yourself apart from your competitors? One way is with a strong cover letter .

A good cover letter expresses your passion for the company and displays your strengths as they relate to the position. In this section of our ultimate guide to internships , learn what you should include (and not include) in a college internship cover letter. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to Start Your Journey?

What is the goal of a cover letter.

While your resume forms a picture of your skills and experience, your cover letter lets you express your passion for the internship you're applying for and your understanding of the role. In clear and powerful prose, you can demonstrate your professional and persuasive writing skills as well as the reasons why you're the best candidate for the position.

While not always required, if there's an option to send a cover letter as an attachment or to paste it into an online portal, it's best to send it. After all, this is your opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

Writing a Cover Letter for an Internship

Focus on the company and role you're applying for.

Make your cover letter compelling by focusing on the company. Do your research and determine what makes you a good match, what you can offer them as it relates to the position, and why you're passionate about working for them.

Taking a look at their mission statement can give you a good idea of their brand. Let them know how you fit into their culture and what you admire about the company.

Only Include Relevant Experience and Coursework

Most students apply to internships to get the experience they need to enter the workforce. Hiring managers understand this and know that interns rarely come with years of on-the-job training. Instead, they look for relevant experience in extracurricular activities, volunteer work, school projects, and classes.

Think about the proficiencies you've acquired that closely relate to the position you're applying for. If possible, list specific accomplishments. You can also include coursework as it applies to the job or industry.

Highlight Relevant Skills

Don't be timid about mentioning your skills and abilities as they relate to the position. A cover letter offers the opportunity to demonstrate your confidence, passion, and drive. Look at the skills the company lists in their job posting and then sift through the many activities and events in your life that allowed you to develop these attributes.

If you gained experience as a team player through sports you played, took on a leadership role as a campus event coordinator, or overcame a challenge by persevering despite obstacles, include these soft skills in your cover letter.

Explain Your Fit for the Role

In a few short sentences, explain why this company should offer you the internship over the hundreds of other applicants. While that may sound daunting, it comes down to your unique skills and experiences that align with what the employer is looking for.

Keep in mind that almost all companies want hardworking interns who are passionate about the position and company, who have a positive and professional attitude, and who can demonstrate and build on the technical skills they learned in their coursework.

Describe What You Hope to Gain From the Internship

Most employers develop an internship program to get support with specific projects and tasks, help students gain experience, and find interns that fit well with their company and may become future employees. Over 70% of employers end up offering interns a full-time position.

In a brief couple of sentences, let the hiring manager know what you hope to gain from the internship. Make sure your desires correspond with the role. An example may include being able to apply the graphic design skills you acquired in school to the company's marketing campaigns.

What to Avoid in a Cover Letter for an Internship

Don't point out your lack of experience.

Whether applying for an internship or a full-time job, never point out your lack of experience or perceived weaknesses.

Like a good magician, use your writing skills to direct the hiring manager's attention to what you do bring to the table. A cover letter offers the chance to highlight your strengths and make a case for why you're the best choice for the role.

Don't Copy a Template

Recruiters see hundreds of cover letters for every internship posting. Imagine the number of cover letters they've seen throughout their career, including all the ready-made templates.

Using a template signals to a company that you may be unoriginal, don't value the position enough to take the time to create a unique and personalized cover letter, and aren't truly passionate about the role. Don't be tempted by those easy templates.

Don't Restate Your Resume

A compelling cover letter impels the recruiter to turn the page and read your resume. When they do, they don't want to find the same information shared in a different format.

Use your cover letter to describe how your extracurricular activities, courses, and part-time jobs gave you the skills listed in the company's internship posting. These few paragraphs allow you to connect the dots for the recruiter and explain why you're an ideal fit.

How to Format a Cover Letter for an Internship

Be mindful of the length.

A well-crafted cover letter needs to address the pertinent information succinctly. Like a good novel, you need to include enough to keep the recruiter reading but not so much that they put the letter down.

A cover letter should contain about 3-4 paragraphs of detailed information. The first paragraph describes why you're applying to the position, while the remaining paragraphs detail your relevant skills and experience. Increase readability by keeping paragraphs short — between three and five sentences — and by ensuring your cover letter fits on one page.

Use a Consistent, Professional-Looking Font

The type of font you use also affects readability and displays your level of professionalism. Choose one font for both the cover letter and the resume to maintain a consistent, polished look.

