If you’re still studying or have just finished your degree, but have no professional experience, looking for a job can be daunting. Thankfully, there are many high growth industries that hire young people aged 16-24. A strong cover letter can help you get noticed by a hiring manager so you can start building your career.

If you’re not sure where to start when writing a cover letter, try downloading one of our college cover letter templates. There are examples for college graduates with some work experience and those looking for their first job. You can also find extra tips on how to use the most important sections of your cover letter to make a bigger impact.

College Cover Letter Checklist

The best college cover letters have five main elements:

1. Heading. This is where you list your name, title, and contact details. It should also include the addressee’s details and the date the letter was written. Use a professional template, so the information stands out.

2. Salutation. Whenever possible, greet the hiring manager by name. Use Mr. or Ms. and their last name. If you can’t find that information, “Dear Hiring Manager,” is the best option.

3. Introduction. Your opening paragraph should capture the hiring manager’s interest while introducing yourself and your interest in the position.

4. Body paragraphs. The main part of your cover letter should contain two paragraphs detailing your skills, experience, and education. Make sure you only include relevant details and consider adding a bulleted list to break up blocks of text.

5. Closing section. Use the final part of your letter to invite the hiring manager to arrange an interview with you. A postscript is a clever addition that can highlight one final achievement and leave a lasting impression.

College Cover Letter Examples and Templates

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Introduction

Your first paragraph needs to make an impact so that the hiring manager keeps reading. It should also express your interest in the position. The best way to do this is to choose one of your biggest achievements and build your introduction around it. Pick something that shows you’re qualified for the job, and try to find an accomplishment that’s quantifiable. Avoid generic facts, as these can easily be found in your resume.

Good


Taking the lead in designing the student vegetable plot in a community garden was one of my greatest achievements during my time pursuing a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree. The plot is now both educational and productive, and I hope to bring the same level of creativity to Liana Landscaping as a junior landscape architect.

Bad


My name is Lily Jackson, and I’m currently completing my Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. I believe the skills and knowledge I have learned during my study make me the perfect candidate for your junior landscape architect position.

Body Paragraphs

Start the body of your cover letter by expressing admiration for the organization that’s advertising, as well as your interest in the position. Include specific details so the hiring manager can see you’re not sending a generic cover letter.

In the next paragraph, list your relevant achievements. These can include educational degrees, successful projects, and transferable skills. Think about the experience you gained while studying for your degree, such as during internships or a part-time job. Include positive outcomes for all your examples, so the hiring manager can visualize the success you’ll bring to their company.

Good


With three internships over the course of my degree, I’m drawn to Liana Landscaping’s reputation for creating striking and sustainable landscapes. Liana’s emphasis on bringing beauty to urban areas is the ideal fit for my innovative design style.

I’m excited to help the Liana Landscaping team continue to achieve success. Some of my accomplishments during my internships and study include:

  • Recommending ground cover plants as an alternative to lawns, saving a client an estimated 100 hours of labor each year
  • Producing AutoCAD designs that were presented to clients and resulted in three new contracts
  • Designing and implementing a water-wise garden for a university project, resulting in 50% in water savings over the first 12 months

Bad


Your job advertisement mentions that you’re looking for a recent university graduate. I will be graduating very soon and would love to work for Liana Landscaping.

Over the course of my studies, I have gained the following experience:

  • Designing landscapes in AutoCAD
  • Identifying appropriate plants and hard landscaping elements for different areas
  • Working as a team to solve landscaping problems

Closing

The best closing paragraphs encourage the hiring manager to take action by scheduling an interview. If you just thank the hiring manager for their time and attention, they may not take the next step.

If you want your college cover letter to get extra credit, add a postscript to feature one final achievement you want the hiring manager to know about. This helps leave a lasting impression.

Good


I’d like the opportunity to discuss how my skills and knowledge can help Liana Landscaping continue to build a reputation for stunning design. Please feel free to contact me to arrange an interview at a time that suits your schedule.

Best regards,

Lily Jackson

P.S. I’d love to discuss what I learned about drought-resistant, sustainable landscape design during my semester abroad in Australia!

Bad


Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. If I can clarify any points, or provide further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Regards,

Lily Jackson

College Cover Letter Examples (Text Format)

  • Example 1
  • Example 2
  • Example 3

Candice Suarez
Business Administration Graduate | [email protected] | (887) 766-5544 | 432 My Road, Anchorage, AK 10203

April 23, 2021

Megan Hendrix
Senior Hiring Manager
Moffatt & Nichol
(432) 109-8765
[email protected]

Dear Ms. Hendrix,

During my undergraduate study at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, I was named the top-performing student for my resource management project. My professors mentioned my outstanding strategic thinking and strong organizational skills as justification for this achievement. I am excited to demonstrate my abilities as an office administrator at Moffatt and Nichol.

As an ambitious new graduate, the chance to start my career at a fast-growing company like Moffatt and Nicholl is compelling. I believe that my strong academic background in business administration and two years of experience as a part-time hotel receptionist have furnished me with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel. My recent achievements include:

  • Answering guest queries warmly and professionally, achieving a 100% positive rating in 2020
  • Receiving praise 5x during my practicum placement assessments for accuracy and efficiency
  • Achieving full marks for my business computer applications coursework

I look forward to discussing how my abilities and qualities can help me provide outstanding administrative support to your organization. Please get in touch to schedule an interview.

Sincerely,

Candice Suarez

P.S. I would love to tell you how I resolved a complex billing issue at my workplace last month.

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