Sample Cover Letter for a Recent College Graduate
For recent graduates newly on the job market, writing an effective cover letter is just as important as crafting a strong resume. In a cover letter, you'll build a case for why your candidacy. A cover letter is a success when it leads to follow-up from a recruiter, human resources person, or a hiring manager.
As a recent grad, it can sometimes be hard to know how to prove you will be an excellent candidate, since you probably do not have a ton of on-the-job experience.
However, between summer jobs, campus jobs, internships, campus involvement, and volunteer work, you likely have more experience than you think.
Tips for Writing a Strong Cover Letter
There are two things to consider when writing a cover letter. The first consideration is the contents of the letter: What will you write to show that you are a strong candidate for the job? Do not copy the information in your resume precisely; instead, cherry-pick your most relevant experience and skills. Read the job ad carefully to get a sense of what the employer is looking for in candidates. It's always best if you can personalize your cover letter — explain to the hiring manager why you would like to work at this company specifically.
The second factor in a cover letter is the format: Whether you send a hard copy cover letter or an email one, it's important to format your letter correctly. Review the essential elements of the cover letter, and follow these formatting tips to help your letter stand out.
The following is an example of a cover letter sent by a recent college graduate. Use this for inspiration while writing your own cover letters. Also see below for more cover letter samples, and tips for emailing a cover letter and resume.
Sample Cover Letter for a Recent College Graduate
Dear Mr. Lambert,
I would like to express my interest in a position as editorial assistant for your publishing company. As a recent graduate with writing, editing, and administrative experience, I believe I am a strong candidate for a position at the 123 Publishing Company.
You specify that you are looking for someone with strong writing skills. As an English major, a writing tutor, and an editorial intern for both a government magazine and a college marketing office, I have become a skilled writer with a variety of experience.
Working as an office assistant at the Career Services Office at XYZ College has given me the skills necessary to perform various administrative tasks required of an editorial assistant. My job has helped me gain experience in making phone calls, performing ordinary office duties, and executing numerous tasks that involve computer programs such as Microsoft Access and Excel. For three years I have carried out these responsibilities and others with organization, speed, and accuracy, and I know I will be able to apply these abilities to a position with your company.
Although I am a recent college graduate, my maturity, practical experience, and eagerness to enter the publishing business will make me an excellent editorial assistant.
I would love to begin my career with your company, and am confident that I would be a beneficial addition to the 123 Publishing Company.
I have enclosed my resume, and will call within the next week to see if we might arrange a time to speak together. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
123 Main Street
XYZ Town, NY 11111
How to Send an Email Cover Letter
If you're sending your cover letter via email, list your name and the job title in the subject line of the email message. Include your contact information in your email signature, and don't list the employer contact information.
Cover Letter Examples for Students and Recent Graduates
The following cover letters and cover letter templates are designed especially for high school students, as well as for college students and recent graduates seeking employment.
If you're a student or a new grad, you may not have much experience in the workforce. This can make building a resume and writing a cover letter challenging. After all, if you haven't worked previously, what information can you include in these two documents?
What to Include in Your Cover Letter
Fortunately, on-the-job experience is not the only thing that shows your abilities. You can also mention volunteer work, academic achievements, participation in clubs or activities, and internships. Your academic background is also an asset. Include details that are relevant to the position you want (use the job description as your guide to the qualities and training the employer seeks).
If you are an honors student with a GPA higher than 3.5, it is a good idea to mention this on a cover letter as well, along with any honors societies you have been inducted into.
Another things you can mention are soft skills – interpersonal “people” skills like creative thinking, communication, team work, or time management that will help you to adapt easily to the people and clients or customers you will be working with.
Your goal in this cover letter is to show how you would be an asset to the company, describing the skills you bring that would allow you to perform well in the position.
Below, you'll find a list of student cover letters, listed by position and level of experience, to help you develop your own cover letter.
Sample Student / Recent Graduate Cover Letters
Cover Letter Templates
Before you can begin writing your cover letter, it's important to know the guidelines governing these letters.
Unlike a casual email to a friend, there are set standards for how to greet recipients, organize the letter's content, and much more.
That's where templates can help: they allow you to know what information to put where, and they help you format your letter correctly. Review the templates below:
Student and Recent Graduate Cover Letter Samples
This list of cover letters includes both general examples that will help you format your letter, as well as sample cover letters used to apply for specific positions, such as roles as a nanny or a marketing assistant.
Do not copy these sample letters — instead, use them as a guide to help you know what kind of information to include, and how to format your letter.
Cover Letter Writing Tips
Cover Letter Writing Guide
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to write a cover letter, including what to include in the letter, how to write it, and the proper cover letter format.
Plus, find out about how to write a targeted cover letter and browse through additional cover letter samples and examples.
Cover Letter Tips
Here are cover letter tips and techniques for writing top notch cover letters to send with your resume, including cover letter format and presentation, choosing a type of cover letter, writing custom cover letters, and cover letter examples and templates.