A few of the standard fonts suited for both your cover letter and resume include Times New Roman, Arial, Courier New, and Calibri. Set the text size to 10 or 12 pts, depending on the font. Remember that you want to keep your cover letter to one page.

Set the Margins, Line Spacing, and Alignment

To create a professional cover letter, align all text to the left. Your contact information should also be left-aligned and placed in the top-left corner. If the employer does not accept attachments, paste the letter into the body of your email and put your contact information beneath your email signature.

Maintain 1-inch margins on all sides. Additionally, single-space the text, leaving a space between each paragraph. Be sure to check for any specific formatting instructions the company or organization may provide.

Internship Cover Letter Sample

Sample Cover Letter

Jessica Lopez 123 My Street Anytown, CA 12345 (555) 555-5555 [email protected]

Dear Debbie Jones,

I am thrilled to submit my application for the graphic design internship at TC International. I believe my creativity and inspiration align with your company's mission, and I would be more than excited to work with your award-winning creative department.

As a student at UX University, I've worked on student publications and promotional campaigns, honing my design skills garnered throughout my three years of studies in graphic design. As you can see from the attached portfolio, I've already developed a strong collection of work, including projects that I believe align with your brand and desired aesthetics. Graphic design has taught me to design and then redesign, strengthening my ability to solve problems and persevere.

I am also a volunteer at the local animal shelter, where I designed various print materials and online ads in support of their fundraising efforts. By working with a diverse staff on various projects, I learned the art of teamwork and collaboration. Taking the initiative to promote community dog training, which increased funding by 12%, I also learned the art of leadership.

Because of these experiences, I am confident that I would make an excellent team member and intern at TC International. I would love to speak more with you about why I would be a good fit. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely, Jessica Lopez

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How To Decide What To Include In a Cover Letter Enclosure

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated June 29, 2021

Guide Overview

Prove your skills with cover letter enclosure.

One of the ways you can stand out from the pool of candidates applying for the same job is adding proof of your skills. When you attach a cover letter enclosure, you might want to refer to it in your letter and choose the document that will help you convince the recruiter that you are the right fit for the role. The more relevant your documents are to the role and the company the better they will enhance your career prospects. Making a decision which documents to attach and which ones to skip is not easy. Let us help. 

What is a cover letter enclosure

If you would like to impress your potential employer, you might submit supporting documents that will prove your case that you are the right candidate for the job. You can attach different types of documents: awards from your workplace, skill endorsements, letters of recommendation, character references, or even college or university course transcripts. The most commonly used cover letter enclosure is a reference from a company you worked for. It can be directly from your supervisor, the head of your department, or a HR professional in the company. The more recent this recommendation is, and the more details it includes, the more impressed the person reading your cover letter will be.

The importance of additional documents to support your cover letter

You might be required to back up your statements included in your cover letter. As an example, you can say that you overachieved your target by 200 percent, but if you can provide proof and send it as an attachment, you will be establishing your credibility, too. 

You might also mention that you took on extra projects, such as training other team members on using a new system. If you have an official letter thanking you for this contribution, you can win over the person responsible for the company’s recruitment. Remember that managers don’t like taking risks, and the more you can prove that you are ready to support the company the better chance you will have to get hired. 

Examples of cover letter attachments

There are various documents you could attach to a cover letter, such as: employee references, award certificates, internal training certificates, character references, or photos of additional projects you took part in, such as volunteering work. 

It is, however, a question of knowing what the employer is really interested in, as you don’t want to clutter their mailbox with irrelevant information and documents. It will make you look unorganized and unprofessional at the same time. Find out what the company’s priorities are when hiring people, and adjust your attachments accordingly. 

What is the employer looking for

You have to balance the information, as you don’t want the recruiter to be turned off by the number of attachments. It is crucial that you remember that most people are going through dozens of resumes and cover letters a day, and human resources professionals responsible for recruitment often suffer from information overload. 

Write down a list of three priority documents that they would be interested in. Study the job advert, the company website, and the mission, vision, and values statement to find the right cover letter enclosure to go with your application. 

Which enclosure will improve your career chances the most?

Before you decide which resume enclosure to include in your application, you will have to take into consideration the career level, the role you are applying for, the company’s values and priorities, their HR policies, and the usefulness of the document. 

