Applying for your first job as a fresh college graduate?
While you may have spent days on end drafting a perfect resume for job applications, sending out your resume alone may not be enough to impress the recruiters.
To up your chances of getting shortlisted, you need to leverage your recent education that is up to par with the latest industry trends and tell the recruiters how you can utilize this knowledge to benefit the company.
But since your resume doesn’t allow you to narrate this, a cover letter can do just that.
Including a cover letter in your application shows your enthusiasm, work ethic, and allows the recruiters to have a better understanding of your candidacy.
Read on to learn more about a cover letter for a recent graduate and the following related FAQs:
- What is a cover letter for a recent graduate?
- What should a cover letter for recent graduate include?
- How to write a cover letter for recent college graduate
- What is a cover letter example for a recent graduate?
What is a Cover Letter for a New Graduate?
A cover letter for a recent graduate is a document that supports your job application.
The purpose of a cover letter is to serve as an extension of your resume, presenting your skills and knowledge in more detail.
A recent graduate cover letter must be a page long and should be written with a particular employer in mind.
Given the fact that 26% of employers read and consider cover letters to be influential in their decision to hire candidates, writing a compelling cover letter for a recent graduate can increase your chances of getting an interview callback.
Also read: How to write a cover letter for a recent nursing graduate?
What Should a Recent College Graduate Cover Letter Include?
As opposed to repeating the same details that are already in your resume, your recent graduate cover letter must help recruiters see how your skills and knowledge meet their requirements in the bigger picture.
And unlike a professional cover letter that highlights a candidate’s work experience and professional achievements, a cover letter for a recent graduate must talk about the following:
- Relevant extracurricular activities
- Volunteer work experience
- Academic accomplishments (awards & scholarships)
- Abroad education (if applicable)
- Relevant coursework and skills
- Vocational training and certifications
Whatever aspects of academic experience you choose to highlight in your recent graduate cover letter, ensure that it is relevant to the job profile you are targeting and is tailored according to the job listing.
Also read: How to write a cover letter?
How to Write a Cover Letter for a Recent Graduate?
Although the context of a cover letter for a recent graduate is different than that of an experienced professional, the basic format and guidelines remain the same.
Here are some tips that will help you write an impressive recent graduate cover letter:
Choose a Suitable Format
Not only must your new grad cover letter have compelling content, but it must also look appealing to the recruiters.
Ensure that your cover letter has the following elements:
- 1” margin on four sides
- Double spaces between paragraphs
- 1/1.5 line spacing
- Left-aligned content
- 10-12 points font size
Also, make sure that the font style you choose looks professional and doesn’t have any special characters.
Personalize Your Graduate Cover Letter
Even though you may be sending out multiple applications to different companies at once, you need to personalize your cover letter for each company.
When you put in the effort to research the company and find out the name of the hiring manager for your recent graduate cover letter, it will reflect your genuine interest and attention to detail.
Plus, not a lot of candidates follow this approach, making your application stand out from the rest.
Also, if the hiring manager is a female, avoid using “Mrs.”. Instead, use “Ms.” or “Miss”.
If the hiring manager has a professional title like “Dr.” or “Prof.”, use that title instead.
Take a look at this sample of a personalized recent graduate cover letter salutation:
Also read: How to address a cover letter without a name?
Introduce Yourself and State Your Intent
The first paragraph of a cover letter for a recent graduate should include the following information:
- A brief introduction to yourself (along with your college major, certifications, etc)
- The position you’re applying to
- The source’s name where you found the job listing from
- Mention of referrals (if any)
Write your cover letter concisely to avoid boring the recruiters and deliver all the essential information promptly.
Also read: How to start a cover letter?
Highlight Relevant Information
The body of your new grad cover letter must highlight the best of your academic achievements and knowledge.
Tell the recruiters how the skills and knowledge you have acquired through your education can help you contribute to the company’s growth.
If you received academic scholarships and awards based on your performance, emphasize that. Those are your proven track record of potential and abilities.
Focus on talking about coursework that is in line with the job profile. If you have relevant certifications in the same field, highlight those in the given manner:
“After completing my English degree at XYZ University, I took a certificate course on technical writing that helped me develop the skills and technicality required for writing manuals, documents, and white papers.”
Link Yourself to the Company
Read the job listing thoroughly to understand the requirements of the recruiters and show how your qualifications allow you to meet the company prerequisites.
You must also state your reasons for wanting to work for that particular company.
Beyond the monetary factors, why do you want to work for them? Is it because they offer flexible working schedules? Or is it due to the company’s work culture?
Depending on what you identify with, mention the same in your recent graduate cover letter. Doing so will show your sincerity as a potential employee and will make the recruiters want to shortlist you.
End with a Call to Action
Rather than opting for a generic line like “Thank you for your consideration.”, wrap up your recent graduate cover letter with a strong call to action.
Here’s what you can write:
“I would be delighted to further discuss my qualifications and suitability with you on call or in person. I’m available at 999-9999-9999.”
Also read: How can you draft a stellar accounting internship cover letter?