Cover Letter Examples for Students and Recent Graduates

College student studying with laptop and earbuds
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The following cover letters and cover letter templates are designed especially for high school students, as well as for college students and recent graduates seeking employment.

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?

What to Include in Your Cover Letter

Fortunately, on-the-job experience is not the only thing that shows your abilities. You can also 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).

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.

Other things you can mention are soft skills – interpersonal “people” skills like creative thinking, communication, team work, 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. 

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.

student cover letter sample
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Download the Word Template

College Graduate Cover Letter Example (Text Version)

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email

Contact Name
Title
Company Name
Address
City, State Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname:

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 for 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.

Sincerely,

Your Signature (hard copy letter)

Typed Name

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: 

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.

Job-Specific Cover Letters: These cover letter samples target specific career fields. They demonstrate how to incorporate industry-specific keywords into your narrative.

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.

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.