Always check how relevant the enclosure in the cover letter is to the current job advert and whether it strengthens your case for getting an interview . As an example, if you are applying for a registered nurse job, you might not want to include any references from your early life when you were working in retail. The more recent the documents are, the better they will represent you professionally. 

Does a cover letter enclosure make you look desperate?

A cover letter enclosure will not make you too keen. However, if you include everything, independent of how relevant they are, you might look unprofessional and “in need of a job”. While you will have to communicate that you are really determined to get an interview and work for the company, you have to find the right balance. Also, there are certain words you should not include in your cover letter or the attachments if you want to get hired. 

Adding two or three enclosures in a cover letter is acceptable, but you need to have a strong enough reason to attach more than three. 

Great examples of effective enclosures

The best attachments you can add to your application are the ones where you can reference specific projects you have completed successfully that are included either in your resume or your cover letter. For example, you can tell the recruiter that you were responsible for internal training program development, and attach a screenshot of the training you designed. You might also talk about your customer service skills and attach a screenshot of a thank you letter that mentions you by name. Of course, if you did extremely well in college, you can show off your grades, too.

If the company has an informal hiring process, they are not likely to be interested in your grades as much as your skills.  

How old should the document be?

The general rule is that you will need to include the most recent relevant enclosures in a cover letter first. When you prioritize the attachments, you will have to rank them by recency, relevance, and company culture match. 

If you are planning on sending all the appraisal documents from your last workplace and the one before, you should stop and think. How does it enhance the first impression your future employer will have of you? Also remember that they are selective when it comes to what to read, and they have limited time to review each application. 

How many enclosures are too many?

There are no rules on how many attachments you should have. The general guideline is to add one or two for each main skill that is required for the role. Of course, the more complex the job you are applying for, the more proof you should be providing. 

Also, if you worked for mainly smaller companies, you might need more references than if you are coming from the market leading company with loads of training and experience. Sometimes your professional background will determine how many enclosures you need. Any more than three attachments for a mid-level job might be considered too many, but for a marketing director position you will have to showcase your past results more. 

Should you include letters or recommendations?

Indeed, letters or recommendations will help the employer decide whether they should trust you and give you a chance. Try to go for references from people who directly managed you, and those who vouch for your talent and skills. 

Always check with the people who provide you with a recommendation letter if they are OK to get a follow up call or email from the hiring company or the agency. Include the recommendation letters that have the trigger words that the company has in the job advert and the job description, such as: team player, can-do attitude, or ready for a challenge. 

How to correctly format your cover letter enclosure

It is important that you highlight the fact that you added attachments in your cover letter. You will also have to justify why you think that enclosure is relevant to the job. Briefly summarize which of your skills it will show, and introduce the topic. 

If you are attaching a letter of recommendation, a scanned document will be the best option as it will show the content clearly. 

When you attach a certificate, you can either take a photo or link to the image file in your course folder. 

Letters of recommendations should be saved as a PDF document or scanned, so the recruiter can see that the signatures are genuine and you have taken your time to properly format the attachment. 

Even if it is an email, it is better to save it as a PDF document for easy review. 

Hopefully you can now pick the right cover letter enclosure that will impress the hiring manager. 

Are you looking to improve your chances for an interview? Learn more about market leading companies hiring now . 

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What To Include In A Cover Letter (With Examples)

Find a Job You Really Want In

Example Cover Letter

What not to put in a cover letter, final thoughts.

When it comes to finding a job, your cover letter is your secret weapon for landing an interview. This document is your chance to show off your written communication skills, your relevant qualifications, and your motivation to work with a particular company. In this article, we’ll share what you should include in your cover letter, an example cover letter, and some tips on how to make your cover letter shine. Key Takeaways Your cover letter should include: Your contact information and the date The employer’s contact information A greeting Body paragraphs A closing paragraph A sign-off You should customize your cover letter to every position you apply to. Focus on what you can add to the company in your cover letter. Work keywords from the job description into your cover letter. What to Include in a Cover Letter

In order to fully convince an employer to invite you in for an interview, you’re going to have to include all of the requisite information in a clear and efficient manner. That means knowing all of the parts of your cover letter and what they entail.

With that in mind, here’s everything you need to include in each part of your cover letter :

Your contact information and the date

The employer’s contact information

The greeting

The body paragraphs

The closing paragraph

The sign off

Let’s go through each element of the cover letter in detail.

