Resumes & Cover Letters

How to Write a College Student Cover Letter (With Template and Examples)

December 1, 2020

A college student cover letter is the first determinant for hiring managers when deciding whether your resume is viewed or not. If you are a recent graduate or college student applying for a job, it is beneficial to know what to include in your cover letter to increase your chances of standing out. In this article, we will explain how to write a compelling college student cover letter with a template and examples.

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.
  2. Verify the instructions.
  3. Communicate your contact details.
  4. Confirm the recipient's contact information.
  5. Create a subject line.
  6. Introduce yourself.
  7. Tell the reader about your education.
  8. Explain why you are a good fit for the job.
  9. Include a call to action.
  10. Show gratitude.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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],

[Signature]

Related: How to Choose Cover Letter Font and Font Size

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
555-5555-5555
Kaleb.Cale@email.com
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

Example of letter to send via email

From: Sophia.Valen@email.com

To: Michael.John@email.com

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 Indeed.com 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.

Sincerely,

Sophia Valen