How to write a cover letter for college student?

A college is probably your first exposure to the job market.

If you are a college grad student, you probably do not have much experience in the workforce. And, this makes the task of writing a cover letter for college student with no experience more challenging.

In the USA, the job market is fiercely competitive. According to Educationdata.org, around 4 million college students graduate every year.

That means you have to compete with 4 million other candidates to get a job.

In this fierce competition, how will you get noticed?

With your cover letter for college students.

In this Cover letter for college students blog, we will tell you everything about

Why do you need a cover letter for a college student?

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You will probably start searching for a job in college, and a cover letter is a professional letter that will accompany your resume and talk about your academic achievements and how you think you will benefit the company.

When you are a grad student, you probably will not have a ton of experience to show in your cover letter when applying for a job. But you can show a variety of other skills and achievements in your college student cover letter.

For starters, if you are a grad student and have a GPA over 3.5, you can proudly highlight that in your cover letter. In addition to that, you can include internships, volunteer work, academic achievements, participation in extracurricular activities, leadership roles you have taken in your college.

One of the best things you can highlight in your cover letter for college students is soft skills. It will help the recruiters gauge your competency and how well you will fit in the organization. Here are some soft skills that you can include in your cover letter for college student with no experience:

  • Communication skills
  • Attention to details
  • Creative thinking
  • Team Player
  • Adaptability
  • Problem Solving

Sample cover letter for college student

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Here is a sample cover letter for college students:

Adrienne Rose
Marketing Associate
Covering Letter
5th Feb 2021

Donna Gem
Hiring Manager
Blue Ocean Media Ltd.
57, Brooks Lane,
San Francisco, CA

Re: Marketing Associate
Dear Ms. Gem,

I am an enterprising marketing professional pursuing a B.A. in Psychology from Palomar College armed with experience in conducting market research and surveys to get user feedback to optimize product marketing strategies. Additionally, I am proficient in analyzing market trends to deploy innovative marketing approaches to bolster customer acquisition and business growth.

Possessing expertise in market research, surveys, and market trend analysis, I am incredibly interested in the profile of Marketing Associate and firmly believe that I'll be an organic fit at Blue Ocean Media Ltd.

Throughout my studies and internship tenure, I have gained hands-on experience in market research, creating marketing content, SEO, and PR activities. During my last internship at Lemon Media, I played an instrumental role in designing and executing marketing and promotional campaigns, including e-newspaper, social media campaign, webinars, etc, and generated 15+ qualified leads weekly. Additionally, I oversaw the SEO and content creation for the Lemon Media website and increased web traffic by 14% in three months.

Besides my marketing experience in a practical environment, I am a good communicator and possess leadership qualities and management expertise. This foundation is built upon my volunteer experience at Children's HELP Foundation as a Teacher. Considering my background and knowledge, I am positive that I am the best fit for the Marketing Associate role at Blue Ocean Media Ltd.

Owing to the values and the passion for excellence that Blue Ocean Media Ltd. has showcased to date has been nothing short of extraordinary. Therefore, I consider Blue Ocean Media Ltd. to be my most preferred employer.

Enclosed for your consideration is my resume for further details regarding my expertise and career achievements. I'd appreciate the opportunity to further discuss my suitability and qualifications with you on call or in person.

Sincerely,

Adrienne Rose

Enclosure: Resume

How to write a cover letter for college students: step by step guide

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If you see any professional cover letter, you will notice that all the professional cover letters follow similar formatting.

Cover letter for college students - Header

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Like any other professional cover letters, you need to include all the necessary information in your cover letter header. Here is a list of things you need to include in your cover letter header:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Email ID
  • Location (No need to include whole address)
  • Linkedin Profile Link (If you have)
  • The Position you are applying for
  • Date
  • Name of the person you are sending the cover letter
  • Their title
  • Organization name
  • Organization address

Here is an cover letter example college student - header section:

image_2021-03-12_181817

Cover letter college student - Address

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Most of the college students make the mistake of sending the cover letter with a generic salutation like "To whom it may concern" or simply "Dear Hiring Manager". Some college students go one step further and address the cover informally like this: "Hi Hiring Manager,"

The first thing you need to do when addressing your cover letter is trying to find the hiring manager's name. You can easily do it by a quick Linkedin search. If you don't find the hiring manager's name online, try calling the company office and ask for the hiring manager's name.