How to write a cover letter

Your Contact Information and the Date

The very first key element your cover letter is going to be a header that includes your contact information. You’re going to list your name, your address, your phone number, and your email address. Feel free to include your LinkedIn contact information or a link to your online portfolio .

Lulu Paige 333 First Street Los Angeles, CA , 90001 (000) 111-2222 [email protected] January 1, 2020

Let’s talk about that email address. It’s time to retire your timelessly funny email address of days long since past.

Opt for something more professional on a more modern platform, like [email protected] Your email address should show that you want to be taken seriously, not that you love to party.

Employer’s Contact Information

Even though most cover letters are submitted online nowadays, it’s still a general rule of thumb to include the company’s contact information. Google the company to find their local address and list it beneath your own contact information.

Adam Smith Recruiter TopNotch Company 111 West Street Los Angeles, CA 90001

If you can’t find out the company’s local address, don’t sweat it — but if you can find it, include it just for tradition’s sake.

How you address your cover letter is more important than you might think. Ditch the outdated greetings such as, “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam.” These greetings are impersonal and make you sound like you’re about 100 years old. Plus, it shows that you didn’t even try to look into learning more about the employer.

Instead, try to find out the name of the person who’s going to be reading your cover letter. Call the company’s front office or review their website to find their hiring manager ’s name.

If you can’t find a specific contact, address the head of the department for the position you’re applying for, or use terms like “ Dear Hiring Manager ,” or “Dear Human Resources Manager.”

Dear Chris Rogers,

Body Paragraphs

No, this isn’t a Stephen King novel, but that doesn’t mean you should take it any less seriously. The body of your cover letter is the most important part. It tells the employer what job you’re applying for, why they should bring you in for an interview , and how you’re going to follow up.

Here’s everything you need to include in the meatiest part of your cover letter:

First paragraph. This is your cover letter introduction . It’s where you’re going to grab the employer’s attention and make them want to read the rest of your cover letter.

Let’s not waste any time in this paragraph — go ahead and tell them which position you’re applying for and how it relates to your background, and show them that you’re excited about the opportunity.

I am interested in applying for your Social Media Manager position that I saw advertised on Zippia .com. After contributing to the growth and success of my last employer’s presence on Facebook and Instagram, I am seeking new challenges with a company that is looking for someone with exceptional leadership and management abilities.

Second paragraph. This is where you’re going to tell the hiring manager what you have to offer. Use this paragraph to list your qualifications, give examples from your work experience , and quantify any of your achieved results.

I know my proven leadership skills, strong commitment to growing a social media base, and flexibility with regard to assignments would allow me to make a significant contribution to TopNotch Company. I welcome the opportunity to discuss how my qualifications could be beneficial to your company’s continued success.

Pro tip: Go into more depth on your relevant qualifications, but make sure not to copy your resume word for word. Use your cover letter to highlight the most important reasons why you’re the ideal candidate.

Third paragraph. Discuss what you know (and like) about the company. This is your chance to impress the employers even further by showing them that you care enough to do some background research on the company , and how you can contribute to their mission.

TopNotch’s commitment to a sustainable future aligns with and inspires my own values of environmental consciousness and stewardship. Even as a digital marketer , I found ways to reduce my office’s carbon emissions by 11%, and I’d be thrilled to work for a company that values and prioritizes such changes.

Feel free to mention any current events, information about the company’s history, their core values, or their mission statement.

Closing Line

The final paragraph is where you’re going to close your cover letter . Summarize what you could bring to the position and request an interview or a phone call.

I’d like to thank you again for taking the time to review my application and resume, and I welcome the opportunity to discuss my qualifications with you in detail.

See that? Easy as pie. Check out this article to learn more on how to close your cover letter.

Picking an appropriate and successful sign-off is trickier than you might think. A cover letter is a professional document, so you have to be strategic with everything you write.

With that in mind, here are some sign-offs to choose from that hiring managers respond well to:

Best regards


Thanks in advance

And here are some sign-offs you should avoid at all costs:

Best wishes


Sent from my iPhone

You get the idea. Pick an appropriate sign-off, sign your name, and then you’ve got yourself a cover letter!

