If you're a student or a new grad, you may not have much experience in the workforce. This can make building a resume and writing a cover letter challenging. After all, if you haven't worked previously, what information can you include in these two documents?
Fortunately, on-the-job experience is not the only thing that shows your abilities. Here's guidance on what to include in your resume and cover letter, along with cover letter examples and cover letter templates are designed especially for high school students, as well as for college students and recent graduates seeking employment.
What to Include in Your Cover Letter
Academic Achievements and Extracurricular Activities
You can mention volunteer work, academic achievements, participation in clubs or activities (particularly those in which you held leadership roles), and internships. Your academic background is also an asset. Include details that are relevant to the position you want (use the job description as your guide to the qualities and training the employer seeks).
GPA and Honors
If you are an honors student with a GPA higher than 3.5, it is a good idea to mention this on a cover letter as well, along with any honors societies you have been inducted into.
Skills and Abilities
Other things you can mention are soft skills—interpersonal “people” skills like creative thinking, communication, teamwork, or time management that will help you to adapt easily to the people and clients or customers you will be working with.
Your goal in this cover letter is to show how you would be an asset to the company, describing the skills you bring that would allow you to perform well in the position.
Below, you'll find a list of student cover letters, listed by position and level of experience, to help you develop your own cover letter.
Watch Now: 7 Tips for Finding Your First Job
College Graduate Cover Letter Example
You can use this sample as a model to write a college graduate cover letter. Download the template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online), or read the text version below.
College Graduate Cover Letter Example (Text Version)
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
October 18, 2021
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321
Dear Mr. Lee:
I am writing to you to express interest in the graphic design position as advertised on Indeed.com. As a recent graduate with experience in 3-D animation software and the Adobe suite of software, I believe I am a strong candidate for a position at Kansai Collaborative Arts.
During my time at the University of Northern State, I was awarded the top prize in the student design competition for my version of an app that would allow students to learn Japanese characters on their own time.
In addition to graduating with a 3.75 GPA, I spent a semester at a university in Japan, and I have strong conversational skills in the Japanese language. I believe this would be an asset, as I know your studio does a lot of collaborations with major design studios in Japan.
Although I am a recent college graduate, my maturity, artistic skills, ability to work with others, and knowledge of the Japanese language and culture will make me an asset to your studio.
I have enclosed my resume and will email you within the next week to see if we can arrange a time to speak further. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Signature (hard copy letter)
Student / Recent Graduate Cover Letter Templates
Before you can begin writing your cover letter, it's important to know the guidelines governing these letters. Unlike a casual email to a friend, there are set standards for how to greet recipients, organize the letter's content, and much more. That's where templates can help: they allow you to know what information to put where, and they help you format your letter correctly. Review the templates below:
- Cover Letter Format
- Cover Letter Template
- Email Cover Letter Template
- Email Cover Letter Sample
- Cover Letter Sample: General
- Cover Letter Sample: Block Format
- Microsoft Word Cover Letter Templates
Student and Recent Graduate Cover Letter Samples
These lists of cover letters include both general examples that will help you format your letter, as well as sample cover letters used to apply for specific positions, such as roles as a nanny or a marketing assistant.
Do not copy these sample letters—instead, use them as a guide to help you know what kind of information to include, and how to format your letter.
Entry-Level Cover Letters
Have a look at these samples to see how best to present your experience when applying for an entry-level job.
Student Cover Letters
As a student, the information you should emphasize in your cover letter will vary depending upon your level of education. Here are examples of effective cover letters created for students at the high school, college, and graduate levels.
- Recent College Graduate Sample #1
- Recent College Graduate Sample #2
- Response to Job Posting
- College Senior
- Graduate Student
- Networking Letter
Job-Specific Cover Letters
These cover letter samples target specific career fields. They demonstrate how to incorporate industry-specific keywords into your narrative.
- Email Cover Letter - Psychology Job
- Internship Cover Letter
- Finance Internship Program
- Entry Level Marketing
Cover Letters for Summer and Part-Time Jobs
Being able to write an enthusiastic and informative cover letter will set you apart from your competition when you apply for summer or part-time jobs while you’re still in school.
Make sure you send your cover letter and resume as soon as possible after a job is announced—these opportunities are snatched up quickly.
These samples can be modified to both summer and part-time work.
- Part-Time Job
- Summer Assistant Job
- Email Summer Job
- Summer Job #1
- Summer Job #2
- Summer Job Email Message
- Camp Counselor
- Email Editorial Assistant
- Sales Associate
- Summer Camp
How to Write a Cover Letter
This guide to writing a cover letter will walk you through everything you need to know to write a cover letter, including what to include in the letter, how to write it, and the proper cover letter format. Plus, find out about how to write a targeted cover letter and browse through additional cover letter samples and examples.
Cover Letter Format and Presentation Tips
Here are cover letter tips and techniques for writing top-notch cover letters to send with your resume, including information about cover letter format and presentation, choosing a type of cover letter, writing custom cover letters, and cover letter examples and templates.