Navigating college, you've aced your exams, written A++ research papers, and delivered exciting presentations.
Your academic journey has shaped you into a specialist in your domain, and the world is eager to see what you bring...
Yet, the challenge of writing a college student cover letter feels more daunting than that trigonometry class you dreaded in your sophomore year.
Here's the good news: We've got your back!
By the end of this article, you'll know exactly what you have to do to write your student cover letter. Here’s what we’re going to cover:
- A Perfect College Student Cover Letter Example (to Inspire You to Write Yours)
- 5 Steps to Writing an Effective Student Cover Letter
- 3 Tips to Take Your Cover Letter from “Good” to “Great”
Let's dive in!
College Student Cover Letter Example
5 Steps for the Perfect College Student Cover Letter
You've just witnessed what a job-winning cover letter looks like. Now, it's your turn to craft one!
Just follow these 5 steps, and you’ll be as good as gold!
#1. Put Contact Information in the Header
When crafting your college student cover letter, it's essential to kick things off with your contact details. Just like on your resume, these should sit in the header of your cover letter.
Here's a breakdown of what to include:
- Full Name. Your first and last name should proudly sit at the top of the page.
- Intended Job Title. Match the job title on your cover letter to the specific position you're seeking. (E.g.: If you’re applying for the job of “Junior Marketing Manager,” use those exact words and not “Marketing Specialist" or “Advertising Executive.”)
- Email Address. Choose an email address that's professional and straightforward. A combination of your first and last name is a safe bet. (e.g.: firstname.lastname@example.org is good but email@example.com is not.)
- Phone Number. Ensure your provided phone number is accurate so that the hiring manager can reach you. If you're applying for a job in another country, add the international dial code.
- Location. Your city and state will suffice, no need to mention the address. However, if you're seeking a remote position or planning to relocate, be sure to mention it.
- Relevant Links (optional). If you have any relevant websites or social media profiles, such as LinkedIn, feel free to include them.
Once your own contact information is in place, it's time to add the hiring manager's details:
- Company Name. Clearly state the company you're applying to.
- Hiring Manager's Name. If you can find the name of the hiring manager for the specific department you're interested in, include it.
- Location. Specify the city and state or country of the company, especially if it's a global organization.
- Email Address (optional). If you manage to find the hiring manager's email address, it's a nice touch to include it.
#2. Address the Hiring Manager
Once you've got all your college student cover letter's contact info in place, the next step is addressing your letter properly.
You can always go for something generic like "To Whom It May Concern,” but if you want to stand out, you’re better off addressing the hiring manager directly.
Start by doing a bit of research. Take a look at the job listing, the company's website, or even their LinkedIn profiles. This will help you find the name and email address of the person who'll be reading your cover letter.
Next, address them in a formal but friendly way. You can use "Ms." or "Mr." followed by their last name. If you're unsure about their gender or marital status, just use their full name. Here are some examples:
- Dear Ms. Rodriguez
- Dear Alex Rodriguez
If you can't find any specific info about the hiring manager or the department head, it's okay to address your letter to the department or the company in general. Just keep it friendly and professional:
- Dear Marketing Department
- Dear Marketing Team
- Dear Human Resources
- Dear Hiring Team
#3. Write an Eye-Catching Opening Statement
Hiring managers typically spend around seven seconds evaluating a college student's application before deciding whether to read it thoroughly. So, making a strong first impression in your cover letter is vital.
In the opening paragraph, be sure to introduce yourself and explain why you're interested in the position. Expressing your enthusiasm for the industry or the specific job can grab the hiring manager's attention.
Doing a bit of research on the company can be very helpful here. The more you know about the employer, the better you can emphasize how well you'd fit into their work culture. This demonstrates that you're not just applying to random companies but are genuinely interested in this particular role.
You can also kick off your cover letter by mentioning a noteworthy achievement or showcasing the skills that make you an ideal candidate. Keep this paragraph short, though. The goal is to spark the hiring manager's interest and encourage them to read into your cover letter's details.
#4. Use the Cover Letter Body for the Details
The body of your college student cover letter is your chance to provide in-depth details that truly showcase why you're a perfect fit for the job.
Discuss courses, projects, or experiences that have given you skills relevant to the role. Additionally, share any extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or internships that align with the position.