Lulu Paige 333 First Street Los Angeles, CA, 90001 (000) 111-2222 [email protected] January 1, 2020 Adam Smith Recruiter TopNotch Company 111 West Street Los Angeles, CA 90001 Dear Mr. Smith, I am interested in applying for your Social Media Manager position that I saw advertised on After contributing to the growth and success of my last employer’s presence on Facebook and Instagram, I am seeking new challenges with a company that is looking for someone with exceptional leadership and management abilities. As you will see in my enclosed resume, while serving as a Social Media Intern, I was tasked with onboarding new employees and managing their publishing schedules as well as coming up with content for my own calendar. My ability to juggle these different tasks reinforced my desire to advance in my career and step into a management role. I know my proven leadership skills, strong commitment to growing a social media base, and flexibility with regard to assignments would allow me to make a significant contribution to TopNotch Company. I welcome the opportunity to discuss how my qualifications could be beneficial to your company’s continued success. I’d like to thank you again for taking the time to review my application and resume, and I welcome the opportunity to discuss my qualifications with you in detail. Sincerely, Lulu Paige

Knowing all the parts of a cover letter is important, but that’s not all there is to it. Follow these tips to write the best cover letter possible:

Customize each cover letter. When you’re sending out applications to multiple companies, it’s essential to tailor each cover letter and resume for the job. Your resume customization may just take a few strategic keyword changes and emphasizing different parts of your experience.

Your cover letter customization, however, should be much more thorough. Hiring managers and recruiters can spot a generic cover letter a mile away, so be sure to talk specifically about why you’re interested in the company and what particular value you’d have for the company.

Find the hiring manager. In the spirit of customization, try your best to find the hiring manager or recipient’s name. Review the job posting for contact info, research the company’s website, and look on LinkedIn if you’re stuck. Or just call the company’s HR department and ask.

If you’re still stuck, “Dear Hiring Manager” or one of its alternatives will work.

Don’t copy your resume. Instead of repeating every point from your resume, pick one or two bullet points to really emphasize. Think about what accomplishments you can quantify since those are the most compelling evidence of your past success.

Also, your cover letter should answer the “how” and “why” of your career, so discuss how you achieved those awesome results and why you enjoy doing things your way.

Always focus on the company. A cover letter is your chance to sell yourself, but that mostly means highlighting how the company will benefit from your skills , methodologies, and contributions.

Steal keywords from the job description. Highlight keywords from the job description like skills, qualifications, and attributes, and then incorporate some of those words throughout your resume and cover letter. That way, it’s super easy for a recruiter or hiring manager to see how your experience matches up with the job requirements.

Match the company culture. Spend some time researching the company on their website and scouting employees on LinkedIn. If you can match the tone of the company’s written communications, you’ll be in good shape for presenting as a solid cultural fit.

Let your personality shine. Resumes are boring, but cover letters are your chance to showcase who you are as a person as well as a professional. Don’t go overly formal (unless you’re applying to a conservative firm).

Hiring managers want to know what kind of person you’re like to work with, and while the interview will inform them more fully, your cover letter is meant to whet the reader’s appetite so they want to call you in for an interview in the first place.

Open and finish strong. Cover letters are generally skimmed, so you really want to make your opening and closing lines count. Open with an attention grabber and finish with a strong call-to-action and reminder of your awesomeness and enthusiasm.

Keep it short . Cover letters should never be more than 400 words, but we recommend aiming for a 200-300 word count. As we said, recruiters usually skim these things, so make it easy for them.

Review and edit. Never send a cover letter without a proofread, a spellcheck program, and, if possible, a trusted confidant to read it over. Another pair of eyes might catch things you didn’t notice re-reading it over and over again.

Email cover letters. If you’re emailing your cover letter directly (as opposed to attaching it or mailing it physically), be sure to include a descriptive subject line.

Often, employers will tell you how to label your email in the job posting, so follow any directions there. If not, a subject line that includes your name and the position you’re applying for is a safe bet.

For an email cover letter, don’t include contact information at the start. Instead, put your contact information after your signature (you can skip your physical address) and leave out the company’s contact information entirely.

Knowing what to avoid putting in your cover letter can be just as helpful as knowing what to put in it. Here are a few items you should leave out:

Lies (even little white ones or stretched truths).

Anything about salary.

Negativity about your current job.

Information about your personal life.

Long-winded paragraphs.

Unneccessary or irrelevant information.

Grammatical errors.

Misspelled words (including names).

Unprofessional email addresses or file names.

Polarizing or controversial hobbies or opinions.

Cover letters are one of your most valuable tools when it comes to applying for jobs. They let you go into detail about your qualifications, demonstrate your communication skills , and show that you’re interested in a specific company.

