How To Write a College Student Cover Letter (With Template)

Updated August 25, 2023

Image description

A man is using a magnifying glass to examine a document. There is a list titled "How To Write a Student Cover Letter" with the following directions:
• Introduce yourself and what you're seeking
• Show an understanding of the company and role then demonstrate relevant skills
• Include a call-to-action
• Include a signature
• Include contact details that match your resume

A college student cover letter is the first determinant for hiring managers when deciding whether your resume will be viewed or not. If you’re a recent graduate or college student applying for a job, it’s beneficial to know what you should include in a cover letter to increase your chances of standing out.

In this article, we’ll explain how to write a compelling college student cover letter, complete with a template and examples for reference.

Cover Letter vs. Resume
Image description

The image is titled Cover Letter vs Resume. An example cover letter is on the left with tips written below it.

The cover letter reads:
Malik Rabb

May 1, 2020

Dear Hiring Manager, I am grateful for the opportunity to apply for the associate marketing position at Retail Ocean. Storytelling through marketing is a true passion of mine, and I graduated with a four-year degree in Marketing from Coral Springs University. Marketing is a full-time commitment, and it is essential to always look for ways to improve a company's outreach. A successful marketing campaign is crucial to the long-term success of any company, and I believe that my unique skill set is perfect for this job.

I have previously worked in the marketing department at Rivher Tech, and I supervised a wide variety of successful marketing campaigns. My primary goal was to increase brand awareness and reach new clients through social media, SEO practices, and traditional advertising platforms. Reaching marketing goals is always a top priority and I always prioritize the best interests of the company — my work at River Tech, for example, resulted in a 45% increase in customer engagement. I am never satisfied with the status quo, and I believe that a company should continually look for ways to improve and reach new clients through innovative campaigns.

Thank you for taking the time to read my cover letter. I hope to speak with you soon and learn more about the opportunities for a Marketing position at Retail Ocean. Working in the marketing field is a fantastic opportunity, and I believe that I am a great fit at Retail Ocean with my unique skill set and prior experience.

Malik Rabb

Cover letter:

  • Formatted like a business letter

  • Explains your interest in and qualifications for a position with specific examples

  • May either be optional or required as part of a job application depending on the employer

The resume on the right side of the image reads:
Malik Rabb
Analytics-driven, inbound Digital Marketing Manager with 3 years of experience designing powerful social media strategies, growing engaged online audiences, and developing eye-catching email campaigns that convert prospective customers.
Professional Experience

Digital Marketing Manager I Aug '16-Current

  • Built content marketing strategy/calendar from the ground up

  • Launched new email marketing campaign, improving email open rates from 15% to over 50%

  • Develop content partnerships with online influencers, including a blogger with 1M+ Instagram followers

  • Wrote and directed series of YouTube videos that reached 20,000+ in total views

Marketing Associate I May '15-Aug '16

  • Established company's first social media presence across Pinterest and Instagram, and grew Twitter followers from ~50 to 2,500÷ in 4 months

  • Conducted market research to develop targeted buyer personas

  • Championed inbound marketing strategies (replacing traditional outbound methods) to create brand awareness and attract more buyers

  • Wrote press releases, newsletter articles, and email copy

Coral Springs University I Aug '11-May '15
Bachelor of Science in Marketing

  • Graduated with honors

  • Certificate in Business Foundations

Areas of expertise: Social media marketing, email marketing, copywriting. SEO
Software: Google Analytics, HubSpot, Salesforce

Resume tips:

  1. Reverse-chronological, functional or combination formatting options

  2. Summarizes your relevant experience and achievements including education, professional history and skills

  3. Commonly required when applying for a job

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What is a college student cover letter?

A college student cover letter is a document that accompanies your resume when you apply for a position. It is the first impression you will give to your future employer. The objective of the cover letter is to demonstrate that you could be an asset to the company. It describes how your skills and academic background will allow you to perform successfully.

A college student cover letter can include your GPA if it is higher than 3.5 and mention honor societies you belong to. You may mention your interpersonal skills as qualities that will help you in your future position.

Related: How to Include Relevant Coursework On a Student Resume

How to write a college student cover letter

You can follow these steps to write your college student cover letter:

1. Do some research

Start by finding out what the employer is looking for. Read the job description carefully to identify the qualities the employer wants in a candidate. Among your set of skills, write down the ones that are relevant for the position. Look for information about their company culture or objectives and draft a few sentences explaining why these qualities will help you to thrive in their organization.

Related: 15 Cover Letter Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

2. Verify the instructions

Check if your cover letter needs to be submitted via traditional mail, email or through online application fields. Following the employer's instructions is an easy way to demonstrate your attention to detail. Verify the job description and company website. If you need clarifications, you can call the company's human resources department.