Even then, if you don't get the hiring manager's name, use a generic salutation. But do not use "To whom it may concern". It's an old salutation and doesn't attract the hiring manager's attention anymore.

You can further personalize the generic salutation by addressing the cover letter to the department you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a job in the marketing department, address like this: "Dear Marketing Hiring Manager,"

If the hiring manager has an academic or professional title, do not forget to include that in the salutation,

Cover letter examples for college students - Salutation:

  • “Dear Mr. Moore,"
  • “Dear Dr, Watson,”
  • “Dear Ms. Chole,”

Cover letter college student - Introduction

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We always say that start your cover letter with a powerful opening paragraph highlighting your experience or skills, But when you are in college, you do not have any experience to show.

But, that should not restrain you from highlighting your skills in the cover letter first paragraph.

Note: Don't just mention skills randomly; instead, read the job description carefully and mention the relevant skills for the job you are applying for.

Two ways to create a perfect cover letter for college students first paragraph:

Highlighting your achievements

Sure, you don't have any tangible professional experience, but you must have done other activities in your college days such as internships, volunteer work, independent research, etc. You can mention those in the first paragraph of your cover letter as achievements.

Cover letter example college student - Introduction
Right:
"I am an enterprising management undergraduate pursuing B.S. in Business Administration from the University of California, and experienced in rendering assistance to the senior managers in all aspects of managerial functions and business operations. In addition to this, I am a self-motivated person and an effective business communicator who can work with minimal supervision as well as follow instructions without any complaints and oversight."

Wrong:
"I'm an undergraduate student pursuing B.S. in Business Administration from the University of California. I love working with people and growing as a professional. And I'd love to have an opportunity to work with you."

Tell the hiring manager you are excited about the opportunity

This will probably be your first job, and you are genuinely enthusiastic about this opportunity. Don't shy away from showing your enthusiasm in the cover letter.

Cover letter example college student - Introduction
Right:
"Possessing expertise in rendering critical assistance in conducting extensive market research and client relationship management, I am extremely interested in the profile of Marketing Associated and firmly believe that I'll be an organic fit at ABC LLC."

Wrong:
"I absolutely love ABC LLC. And it has always been my dream to work at your organization. Please consider my candidacy for the Marketing Associated position."

Note: These are only examples. There are multiple other ways to write your cover letter introduction. A rule of thumb is to try and make your college cover letter introduction as personalized as possible. For instance:

  • If someone referred you for the job, mention them in the introduction section.
  • Research on the company and mention a recent accomplishment of the company.
  • If you have seen the hiring manager's content on Linkedin, Start by appreciating their content.

No matter what you do, make sure that your college cover letter introduction is highly personalized and specific.

Cover letter College Student - Main Body

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Well done! You have successfully hooked the hiring manager.

Now you have come to one of the essential parts of your resume- the main body.

In this section, you have to describe your experience and achievements relevant to the job you are applying for, followed by another section where you say why you want to join the organization.

Let us see some examples of College Student Cover Letter - Main Body.

Cover letter examples for college students - Main Body

Example 1:
Right:
"In my last stint at Data Analyst Intern in Techno Corp, I have obtained hands-on experience in Python, JavaScript, and Database management systems such as MySQL & MS Access. I'm highly skilled at deploying statistical analysis models with Python libraries such as NumPy, Pandas, Scikit etc. During my internship tenure, I assisted senior data analysts in developing statistical models for business performance analysis and generating quarterly business reports with 20+ parameters for top-level management and key decision-makers.

Owing to the values and the passion for excellence that ABC Technologies have showcased to date has been nothing short of extraordinary. Therefore, I consider ABC Technologies to be my most preferred employer."

