A cover letter for a professional summer position should highlight both your academic experiences and your past work experience, if you have it. Remember to include your academic concentration, especially if it's relevant to the position you're applying for, as well as your personal experience.
Cover Letter Challenges for College Jobs
How do you build a convincing cover letter when your work experience consists of perhaps working as a camp counselor, walking dogs, or volunteering at a nursing home? How does that translate into a hiring opportunity for real work? Here are some tips from Forbes.com from the article on "How To Write A Cover Letter When You Have No Experience."
1. Opening paragraph: Introduce yourself, specify what job you're applying for, state how you learned about the job and whether a personal connection referred you. For example: "My name is Jane, and I’m a freshman at NYU, planning to major in marketing. I saw a flyer in my department about the summer job at The Star Agency and my roommate, Tina Brown, who interned with you last semester, suggested I write. I’m from LA and plan to be in the city over summer break starting June 1."
2. Second paragraph: Make a connection between you and the employer. Read the company's blog; review their social media presence. Research everything you can about them online. Then describe how your background meets the job description. Use results-oriented examples when possible. For example: “I see you’re looking for a self-starter. I ran a Kickstarter campaign that successfully raised $5000 to bring five international music students to our high school orchestra for a month.”
3. Third paragraph: State how your personal traits make you a good fit for the job. Are you a team player, a leader, a problem solver? Use short anecdotes to illustrate your examples.
Sample Cover Letter for a College Summer Assistant Position
This is an example of a cover letter for a college summer assistant position. Download the summer assistant job cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Sample Cover Letter for a College Summer Assistant Position (Text Version)
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
September 1, 2018
Boston International Center
12 Todd St.
Boston, MA 02215
Dear Ms. O’Donnell,
I am interested in applying for the Assistant Social Worker position at the Boston International Center. I am a Linguistics and Comparative Language double major and International Relations minor at Boston University, and would love for the opportunity to work at the Irish International Immigration Center.
As a student at Boston University, I understand the challenges of finding employment and housing in the city and I am very familiar with navigation and transportation around Boston. I'm eager to share what I’ve learned from my own experiences to help and mentor other young people who are looking for housing and jobs, a key part of this position as mentioned in the description. As a young person in Boston, I have both personal and professional experience with the hunt for housing and jobs, as I have experienced the challenges of finding my own housing in Boston and also interned with the Boston University Career Services Center.
In addition, I have strong communication skills that would be applicable. This past fall, I interned full-time for a Massachusetts senator in the Democratic Headquarters. Coupled with being responsible for online research regarding electoral issues, I interacted directly with voters, politicians, and congressmen, sharpening my communication abilities on all levels.
As a young Bostonian, I look forward to helping others make the most out of their experience in this city. I am outgoing and personable as well as a responsible worker. Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to speaking with you and learning more about the position.