Sample Cover Letters for Higher Education Communications

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Customizing your cover letter is a highly important part of an effective job application. By customizing your cover letter, you'll provide employers with all the reasons to hire you. 

The end result is far more persuasive than a cookie-cutter cover letter where all you do is swap out the company name and hiring managers. When you take the time to create a customized letter, it shows—and it can lead to good results. 

If you're looking for jobs in higher education communications, take a look at some advice on what to include in your letter and tips for writing it. Plus, you can review an example of a cover letter targeted for a job in the higher education industry, in the field of communications. 

What to Include in Your Cover Letter 

In every cover letter, regardless of industry, there are certain elements that must be included, such as:

  • salutation: Start off your letter with an appropriate greeting. Do your best to find out the name of the hiring manager, and address the letter to this person. 
  • Why you're writing: Traditionally, the opening paragraph of the letter will share why you're writing and where you saw the job listing. If someone referred you, mention it here! 
  • Your qualifications: This is the heart of a cover letter. You want to explain your work history and qualifications. But don't simply duplicate your resume. The goal is to call out elements that will be of particular interest for this specific role. 
  • End the letter appropriately: Include an appropriate sign-off and signature

You'll need to format your cover letter slightly differently if it's an email, but most elements remain precisely the same. 

Tips for Writing a Cover Letter 

Do some research: Before you jump into writing your cover letter, you'll want to do some research. Knowing the higher education institute's values and goals will help you know which points to emphasize. Even small things, like the size of the college or university, make a difference. The communication needs of a small-town college are different than those of a world-renowned research institution. 

Match your skills to the job description: You should also take a very close look at the job description in the job ad, and match it to your credentials. Pay attention to the responsibilities and skills that are called for. Then, think through your own work history, looking for examples of times when you've used these skills or done similar tasks. For example, if the job description is looking for a strong writer, you can mention that in your last role, you wrote five press releases a month, and were able to garner coverage based on 70% of the press releases that were distributed. 

Call out accomplishments: In your cover letter, highlight any major achievements you've made in previous roles. This is more powerful than simply listing the day-to-day tasks you've performed in the past. 

Cover Letter Template

This is an example of a cover letter for a higher education position. Download the higher education cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.

Screenshot of a cover letter example for a higher education communications position
©TheBalance 2018

Cover Letter Examples

Cover Letter Example - Higher Education / Communications (Text Version)

Alexandria Applicant
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
555-555-5555
alexandria.applicant@email.com

February 15, 2021

Jon Lee
Director, Human Resources
University of North Florida
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321

Dear Mr. Lee,

As an experienced communications professional, I'm very interested in the position of Associate Vice President of University Campaign Communications at the University of North Florida.

I have a proven track record in a majority of the competencies you're seeking, especially in strategically communicating institutional priorities. I believe I would be the ideal candidate for this role, as my experience and my skills align with the role outlined in the job description.

Here are a few highlights of my candidacy:

  • Twelve years. experience developing and implementing internal and external communications for ABCD Energy/Electric and ABCD Corporation.
  • Handling a wide range of creative services, collaborating with and supervising creative services staff and vendors to produce marketing and other print communications, as well as online communications and video projects.
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills honed over the past 13 years in public relations and corporate communications; from press releases to newsletters to video scripts to websites and intranet publications.
  • Providing communications counsel and expertise to executives and managers for issues management, benefits communications, and employee relations.

As a recent transplant to Miami, I still own a home in Tampa and would love to put my skills to work back in Tampa.

Please let me know if I can answer any questions or provide any work samples.

Sincerely,

Signature (hard copy letter)

Alexandria Applicant

Cover Letter for a College Communications Position

Thomas Applicant
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
555-555-5555
thomas.applicant@email.com

September 15, 2021

Anthony Lau
Director, Human Resources
Acme College
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321

Dear Mr. Lau, 

I am writing to indicate my interest in the position of Assistant Director of Campaign Communications. I'm a passionate supporter of our current campaign, and a fully-engaged member of the College community.

For many years, I've had a long and happy affiliation with this College, as an employee, parent (Marie 'XX), student, and Alumni Board member. My current position as Administrative Coordinator in the English Department has allowed close collaboration with my Chair, student majors, and 40-plus faculty, as well as many different offices and departments. It's been a joy to work in the English Department, though, and I'm eager to use my talents in greater contribution to the College.

The position of Director of Campaign Communications provides a wonderful opportunity for the College to engage one of its most enthusiastic community members in promotion of its important message. It is a position where my interpersonal and organizational skills, and experience with so many college constituencies, could be put to very productive and successful use.

Speaking to position qualifications, concentrations in literature and writing in both my undergraduate and graduate programs here have allowed me to become a skilled writer. I look forward to incorporating the technologies I've used in the past, and I am very excited to work with new systems. Organization is vital when balancing multiple projects and demands, and the ability to organize well has made my experience in the English Department much more rewarding.

Perhaps the greatest asset I offer is the ability to work with many personalities and groups of people, and I realize just how valuable that is when working with College constituencies, on committees, and in my work with our Alumni Board.

I can think of no better way to honor the riches of my education and work history than sharing the important message of this campaign. I appreciate your considering my application. Please review the attached resume. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Signature (hard copy letter)

Thomas Applicant

Cover Letter Example - Director of Communications

Timothy Applicant
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
555-555-5555
timothy.applicant@email.com

February 15, 2021

Julia Rodriguez
Director, Human Resources
American Organization
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321

Dear Mrs. Rodriguez,

As an experienced communications professional, I'm very interested in the American Organization's Director of Communications position.

I have a proven track record in almost all of the competencies you're seeking. Here are a few highlights:

  • Handled a wide range of creative services, collaborating with creative services peers, subordinates and vendors to produce marketing and other print communications, as well online communications and video projects.
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills honed over the past 13 years in public relations and corporate communications; from press releases to newsletters to video scripts to websites and yes, guest columns.
  • Developing and implementing communications strategies for reaching employees and other stakeholders.
  • Providing communications counsel and expertise to executives and managers for issues management, benefits communications, and employee relations.

In my current role at Company A, I've worked closely with nonprofits while administering our corporate marine conservation donation program. This is the most rewarding part of my job, helping connect worthy organizations with funding.

I will call in one week to follow-up and find out if I can answer any questions or provide any work samples.

Sincerely,

Signature (hard copy letter)

Timothy Applicant