Note: See, this is a perfect example of a college student cover letter main body. It accurately describes all your skills and achievements in the first paragraph and shows why you want to work with the organization.

Wrong:
"I have worked as a Data Analyst Intern at Techno Corp for three months. And there, I have gathered valuable skills in Python Libraries and Data management systems.

I want to work with ABC Technologies because I am always interested in data analysis and I believe my experience will benefit the organization and help me grow as a person."

Note: This example does not show any tangible achievements and does not impress the hiring manager.

Example 2
Right:
"In my last role as a Digital Marketing Associate at Blue Ocean Media, I successfully managed 5+ Facebook advertising campaigns and generated 110% ROAS. I also successfully executed a Linkedin Cold Outreach campaign for our product launch and generated 500+ new users. In addition to that, I oversaw the content marketing efforts of Blue Ocean Media website and managed to increase the organic traffic from 1.5k per month to over 4000 unique visitors per month.

The passion for excellence that Lemon Media House has showcased to date has been nothing short of extraordinary. I am awed by its relentless commitment to helping small and medium businesses grow with the help of online media. Owing to such values, I consider Lemon Media House to be my most preferred employer."

Note: Notice that the candidate is showing his/her achievements with the first paragraph.

Wrong:
*"I am a digital nomad and love working on digital campaigns. Nothing makes me happier than generating a strong ROI for my clients. I also love working on SEO and helping my clients' websites to rank higher on the Google Search Ranking.

I believe my interest and work experience as a digital marketing associate makes me an ideal candidate for the Digital Marketing Assistant position in Lemon Media House."*

Note:The candidate is not quantifying their achievements. And it sounds cheesy.

Cover letter for college students - Closure

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You now have one last job to create a near-perfect college student cover letter.

You need to write a powerful closing statement for your cover letter and include a call to action to get invited for an interview.

Do not write CTAs like this:

  • "Please interview me for the position"
  • "Please give me a chance to explain my candidacy"

Instead, be professional in the call to action and give the hiring manager a little something to look forward to.

Cover letter example college student - Closure
Right:
"I have enclosed my resume for your consideration. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss my suitability and qualifications with you on call or in person.

*Sincerely,
John Doe

Enclosure: Resume"

Wrong:
"Thank you for considering my application. I have attached my resume below. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss my qualifications and experience for the position.

Cheers,
John Doe"

Note: "Cheers" is not at all formal. The hiring manager is not your friend. It might work if you know the hiring manager personally, but if not, avoid using any informal closing in your college cover letter.

College Student Cover Letter- Formal Closing Salutation

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There is not one, but many formal closing salutations you can use on your cover letter

  • Sincerely,
  • With best regards,
  • Thanking you,
  • Kind regards,
  • Thank you

Avoid informal closing salutation such as,

  • Cheers,
  • Best,
  • Yours,
  • Take care,

Cover letter for college students - Correct Formatting

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Writing a perfect college student cover letter is not the end of the story.

If your cover letter content is top-notch and it is presented poorly, you will not get any interview in the end.

So, make sure that your cover letter is professionally formatted, readable, and error-free before sending it to the recruiter.

Here are a couple of tips to format a college student cover letter for internship or job:

The Length

Your college student cover letter should not be more than one page and should only consist of 3 to 4 paragraphs. There is no ideal word count for cover letters, but it should wrap up within 500 words.

Cover letter Font

The college student's cover letter's presentation is as important as the content of the cover letter. So, make sure to use a clear and simple font to write your cover letter. These fonts are easy to read and look clean.

Apart from that, many cover letters go through application tracking systems before reaching the hiring managers. And these application tracking systems work best with clean and simple fonts.

Fonts you can use:

  • Arial
  • Verdana
  • Calibri
  • Open Sans
  • Sans Serif
  • Times New Roman

Note: Make sure to set the font size to 12-14 points.

