Cover Letter Examples for Students and Recent Graduates

This illustration shows what to include in a student cover letter such as "Volunteer work, academic achievements, participation in clubs, internships," "Your academic background," "Your GPA of 3.5 or higher," and "Soft skills, like time management and communication."

The Balance / Luyi Wang

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. 

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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

College Graduate Cover Letter Example (Text Version)

Lucy Applicant
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345

555-555-5555
lucy.applicant@email.com

October 18, 2021

Eric Lee
Media Director
Kansai
Collaborative Arts
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.

Sincerely,

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.


These samples can be modified to both summer and part-time work.

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.