When you write your cover letter, make sure to include your professional contact information, go into detail about your relevant skills, and show that you’re motivated to help the company achieve its goals. Show the hiring manager why you’re the best person for the position, and you’re on your way to getting the job of your dreams .

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Maddie Lloyd was a writer for the Zippia Advice blog focused on researching tips for interview, resume, and cover letter preparation. She's currently a graduate student at North Carolina State University's department of English concentrating in Film and Media Studies.

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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Recent Graduate Cover Letter Sample

After toiling away in classrooms for four (or more) years, getting a job right out of college is a natural goal. But composing a recent graduate cover letter can feel like a kind of catch 22. On one hand, you don't have much material to work with; on the other, you need a strong resume and cover letter to get you in the door.

Why would you even bother with a cover letter in the first place? Thing is, your goal of finding a job as a new grad is shared by every other graduate in the country—plus all the other entry-level job seekers out there—so the competition is understandably fierce. A smart, enthusiastic, and tailored cover letter will help set you apart from the masses.

About the whole lack-of-job-experience thing—how do you explain that to potential employers without sounding like a total newbie? Don't fret: Companies aren’t expecting you to have worked loads of jobs, but they will be interested to know which of your skills and talents you’ve developed while in school.

Ideas for a College Cover Letter

Most cover letter examples for college students will encourage you to highlight what you've learned in class, plus any skills you picked up while working side jobs and/or internships—especially ones that are relevant to the position you’re seeking. Just as important is your enthusiasm for the job itself. A cover letter is a great chance to let a company know you’re not just looking for any old job but that you’re specifically looking for a job with them. (Everyone likes to feel special, even giant corporations.)

There are plenty of ways you can show that you have both ambition and skills that are valued in the workforce . To get you started, take a look at the following questions posed in the bullet points, and make a list of any applicable experience you have under each one. Did you:

All of those opportunities can lead to relevant experiences that are perfect for a college student cover letter, whether you’re about to finish your studies and enter the real world or are a year or two from making the leap.

Get started on your career today. View our college graduate cover letter sample below as a guideline, or see all cover letter examples on Monster.

Recent Graduate Cover Letter

Josh Michaels 4 Church St. | Sometown, NJ 08888 | (555) 555-5555 | [email protected] [date]

Katherine Yu HR Director ABC Company 1530 State St. Anytown, NJ 08999

Dear Ms. Yu:

Your advertisement for an HR assistant fits my qualifications perfectly, and I am writing to express my interest in and enthusiasm for the position.

After completing a business degree from Rutgers University in May, I enrolled in a human resource development program to enhance my credentials in my chosen field. Course highlights include: Leadership in an Organizational Setting, Performance & Task Analysis in Human Resource Development, and Technology in HR Settings.

Based on your description of the ideal candidate, I also offer:

I would very much like to meet in person to share more of my qualifications and learn more about your HR support needs. Please feel free to call me at (555) 555-5555 or email at [email protected]

Thank you for your time and review of the enclosed resume, and I look forward to speaking with you.

Josh Michaels Enclosure: Resume

Show Off Your College Graduate Cover Letter

Now that your recent graduate cover letter is out of the way, you want to make sure you’re getting in front of as many hiring managers in your field as you can. Want some help with that? Monster has a bunch of free resources for job seekers to help you launch your career from a strong, solid foundation.

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  1. Cover Letter for College Lovely Cover Letter Template College Student

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  1. College Application Cover Letter: How To Write One

    Follow these steps to write an impressive college application cover letter: 1. Write your name and street address At the top of your cover letter, write your first and last name. On a separate line include your street address, followed by your city, state and zip code on another line. 2. Include the date

  2. How To Write a College Student Cover Letter (With Template)

    A college student cover letter can include your GPA if it is higher than 3.5 and mention honor societies you belong to. You may mention your interpersonal skills as qualities that will help you in your future position. Related: How to Include Relevant Coursework On a Student Resume How to write a college student cover letter

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

    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.

  4. College Cover Letter Examples in 2023

    The best college cover letters have five main elements: 1. Heading. This is where you list your name, title, and contact details. It should also include the addressee's details and the date the letter was written. Use a professional template, so the information stands out. 2. Salutation. Whenever possible, greet the hiring manager by name.

  5. Student Cover Letters With Template and Example

    Here are the essential steps for writing your student cover letter: Study the job posting Research the company Match your experience to the job listing Make an outline Write and rewrite Proofread 1. Study the job posting Cover letters should directly reference the job, internship or program you are applying for.

