Cover letters are an effective means to advertise and promote the qualities and skills in which you are most prominent. Cover letters should capture the reader's attention, stress your potential value and benefit, and invite an in-depth reading of your resume.
Always Make It Specific
Your cover letter should never start with “To Whom it May Concern.” Take the time to conduct research on the organization’s website, Handshake and LinkedIn.
The body of your paragraph should address the top two or three skills listed in the job description. This means you will need to craft a new statement, or heavily edit a previous statement, for each position. Is this a lot of work? Yes, but if you aren’t willing to put in the time, the employer doesn’t want to hire you.
Emails Might Suffice
Your “electronic cover letter” can just be a formal email with your resume attached. This should be abbreviated from a traditional cover letter that you would attach to an application. However, if a cover letter is specifically request in the application, it should be one page and attached to the email.
Name Drop and Make Connections
If you know someone within the company or have previously spoken with an employee, make sure to mention their name in the opening paragraph. This can help your application get noticed by hiring managers. Don’t know anyone in the company? Consider doing an informational interview prior to applying for a job and expanding your network.
View Samples and Learn More
Review the CCES Cover Letter Guide
Have your Cover Letter Reviewed
Visit the Howe Writing Initiative in FSB.
Or request a Career Advising Appointment via Handshake.
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.