3. Communicate your contact details

At the top of the letter, write your first and last name, mailing address, phone number and email. This will facilitate the hiring manager's task when they decide to contact you.

Related: How To Write an Effective Email to Recruiters (With Sample)

4. Confirm the recipient's contact information

If you are sending a paper copy, you need to write the recipient's name and address at the top of your letter to ensure they receive it. If you send it electronically, you can skip this step and verify the recipient's email address is correct by double-checking the job posting.

5. Create a subject line

To ensure that your reader understands the purpose of your letter immediately, explain it in a few words.

Example: Application for Internship

If you send an email, you will write this in the subject line.

Read more: How To Write a Subject Line for a Job Application in 9 Steps

6. Introduce yourself

Use your opening statement to introduce yourself. The first paragraph should state the reason why you are writing and where you found out about the position. Also, express your interest in the position sincerely.

Related: How To Introduce Yourself Professionally

7. Tell the reader about your education

Since you are a student or recently graduated, your education is your principal asset. Highlight this at the beginning of your letter. Tell your future employer what you study along with where and when you are expected to graduate if it applies. You can also mention your academic distinctions to make a good first impression.

8. Explain why you are a good fit for the job

In two paragraphs, explain why your skills and education make you a good match for the position. If you already gained relevant experience through internships or summer jobs, mention it.

Related: How to Write About Yourself (With Example and 5 Tips)

9. Include a call to action

Finish your letter by asking for an interview and directing the reader to your resume or portfolio. You can also be proactive and express your intention of following up with a call or email to schedule an interview.

10. Show gratitude

Conclude your letter by expressing your gratitude for their time and consideration. Sign the letter in a professional manner.

Related: Cover Letter Checklist: What to Review Before You Submit

College student cover letter template

You can use this template to make sure you include all the necessary information in your college student cover letter.

[Your first and last name]
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]
[Optional: Your mailing address]

[Employer's name]
[Employer's mailing address]
[Subject: Job title application]

[The first sentence introduces you and states your name clearly. It lets the reader know which position you are applying to. In the second sentence, you can mention one of your strengths. Tell your reader about your education, what university you attend and in what year you expect to graduate if you have yet to graduate. Conclude the paragraph by expressing your interest and motivation for the job.]

[In the second paragraph, provide a description of your most relevant professional experiences like a summer job, internship or student exchange program. In the second and third sentences, explain the skills this experience allowed you to gain.]

[In the third paragraph, explain why you are qualified for the position. Mention your strengths and how it makes you a good fit for the job. You can refer to previous experiences if applicable.]

[The fourth paragraph is a closing paragraph. Use the first sentence to tell the employer you would love the opportunity to interview with them. If you enclosed a link to a portfolio, invite them to look at it in the second sentence. If not, mention that your resume is enclosed. Use the third sentence to express your gratitude and let the reader know you are looking forward to hearing from the company.]

[Closing statement],


Download Cover Letter Template With Example

To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.

Related: Free Cover Letter Templates

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College student cover letter examples

Here are two examples to help you find inspiration and compose your own cover letter.

Example with a mailing address

Kaleb Cale
78222 Mine street
85001 Phoenix, AZ

Camelia Jones
Deniva Company
66789 Lone Street
85001 Phoenix, AZ

Subject: Application for Accountant Position

Dear Mrs. Jones,

My name is Kaleb Cale, and I recently learned that your company is currently looking to hire an accountant and I have a strong interest in that position. I am a student at the Golden University, expected to graduate in the fall of 2020.

During my time at Golden University, I worked as a summer associate for the university accounting department in 2018 and 2019. This experience not only increased my working knowledge of accounting principles, but it also helped me develop a great team spirit.

I am convinced that my attention to detail, time management and organizational skills will allow me to thrive in this position.

I would love to get an interview and talk about how I can contribute to the success of your organization. I have enclosed my resume. You can call me at 555-5555-5555 to schedule a meeting. Thank you for your time and consideration. I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Kaleb Cale

Related: Cover Letter Basics (With Tips and Template)

Example of letter to send via email



Subject line: Graphic Designer Application - Sophia Valen

Dear M. John,

My name is Sophia Valen. I am writing to express my strong interest in the position of graphic designer, as published on the website. I recently graduated from Yates University with a 3.8 GPA.

Through an internship at G.C. Design Corp. last year, I gained experience in 3D design. I also had the opportunity to study for one semester in Germany, which allowed me to increase my knowledge of German and European design techniques.

I am aware your company wants to expand in Germany and I believe my understanding of the German culture and language can be an asset to your company. Moreover, my artistic talent and interpersonal skills can help me thrive on your team.

I would welcome the opportunity to interview with you. I have enclosed my resume and will call you within the next week to see if we can talk further about my application. Please follow the link below to view my portfolio. Thank you for your time and consideration. I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Sophia Valen

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