How To Write a Cover Letter as a Recent Graduate in 8 Steps
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated November 21, 2022
Published September 7, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Cover letters are an important part of your application, and they provide the opportunity to show your personality and passion for your work. Recent graduates can use this document to show how their skills or experiences make them a great fit for any position. If you have recently graduated, learning more about cover letters can improve your chances of creating an effective application document and receiving a job offer. In this article, we explain how to write a cover letter as a recent graduate and provide a template and examples for you to use when creating your own.
How to write a cover letter as a recent graduate
To learn how to write a cover letter as a recent graduate, here are the steps you can follow:
1. Review the organization and job description
Whether you are applying for a position with a new company or seeking to further your education, review information about the organization and position. If you're applying for a job, read the job listing and review the responsibilities and preferred qualifications. For an educational institution, review the school's ideals and philosophies so you can incorporate them in your letter.
2. Format your letter to be professional
Once you have reviewed the relevant materials, format your document. It's important that your letter is professional and attractive to impress the reader. Avoid adding images or using non-traditional fonts. Professional fonts, like Times New Roman or Georgia, can help your letter be more legible and presentable. Consider standard 1-inch margins and avoid using highlights, bold text, and italics.
3. List your name and current contact information
The hiring manager may look for your contact information to contact you about interviews or other steps in their consideration process. Be sure to include information like your full name, phone number, and email address. You can either list this information at the top of the page or at the bottom under your signature.
4. Create a brief but interesting introduction
The introductory paragraph is likely the first part of your letter the reader sees. It's important to be professional, brief, and informative in this section. Begin by explaining the position you're applying for or your reason for the letter. You can also include a concise statement about your interest, including how you heard about the position or why you're applying for it. If the application is for enrolment at an educational institution, you can include why you aspire to join their program.
5. Emphasize your relevant abilities and skills
The reader of your letter may also review your resume, so it's important that you avoid summarizing all the information from it. Instead, use this space to focus on one or two relevant abilities or skills. Explain how they can specifically complement the position or program you're applying for.
6. Explain your unique characteristics and outlook
The hiring manager or admissions specialist may consider many candidates for the role you are pursuing. Show how you're unique to make your application memorable, and explain how your experiences or circumstances have allowed you to develop your skills. You may also talk about how you possess a unique skill set. For example, if you speak multiple languages, include this in your letter.
7. Conclude the application letter with gratitude
After writing about your relevant skills and unique characteristics, conclude your letter. Be sure to thank the reader for their time in this section. You can also express your excitement about the opportunity or state that you look forward to hearing from them soon.
8. Write a complimentary close and signature
Finish your application letter with a complementary close and your signature. To do this, you can print your document out and sign it or use an online signature program. Avoid using personal salutations for your letter and instead choose a professional salutation, such as:
Cover letter template for a recent graduate
Here is a cover letter template for recent graduates to help you write your own:
Dear [Hiring Manager],
[Write a brief introductory paragraph detailing the position you are applying for. In this paragraph, you can include how you learned about the position and what about the job interests you.]
[The second paragraph is your place to explain relevant experiences. As a recent graduate, you can include any tasks you performed in clubs or organizations on campus that may correlate to the potential position. If you are applying for a position outside of your degree, you can use this space to detail your transferable skills and how they can help you be successful.]
[In the last paragraph, express why you believe you are a great choice for the position.]
[Here you can write a message thanking them for their time and expressing your anticipation to hear from them regarding the position.]
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]
Recent graduate cover letter examples
Here are some examples of cover letters to help you write your own if you are a recent graduate:
Here is an example of a cover letter for a recent college graduate with ample professional experience:
Dear Jordan Colman,
I am applying for the role of marketing coordinator at Hallson Financial Services. I originally found the job posting on a professional networking site and became immediately intrigued by your employer's mission to help those in need.
During my time at Pastureside University, I completed three marketing internships, one of which included assisting the marketing team of a financial advising group. I also worked as a student marketing assistant in the university's admissions department, where I scheduled and updated marketing campaign calendars, wrote the admission ad copy, and designed infographics to help prospective students and their families navigate financial aid options.
I believe that my experience in marketing for financial services could help me meet and exceed expectations as marketing coordinator at your company.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Here is an example of a cover letter from a recent college graduate with little or no professional experience:
Dear Hiring Manager,
My name is Sam Markson, and I am applying for the entry-level computer programmer position advertised on your company website. I have used several of your cybersecurity and data storage products over the years and was very excited to hear about the available position.
I believe I am right for this position because I have excellent attention to detail and a passion for coding that inspires me to continue learning.
I am eager to speak with you further about the position.
Here is an example of a cover letter for a recent college graduate applying to graduate school:
Dear Admissions Officer,
My name is Alex Hartson, and I am applying to the counselling psychology master's degree program at Brightwood University. I recently graduated from Pastureside University with a bachelor's degree in psychology, where I developed an interest in family counselling. When I read about your counselling degree program and discovered that you offer a family counselling specialty, I knew that this was the right master's degree program to continue my studies.
During my time at Pastureside University, I worked as a student research assistant in the psychology department and also worked at the front desk in the counselling office. As a master's degree student at Brightwood University, I would aim to contribute to campus activities and initiatives while I complete my studies.
Thank you for taking the time to review my application.
Here is a cover letter example from a recent college graduate applying for a job outside of their degree field:
Dear Hiring Manager,
I am applying for the entry-level travel agent position at Flight Travel Agency. When I saw your job listing for a travel agent with international travel experience, I was eager to learn more. I am extremely passionate about travel and have been to five other countries: Ireland, Spain, France, England, and Italy.
I recently graduated with a bachelor's degree in finance from Lakefront University. During my time there, I took a variety of courses related to budgeting, taxation, and international finance. I also developed valuable skills, including attention to detail, problem-solving, and bookkeeping, which I think could help me when listening to clients' travel needs, scheduling trips, and recording expenses.
I look forward to learning more about the position.
The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.
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