Graduate Assistant Cover Letter Example and Template for 2023

Updated August 29, 2023

Graduate assistants provide support to professors and students in colleges and universities. Participating in a graduate assistantship program is a good way to gain experience in the field while earning money as a student. If you're interested in applying for a graduate assistant position, consider writing a detailed cover letter for your application. You can also view the job description or reference resume samples to assist you in your application.

In this article, we define the graduate assistant role, explain how to write a cover letter for the job and provide an example for you to reference when you apply. When you're ready to apply for a job, you can upload a resume file or build an Indeed Resume.

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Rebecca Fry

May 3, 2023

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am excited to apply for the Graduate Assistant position in the Social Science department at Green Valley University. As a dedicated master's student studying sociology and anthropology, I'm interested in the possibility of learning from experienced professors within this role. Since I hope to continue in the field of academia, working as a Graduate Assistant would provide valuable teaching and research experience.

I have professional experience as a Research Assistant, which I believe prepares me for this position. During my time as a Research Assistant, I supported Professor Jones with her research project. I contributed to the literature review, edited and proofread the final report and managed the database we used for the study. Each of these tasks developed my organizational and multitasking abilities, which I will bring to my work as a Graduate Assistant.

During my time as a student at Green Valley University, I have enjoyed the close community among students and professors. I hope to contribute to this community by facilitating a welcoming environment within the classroom. I have participated in a number of on-campus groups, and the interpersonal and collaborative skills I learned through this participation equip me to thoughtfully engage with students and staff alike.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. I look forward to hearing back from you with any additional information relating to the graduate assistantship. I'm confident that my skills, qualifications and research background would be valuable to the Social Science department.

Rebecca Fry

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What is a graduate assistant?

A graduate assistant contributes to the administration, academic development and student life within their department at a university or college. Typically, these assistants are student employees actively enrolled in a postgraduate program, such as a master's or doctoral program.

Graduate assistants' job duties may vary based on their specific position. Some graduate assistants contribute to teaching and assessing undergraduate students, while others focus primarily on contributing to research projects. Others may provide general support to the department through administrative and technical tasks. If you're interested in applying for a graduate assistantship, consider reviewing resume samples to guide you.

Related: What Is a Graduate Assistant? Duties, Benefits and Tips

How to write a graduate assistant cover letter

If you're planning to apply for a graduate assistantship, consider adding a cover letter to strengthen your application. You can include important details about your experience and skills in this letter to impress the hiring manager. Follow these steps to write a graduate assistant cover letter:

1. Review the job description

The role of a graduate assistant may vary, so it's important to review the job description carefully before applying. The job description contains important details about the specific job duties, required skills and necessary qualifications. You can use this information when writing your cover letter to ensure you include relevant information that directly relates to the job for which you're applying.

Related: 11 Pros and Cons of Being a Graduate Assistant

2. Conduct preliminary research

Before you submit your application, consider conducting preliminary research about the position. You might reach out to a current graduate assistant to learn more about the role or speak with a professor within the department. This can help you determine if the position is right for you.

Additionally, you can learn more about the expectations for the role, which you can use to strengthen your cover letter. Conducting preliminary research helps you understand how to communicate with the hiring manager and align the language of your cover letter to the tone of the job description.

Related: 63 Common Interview Questions for Graduate Assistantships

3. Include a heading and greeting

When you begin writing your cover letter, it's best to include a heading and a greeting first. The heading can include personal information, like your phone number, name and a professional email address. Providing these details makes it easy for the hiring manager to contact you to schedule an interview.

After the heading, add a personal greeting. You can say "Dear Hiring Manager," or use the name of the hiring manager if you know it. This gives your letter a professional tone. Additionally, formatting your cover letter demonstrates attention to detail and organization, which are useful skills for graduate assistants.

Related: How To Write the Best Cover Letter (With Template and Sample)

4. Write an introduction

The first section of a cover letter is an introduction. Typically, the introduction includes more details about your professional history, including a brief description of your current job. For a graduate assistant application, you might explain the program you're enrolled in or discuss any relevant experience.

You can write a statement about why you're interested in the role that includes the name of the position you're applying for and the name of the university or academic department. Lastly, consider adding the name of a professor or other connection who recommended that you apply for the role.

Related: 7 Key Elements of a Successful Cover Letter

5. Write the body paragraphs

After the introduction, a cover letter typically includes between two and three body paragraphs. You can use these paragraphs to discuss your relevant skills or qualifications. For example, you might explain your previous experience as a research assistant that applies directly to the graduate assistant position.

Try to include specific details that demonstrate your abilities so the hiring manager understands your skills. These paragraphs are opportunities to showcase your passion for the work and highlight your qualifications. It's also important to use different details from your resume to ensure the cover letter adds value to your application.

Related: Letter of Interest vs. Cover Letter: Definitions, Tips and Examples

6. Include a conclusion and signature

In the concluding paragraph of your cover letter, it's best to reiterate your interest in the role. You might also add a statement that describes your career objectives and goals if you were to receive the position.

To end this paragraph, mention that you're looking forward to hearing back once they've made their decision. You might also express your gratitude to the hiring manager for considering your application. After the conclusion, you can add a signature. Consider using a professional farewell, like "Sincerely."

Related: How To End a Cover Letter (With Examples)

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