For instance, if you're applying for a marketing role and you managed a social media campaign for a college club, that would be perfect to mention. It's also beneficial to highlight any soft skills, such as communication or teamwork, and give examples of when you've put them to use.
Next, demonstrate that you've done your research by mentioning something specific about the company that resonates with you, whether it's their mission, a product, or a recent accomplishment.
It's important to show how the company’s values or goals align with your experiences or aspirations. Every cover letter should be tailor-made for the job you're applying for, so make sure to emphasize experiences and skills that match the job description.
It can also be helpful to incorporate keywords from the job posting, especially if the company uses applicant scanning software for initial screening.That said, avoid the temptation to simply rehash your college resume - your cover letter should be a supplementary document, not a copy-paste.
Want to learn what a great cover letter looks like in different fields? Check out our cover letter examples!
#5. Wrap It Up and Sign It
Wrapping up your college student cover letter is the final touch that can leave a lasting impression.
It's essential to conclude on a strong note, ensuring that your conclusion reinforces why you're an excellent fit for the role.
In your conclusion, confidently recap your qualifications and the skills that set you apart from other candidates in the college student industry. Reiterate how your experiences align perfectly with the job.
Following your conclusion, it's time to include a call to action. Encourage the hiring manager to take the next step, such as initiating a discussion about your application. This proactive approach can significantly increase your chances of securing an interview.
Finally, select an appropriate closing line and follow it with your full name to end your letter like a pro.
Please feel free to contact me at the provided email or phone number to arrange an interview. I eagerly await the opportunity to discuss my application at your earliest convenience.
And finally, if you prefer to explore alternative sign-offs to "Warm regards," here are some options:
- Best regards,
- Thank you for your consideration,
3 Essential College Student Cover Letter Tips
You've got the basics of cover letters down, and now it's time to take your college student cover letter to the next level with some essential tips.
#1. Match Your Resume
When you're a college student applying for a job, it's important to maintain a consistent application style.
Make sure your cover letter's format and layout closely mirror your resume template to create a professional and organized impression.
Align your text and contact details neatly on the page, keep font styles and sizes uniform, and set appropriate margins and line spacing.
By doing this, you'll present a polished and cohesive application while ensuring your cover letter stays on a single page.
Or Use A Cover Letter Template Instead
Don't want the hassle of starting from scratch? We've got you covered! Our cover letter templates are designed to save you time and ensure your cover letter pairs perfectly with your resume.
Crafted with insights from the world’s leading hiring managers, our templates meet industry standards and look fantastic.
#2. Focus on Extracurricular Activities & Internships
Chances are, as a student, you don’t have a lot of hands-on professional work experience.
That doesn’t mean you lack valuable experience that can impress potential employers.
Extracurricular activities and internships can play a pivotal role in showcasing your skills, dedication, leadership, and adaptability.
Participating in clubs, organizations, or sports can demonstrate skills like teamwork, leadership, time management, and problem-solving. For instance, if you were the captain of a sports team, it suggests leadership and dedication. If you were part of a debate club, it shows strong communication and critical thinking skills.
#3. Proofread the Final Draft
Proofreading your final draft is a crucial step when polishing your college student cover letter. Typos and bad grammar can quickly sabotage a great first impression.
First off, run your cover letter through Grammarly or any other online tool to find any mechanical errors.
Then, re-read it yourself carefully to make sure that the tool didn’t miss something important.
Finally, get a friend to give it a final review to make sure the cover letter is objectively good.
Hopefully, by now, you know all you need in order to create an effective college student cover letter.
Before you go and start applying for jobs, here’s a quick recap of everything we’ve covered in this article:
- Your cover letter is often the first introduction to a potential employer. Ensure it's polished, professional, and captures your qualifications effectively.
- Extracurricular activities, internships, and academic achievements can be valuable assets. Don't shy away from showcasing these experiences.
- One size doesn't fit all. Customize your cover letter for each position, emphasizing how your skills align with the job requirements.
- Hiring managers often skim through applications due to volume. Aim for clarity and brevity, getting straight to the point.
- Minor errors can be detrimental. Use online tools, seek feedback, and meticulously review your content before submission.
- Let your passion shine through. Employers value candidates who are not only qualified but also genuinely interested in the role and the company.