How To Write a Student Cover Letter (With Examples and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 25, 2022 | Published July 26, 2021

Updated October 25, 2022

Published July 26, 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.

Related: How To Write a Cover Letter: Top 3 Tips, Format & Examples

In this video, Holl explains what employers want from a cover letter, the optimal cover letter format, and 3 key strategies for success.

People applying to jobs can write a cover letter to introduce their resume, describe their background, and express their personality. While students may lack extensive work experience, there is a lot of other relevant information to include in a cover letter. If you're at the beginning of your career, consider writing a cover letter that helps you stand out to a potential employer and explain why you're an excellent candidate for a job based on your other life experiences. In this article, we explain how to write a student cover letter and provide a template, helpful tips, and a student cover letter example to guide you.

How to write a student cover letter

You may need to submit a cover letter to apply for jobs, internships, scholarships, or other programs. With the proper preparation, you can write a great cover letter that emphasizes your abilities, qualifications, and unique perspective. Here are some steps for how to write a student cover letter:

1. Study the position description

Study the description of the job, internship, scholarship, or program you're applying for so you can tailor your cover letter to it. Note important details, including:

  • The name of the position

  • The requirements to apply

  • The qualifications of an ideal candidate

  • The responsibilities of the role

  • The name of the company and hiring manager

You can reference some of these details in your cover letter to show the hiring manager you're a perfect fit for the role. For example, if the job requires excellent communication skills, you can highlight an example of how you're an expert at communication. Pay attention to keywords in the job description that you could use when discussing your experience to ensure that your cover letter focuses on what the employer values. Incorporating the job description in your cover letter can show your skills in professionalism, planning, and thoughtfulness.

Related: 7 Steps for Creating a Resume as a Student

2. Research the company

Visit the company's website and look for a mission statement or a list of values. Companies often want to hire people who will fit in with their company culture, so it's important to think about how your personal goals and values could connect with your potential employer's mission. Referencing the company's reputation and community impact in your cover letter also shows that you have put in the effort to get to know them and have a genuine interest in working on their team.

3. Consider your top skills

To get started in writing your cover letter, make a list of the key skills listed in the job description and write down an activity or experience where you demonstrated that skill. Brainstorming your proudest accomplishments and connecting them with the job description can give you a strong list of ideas that you can include in your letter. Try to create ideas that focus on multiple skills to show that you are well-rounded and adaptable.

Related: Personal Skills and Professional Skills You Should Have on Your Resume

4. Write about your educational background

As a current student, your educational background is one of the most significant aspects of your professional identity. In your cover letter, you can discuss how your academic experience makes you a perfect match for the position. Be sure to highlight how the field you are studying and your coursework relates to the responsibilities of the role. If you are applying for a position in a particular industry, talking about classes you have taken in that field can show your expertise.

5. Write about your work or other extra-curricular experiences

Even if you only have a small amount of work experience, you can still include examples of it in your cover letter to highlight your relevant skills. In addition, you may have more experience than you think. Consider mentioning extra-curricular activities or organizations you take part in, outside of school, such as:

  • Internships

  • Studying abroad or other travel experiences

  • Honour associations

  • Part-time jobs like dog walking, babysitting, food service, or tutoring

  • Clubs like a book club, chess club, or sports club

  • Volunteer work

6. Consider your hobbies

Even if you've never had a job, there still may be information you can include in your cover letter. Think about activities you do in your free time and the skills you learn during them, and connect them to the job responsibilities. If you like to draw, you could mention how that hobby developed your creativity and focus. Student-athletes could share how taking part in a sport improved their work ethic and teamwork. Here are some other examples of hobbies you could mention in your cover letter:

  • Photography

  • Blogging or vlogging

  • Reading

  • Hiking

7. Format your cover letter

Your cover letter is an opportunity to prove your skills in writing, communication, and organization. Make sure your information is clear and concise and that your format is readable. Consider adhering to the following structure:

  • A header with your name and contact information

  • An introduction paragraph explaining why you are writing the letter, who you are, and why you are the best person for the role

  • Two or more body paragraphs exemplifying your introductory statement

  • A conclusion where you mention why you appreciate the company

Read more: How to Format a Cover Letter

8. Proofread

Reread the cover letter and look for places where you could be clearer or add helpful details. Make sure that each sentence has new, valuable information and doesn't repeat any ideas or phrases. You should also proofread your cover letter for grammar and spelling. Reading your writing aloud is a great strategy for noticing awkward phrases or misspellings. Consider asking another person to look over your writing before sending it off to an employer.

Template for a student cover letter

Here is a template you can use to write your own student cover letter:

[Your full name]

[Your email]

[Your phone number]

[Optional: Your town/city and province/territory]

[Date]

Dear [Hiring manager's full name or company name],

I am writing to apply for the position of [Name of position], as advertised on [Company name]'s [Where you saw the job opening]. My academic background in [one or more fields you study] and work experience make me an excellent fit for this position, as they've given me skills in [skill area one], [skill area two], and [skill area three].

[Paragraph one: Highlight an example or more of a recent accomplishment, the skills you used to achieve it, and how it qualifies you for the job.]

[Paragraph two: Explain the special skills you would bring to the job, why you're passionate about your area of study, and how you would use this job to develop your career.]

[Paragraph three: Explain why you are applying to this company]

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards,

[Your full name]

Student cover letter example

Here is a student cover letter example that may help you write your own:

Pamela Johnson

pamelajohnson@email.com

555-555-5555

1 January 2021

Dear Oak Tree Marketing,

I am writing to apply for the position of Social Media Marketing Intern, as advertised on Oak Tree Marketing's Indeed profile. My academic background in English and work experience make me an excellent fit for this position, as they've given me skills in communication, design, and technology.

During my second year of classes as an English student, I became passionate about marketing when I took a class on the topic. We had the opportunity to create our own digital campaign for an imaginary product, allowing me to become an expert at using social media and technology to convey information. I am also an active participant in a photography club, where I compose photographs and overlay designs on them using editing software.

Because of my experience, I would be able to generate innovative ideas at Oak Tree Marketing and use my design skills to improve advertising strategies. My history of using my imagination and working independently would aid me in creating excellent social media content for your company. This position is a perfect way for me to put my education into practice and start growing my career while helping clients advertise their businesses.

I was excited to see this position open because I love Oak Tree Marketing's mission to help small businesses thrive. I am enthusiastic about the possibility of joining the team.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards,

Pamela Johnson

Tips for writing a student cover letter

A student cover letter can be a fantastic addition to your application package and an opportunity to convey your enthusiasm about the role to the hiring manager. Here are some tips for writing one:

  • Use numbers: Whenever possible, include numbers as evidence of your skills. For example, you could share how many volunteer hours you've completed.

  • Be concise: Make sure to be concise when describing your experiences. Highlight the most important points to allow hiring managers to scan a summary about you.

  • Be specific: Hiring managers typically want to know why you want this job specifically, as opposed to another one. Use specific reasons you are applying for this position.

  • Ensure it's different from your resume: Make sure your cover letter isn't a replication of your resume. Use your cover letter to discuss interesting examples of your skills.


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