  6. College Student Cover Letter Sample

    Here are tips on how to format your cover letter properly: Include an introduction, two to three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Keep the font size between 10.5 and 12 points (be sure to choose a professional cover letter font ). Make sure the margins are ½"-1" on all sides side. 3. Open with a strong introduction

  7. Dear Recent College Grads, Here's How to Write a Great Cover Letter

    The basics of a cover letter boil down to this outline: An introductory paragraph (who you are, why this company and this job, and a bridge between the two) One or two themed paragraphs (highlighting and showing you have skills that match the job) A closing paragraph (some quick additional highlights and a request to speak further)

  8. College Senior Cover Letter Sample and Writing Tips

    Quantifying achievements or previous work examples with numbers or percentages can make your cover letter stand out. 4. Fourth paragraph: Thank the hiring manager for their consideration, reiterate your enthusiasm for the job, and ask that they respond to your application.

  9. Cover Letter for College Students : 2022 Guide with 10+ Examples

    In addition to that, you can include internships, volunteer work, academic achievements, participation in extracurricular activities, leadership roles you have taken in your college. One of the best things you can highlight in your cover letter for college students is soft skills.

  10. What to Include in a Cover Letter (& What to Leave Out)

    A great cover letter consists of the following components: 1. Your name and contact information in a header The hiring manager needs to have your contact information. Without these details, they have no way of inviting you for an interview.

  11. Academic Cover Letter Sample

    For a position at a small undergraduate college, emphasize teaching experience and philosophy early in the letter. Describe your dissertation and plans for future research. Emphasize links between your teaching and research interests. Mention specific teaching experience that is relevant to the job notice or is otherwise noteworthy.

  12. Cover Letter Examples and Tips for Recent Graduate

    Review these steps to determine how to write an effective cover letter as a recent graduate: 1. Address the recipient with a formal salutation A formal salutation includes words like dear, hello or greetings. Use the recipient's full name when addressing them.

  13. College Application Letter

    You college application letter should follow formal letter formatting guidelines, which include writing the full name of the college or university you are applying to in the upper left hand corner of the letter. Try to be as specific as possible with the address you choose to use. 2. Salutation

  14. How to Write a Cover Letter

    4. A polite, positive conclusion. Now that you've written a superb cover letter, don't screw it up with an off-putting conclusion. The main things to avoid in your conclusion are presumptuous statements such as "Looking forward to your response" or "Thanking you in advance". Both sound tacky and fake.

  15. How to Write a Cover Letter for Scholarship (With Examples)

    A cover letter's basic structure can be broken down into five main components: Personal information Salutation and opening paragraph Body paragraph (s) Closing paragraph (call to action) Sign-off Tip You can also make the process easier for yourself by starting with a professional cover letter template.

  16. What to Include in a Cover Letter

    This Is What to Include in a Cover Letter. 1. Proof That You've Done Your Homework. Recruiters and hiring managers want to see that you know what you're getting yourself into. It's important in the early sections of your cover letter that you refer to these essentials: And don't be afraid to do a little flattering.

  17. How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship

    Choose one font for both the cover letter and the resume to maintain a consistent, polished look. A few of the standard fonts suited for both your cover letter and resume include Times New Roman, Arial, Courier New, and Calibri. Set the text size to 10 or 12 pts, depending on the font. Remember that you want to keep your cover letter to one page.

  18. How To Decide What To Include In a Cover Letter Enclosure

    It is important that you highlight the fact that you added attachments in your cover letter. You will also have to justify why you think that enclosure is relevant to the job. Briefly summarize which of your skills it will show, and introduce the topic. If you are attaching a letter of recommendation, a scanned document will be the best option ...

  19. What To Include In A Cover Letter (With Examples)

    With that in mind, here's everything you need to include in each part of your cover letter: Your contact information and the date. The employer's contact information. The greeting. The body paragraphs. The closing paragraph. The sign off. Let's go through each element of the cover letter in detail.

  20. Recent Graduate Cover Letter

    Recent Graduate Cover Letter. Your advertisement for an HR assistant fits my qualifications perfectly, and I am writing to express my interest in and enthusiasm for the position. After completing a business degree from Rutgers University in May, I enrolled in a human resource development program to enhance my credentials in my chosen field.