Cover Letter Margin

Speaking of business letter format, ideally, your cover letter margins should be 1". But if the cover letter is exceeding the 1-page mark, then you can try to reduce the margins to ¾" or ½."

But avoid reducing even further. Then your cover letter won't look good.

Cover Letter Whitespace

Make sure to leave plenty of whitespace at the start of the cover letter, between the paragraphs, and after closure. The more whitespace, the easier it is to read the cover letter.

Proofread

You do not want to send a cover letter full of grammatical errors. So take your time to proofread your cover letter a couple of times before sending it to the hiring manager.

File format

Do not send your cover letter in .DOCX format. Instead, send your cover letter in PDF format. It will keep the cover letter layout intact.

Hiration Pro Tip: It's best to save the cover letter with the job-specific name. For example, if you apply for a video editor job, name the cover letter like this: "Video Editor-John Doe-Cover Letter.pdf." It will be much more convenient for the hiring manager to sort the cover letters with a name.

Cover letter for college students - Checklist

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This checklist will guide you to write a cover letter for yourself
Cover letter header including your name, contact information, location

  • Cover letter title- The role you are applying for
  • Date
  • Hiring manager's name
  • Company name
  • Company address
  • Salutation
  • First paragraph - Start with an achievement or total work experience
  • Second paragraph - Talk about key skills, achievements, and what you will bring to the table
  • Third paragraph - If you have any additional achievements related to the job you are applying
  • Fourth paragraph - Why you think the organization is the right fit for you
  • Fifth paragraph - Call to action for an interview
  • Closing salutation
  • Enclosure - resume

Tips for writing a Cover letter for college student

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Go beyond your resume

Your college student cover letter should not be an exact copy of your resume. Instead, it should elaborate what skills you can bring to the organization.

For your cover letter, pick two or three relevant skills that you want to highlight and demonstrate how you have successfully helped others with your skills.

As a college student, highlight transferable skills in your cover letter, such as team management, leadership skills, communication skills, etc. And give examples of your skills with your volunteer work, internships, project works etc.

Customize your college student cover letter for every job

Hiring managers are experienced enough to tell if you have provided them with a generic cover letter or not.

It is one of the most common mistakes college students make to apply for multiple jobs quickly. It is also the most common reason why candidates do not get a reply from the hiring manager.

Instead of sending a generic cover letter to everyone, put some effort into researching the company and write the cover letter targeted to the specific job you are applying for.

Do not come off as over-excited or apologetic

Nobody likes a passive person. The biggest mistake you can make in your college student cover letter is coming off as apologetic for your lack of experience or over-enthusiast for getting into the workforce.

Your approach should be bold and strong. Instead of apologizing, describe your skills you have gathered in your college experience.

Avoid generic soft skills

  • Go Getter
  • Hard Working
  • Self-motivated
  • Problem-solver
    These are some of the common generic skills that almost every one includes in their resume, draining them to life and meaning. Instead of using these generic skills, mention job-related skills, and provide examples of your skills and achievements.

Show some personality

Cover letters are not just a place to describe your qualifications; it's also a place to show your personality.

So, keep your cover letter professional but avoid using unnatural language like "I would like to express my sincere gratitude for considering my application." Instead, write the way you talk.

Additionally, you can add some comments on how much you love the company culture or the job you are applying for.

Key Takeaways

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With that, we have come to the end of this blog. Now, let us check out some of the key takeaways from the college student cover letter blog:

  • Presentation is the key. So make sure your college student cover letter is clean, readable, and only a single page.
  • Start your cover letter with a powerful opening paragraph. For instance, you can start your cover letter with your years of experience or achievement.
  • Provide credibility to your achievements by quantifying them with numbers.
  • Finish your college student cover letter with a CTA asking for an interview.
  • Do not forget to enclose your resume at the end of your cover letter.

If you want to create a college student cover letter, go to Hiration Cover Letter Builder and choose from 20+ templates to create a professional cover letter for yourself.

If you need any assistance, email us at team@hiraiton.com, and we will be happy to assist you.